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Best Songs Of 2023: 10 Bangers That Define The Year So Far
List & Guides

Best Songs Of 2023: 10 Bangers That Define The Year So Far

From hyper-pop breakout anthems to emo-punk comeback hits, the best songs of 2023 prove that the year will be an exciting one for music fans.


With 2023 well underway, music fans have already been spoilt for choice among the many incredible new songs released throughout the year so far. From rising stars such as PinkPantheress and Ice Spice to seasoned emo-punk stalwarts Fall Out Boy and Paramore, artists across all genres have been delivering exceptional music that has burrowed its way into the ears of listeners across the world. Whether you’re a fan of dance-pop, indie rock or lo-fi R&B, the best songs of 2023 stand out from the pack and shine extra brightly…

Listen to our Charts playlist here, and check out our best songs of 2023, below.

10: Fall Out Boy: Love From The Other Side

Having re-signed with the label Fueled by Ramen and reunited with From Under The Cork Tree and Infinity On High producer Neal Avron, Fall Out Boy return to their hard-edged emo-punk roots with the prickly and uptempo rocker Love From The Other Side. As the lead single from the band’s eighth album, So Much (For) Stardust, the song eschews the teenage angst of Fall Out Boy’s early work in favour of world-weary disillusionment, with frontman Patrick Stump telling NME that the track “definitely has this very mature bitterness to it”. Peaking at No.1 on the US Alternative Airplay chart, Love From The Other Side emerges from emo’s welcome renaissance to take its place among the best songs of 2023.

9: Depeche Mode: Ghosts Again

In a year which saw Depeche Mode’s 1987 hit Never Let Me Down Again go viral after featuring in HBO’s post-apocalyptic drama The Last Of Us, it’s a pleasant surprise to see the veteran synth-pop group experience a return to form with Ghosts Again. The song’s black-and-white video features singer Dave Gahan and guitarist Martin Gore recreating the chess-playing scene from Ingmar Bergman’s 1957 film The Seventh Seal. As a haunting meditation on mortality, Ghosts Again feels even more poignant following the death of Depeche Mode keyboardist Andy Fletcher, at age 60, last year.

8: Lovejoy: Call Me What You Like

Mixing power-pop melodies with the angular guitars of the post-punk revival era, Lovejoy’s hook-filled single Call Me What You Like has been one of indie rock’s biggest this year. Peaking at No.32 in both the UK and on the US Alternative Airplay chart, the song could put the Brighton-based band on the verge of a commercial breakthrough across the pond. “We’ve really struggled with getting our sound down over this year, and to finally be able to have something to show for it is exciting and humbling,” Lovejoy lead vocalist and YouTuber Wilbur Soot told BBC Radio 1’s Jack Saunders.

7: Gorillaz: Silent Running (featuring Adeleye Omotayo)

When Gorillaz songwriter Damon Albarn teamed up with Greg Kurstin, one of the biggest pop producers in the world, even he thought it could have gone either way, as he admitted to Zane Lowe. Thankfully, the duo’s first collaboration, the soothing piano ballad Silent Running, proved to be a tranquillity-inducing masterstroke that led the way for what would become one of the best albums of 2023. “It just started the whole process for us,” Kurstin said of Silent Running, during an interview with Apple Music. A highlight of Gorillaz’s sixth album, Cracker Island, with soul-stirring backing vocals from Adeleye Omotayo, plus Albarn’s ear for catchy synth-pop melody lines and Kurstin’s sprinkling of radio-friendly magic dust, Silent Running leads the pack among the best songs of 2023.

6: beabadoobee: Glue Song

Known for her gnarly dalliances in 90s-style slacker rock, Bea Kristi (aka beabadoobee) surprised her fanbase by dropping Glue Song, a charming slice of heartwarming chamber pop, on Valentine’s Day. “It’s a heartfelt song that means a lot to me,” Kristi revealed to Clash magazine. “A love song and the first one I’ve written in my new relationship. For the first time this is just me being really happy.” As one of the best songs of 2023, Glue Song offers proof that beabadoobee’s talents are coming into full flower as she starts to showcase a more vibrant and colourful side to her impressive songwriting skills.

