The 12 best albums of 2023 so far

It has been a great year for female-led bands.

The Linda Lindas Perform At The Regency Ballroom
The Linda Lindas Perform At The Regency Ballroom / Steve Jennings/GettyImages
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Linda Lindas
Steve Jennings/GettyImages

1. Linda Lindas – Growing Up

The Linda Lindas debut – Growing Up – was released in 2022, and it was sensational. I am doing something I don’t ever do here, which is repeating an album on consecutive lists. I always stick to the year of the initial release when making year-based lists. But I found a loophole.

Last May, the quartet released a “Bonus” edition of Growing Up. It only featured one additional song, but it is so good that it made this new edition my favorite album of the year. It is the exuberant, anthemic “Linda Lindas.” It follows the equally anthemic hardcore punk screed “Racist Sexist Boy” on the tracklist.

That’s the beauty of the LLs. Whether it’s Emma Salazar’s perfectly calibrated pop or Eloise Wong’s punk shrieking, the Lindas just rock. Lucia de la Garza, who at 19 is the oldest member of the band, bridges the gap between that pop and punk pendulum. Her sister, drummer Mila, is the youngest Linda. She’s 13.

The combined age of the four musicians is barely older than I am. Yet I listened to this album more than any other in 2023. A couple of killer singles released later in the year (including a kickass take on the Music Explosions’ “Little Bit O’ Soul”) prove they aren’t going anywhere. The Linda Lindas can play their instruments, but otherwise, it is “We Are the Best!” coming to life.

BEST TRACK – LINDA LINDAS (the only additional song)

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