Staff Picks: Our Favorite Albums of October 2023

Music fans were treated to a treasure trove of new album releases in October. Pop-rock groups Blink-182, Boys Like Girls, and Incubus returned with new full-length projects. Sufjan Stevens, boygenius, Glen Hansard, Dylan LeBlanc, and Lydia Luce offered impeccable examples of heartfelt songwriting with their latest releases. Some of music’s most influential artists and groups also delivered new LPs, including The Rolling Stones, Ringo Starr, and Mötley Crüe.

Videos by American Songwriter

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If you haven’t kept up with the wave of fresh music that’s emerged in recent weeks, you’ve found the perfect starting point. Take a look at the American Songwriter team’s individual picks for the best albums that arrived in October 2023:

1989 (Taylor’s Version), Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift gifted us yet another stunner of a revamped album this month, 1989 (Taylor’s Version). The “vault songs” on this record are some of her best. “Slut!” will now and forever be in the rotation. Even the expected parts of this album remind us of Swift’s hitmaking prowess. –Alex Hopper

Along the Way, Colbie Caillat

Colbie Caillat has always been known to deliver beautiful acoustic songs, and Along the Way is no exception. This time, though, she adds in a little country flavor with a hint of steel guitar that elevates the album’s spirit. Fans of Caillat’s early work will likely fall in love with this album. Along the Way sparkles and shines – just like the singer herself. –Cillea Houghton

Chronicles of a Diamond, Black Pumas

There is an intoxicating bliss that some—yes, the rarest—albums offer their listeners. And the sophomore release from the Austin, Texas-born band Black Pumas is one of those records. Heady like champagne bubbles, and sticky like ink, the LP bleeds into your system and stays there. Home sweet home. –Jake Uitti

Edge of Forever, Jessi Colter

Although gifted singer/songwriter Jessi Colter was one of the driving creative forces behind the emergence of “outlaw country,” her contributions and talents are all too often overlooked. Thanks to the encouragement and creative vision of fellow musical boundary-pusher Margo Price, Colter’s talents again get the spotlight they deserve. Edge of Forever is a groovy, heartfelt display of true artistry, one of the best albums of October 2023, and an essential listen for any country music fan. –Lorie Liebig

LAHAI, Sampha

Following up appearances on recent rap and R&B LPs by Kendrick Lamar, Travis Scott, Drake, Solange, and Alicia Keys, British singer Sampha proved once again on his sophomore album LAHAI (October 20) that his presence on any song provides an unmatched gentleness. Whether it be over pattering dance drums, forceful electronic/hip-hop beats, or graceful piano-laced instrumentals, Sampha’s tranquil harmonies always shine through – and LAHAI is just another example. –Thomas Galindo

Danse Macabre, Duran Duran

There’s nothing more fitting than releasing an album in October than one inspired by Halloween. On Danse Macabre, Duran Duran slips in plenty of treats—covers of Talking Heads‘ “Psycho Killer,” “Spellbound” by Siouxsie and the Banshees, and Billie Eilish‘s “Bury a Friend,” among others—along with some new originals and older visitations. If you didn’t know Danse Macabre was inspired by Halloween, you’d think it was Duran Duran just up to their old tricks again—and sounding as tight as ever. –Tina Benitez-Eves

Photo by Beth Garrabrant, Courtesy of Republic Records 

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