5: Linkin Park: Lost

A long-forgotten outtake dating back to 2002, Lost was belatedly released in February 2023 to promote the 20th-anniversary reissue of Linkin Park’s classic second album, Meteora. “We didn’t know what we were gonna do with Lost, so we just shelved it and forgot about it,” Linkin Park rapper and guitarist Mike Shinoda said in an interview with The FADER. “Finding it was like, ‘Oh my God, the song got all the way to the finish line. Fans are gonna love to hear this.’” The tragic passing of Linkin Park’s lead singer, Chester Bennington, in 2017, makes hearing his voice on Lost even more impactful, serving as a powerful reminder of how the best Linkin Park songs have the ability to uplift and heal, even during the darkest of times. Lost has resonated deeply with fans, whose support sent the song to No.18 in the UK and No.38 on the US Hot 100.

4: SZA: Kill Bill

With a music video inspired by Quentin Tarantino’s two-part revenge saga, Kill Bill, starring Uma Thurman, alt-pop singer SZA’s psychedelia-tinged soul ballad of the same name sees its creator fantasise about visiting violence upon an ex-lover (“I might kill my ex, not the best idea/His new girlfriend’s next, how’d I get here?”). Kill Bill has quickly become not just one of the best songs of 2023, but also one of SZA’s biggest chart successes, peaking at No.1 in the UK and No.2 in the US, largely thanks to the way it simmers with pent-up aggression. “I’ve never raged the way that I should have,” SZA admitted to Glamour magazine. “This is my villain era, and I’m very comfortable with that.”

3: Paramore: Running Out Of Time

When introducing Running Out Of Time to a live audience at Grand Ole Opry House, in Nashville, Paramore frontwoman Hayley Williams said the song is about her lack of punctuality. Quickly finding favour among the best Paramore songs, the lyrics, delivered with wry humour and self-awareness, find the emo-punk icon emerging from COVID-19 lockdowns, criticising her own time management skills and rattling off a list of comical excuses (“There was traffic, spilled my coffee, crashed my car, otherwise/Would’ve been here on time”). Daydreaming her way down an Alice In Wonderland-style rabbit-hole of imagination in the song’s video, Hayley ensures her witty and highly relatable lyrics make Running Out Of Time a standout entry among the best songs of 2023.

2: Miley Cyrus: Flowers

Written in the aftermath of Miley Cyrus’ divorce from actor Liam Hemsworth just eight months after her California home burnt down during the Woolsey Fire of 2018 (“We were right ’til we weren’t/Built a home and watched it burn”), the success of Flowers is nothing short of phenomenal. Peaking at No.1 in over 36 countries, including the UK and the US, Flowers broke the record for most-streamed song in a week on Spotify and racked up over 300 million views on YouTube in just two months. Embraced for its optimistic message of self-empowerment and female independence, Flowers is an unstoppable force of nature among the best songs of 2023.

1: PinkPantheress (featuring Ice Spice): Boy’s a liar Pt.2

Though Boy’s a liar gained some traction on TikTok in late 2022, it wasn’t until UK songwriter PinkPantheress invited US rapper Ice Spice to feature in the remix, Boy’s a liar Pt.2, in February 2023, that the song truly blew up. Becoming PinkPantheress’ first single to crack the US Top 100, peaking at No.3, the Mura Masa-produced Jersey-club groove is a perfect match for Ice Spice’s attitude-laden bars. “Even though Ice Spice does drill, her flows are super unique and the beats she chooses are different,” PinkPantheress told NME. “A lot of people would struggle with the beats I choose, but I knew she’d be good for it.” One of the best songs of 2023, Boy’s a liar Pt.2 proves that PinkPantheress’ unique hyperpop style not only has hit potential, it also has what it takes to revolutionise dance-pop forever.

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