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Inhailer Radio's Best Music of 2023

Updated: Dec 31, 2023

As we bid farewell to another year, here at Inhailer Radio we're taking a nostalgic dive into the tunes that made 2023 a memorable sonic journey. Our team of passionate DJs and staff has each crafted a list, a personal selection of tracks and albums that stood out in the vast landscape of music. From dreamy shoegaze to the pulsating beats of post-punk, the introspective world of indie gems to the rhythmic narratives of singer-songwriters, our Best Music of 2023 is a unique blend reflecting the diverse tastes of our dedicated crew. So, join us on this musical excursion as we unwrap the highlights that shaped our year and, hopefully, yours too.

And if you'd like to hear Inhailer Radio's Top 100 Most Played Songs of 2023, you can tune into Inhailer Radio on New Year's Eve Sunday December 31st from

3-11pm as we broadcast a special countdown! Or catch a rebroadcast New Year's Day from 11am-7pm.

As always, be sure to stay up to date with the latest and greatest songs carefully curated by your fellow music aficionados by tuning into Inhailer Radio.

Get in sync here at, or conveniently from our new iPhone and Android apps, anytime!

Without further delay, Inhailer Radio's Best Music of 2023:

DJ Conor Battles - Thursday 3-7

MJ Lenderman - Knockin’ (Single Version)

The perfect way to bookend this list. While “Knockin’ (Single Version)” is not the most famous case of an artist re-recording their previously released material this year and taking it to new heights, it’s hands-down the best. The vision is further refined on this live cut from the appropriately-named Live and Loose, which is probably the best rock album of the year.

World News - The Tinman

The best thing I found by listening to this station all year. Bright, clean, jangly guitars and dour, ethereal vocals combine to form an absolutely bewitching elegy for Dorothy’s heartless pal. The intricate soloing combines jammy math rock with downright medieval tonalities. The accompanying Instagram reel that serves as a music video looks like the worst PS2 game you’ve ever played. I love it dearly.

100 Gecs - The Most Wanted Person in the United States

I didn’t get 100 Gecs five years ago, and I still kinda don’t. Still, a gleeful mashup of glitch pop, nu-metal, ska and Scary Movie samples makes for the funniest, most bell-to-bell enjoyable record of the year. I feel like Anthony Kiedis would approve of the rhyme scheme at play here.

funeral commercial - washed

I’d be remiss not to use my platform here to elevate one of my favorite bands right here in the greater Akron, Ohio area. Funeral commercial makes some of the loudest, dreamiest, headiest music around, and their long-awaited debut EP captures their singular sound at its purest. When you hear them live, the soundscapes seem endless. A warm, fuzzy blanket of noise.

The Big Heist - Need a Smile

There’s a chance you’ve heard Matt Farley’s music before - he’s released over 20,000 songs under a variety of aliases, ranging from tunes about celebrities (Papa Razzi and the Photogs), bowel movements (The Toilet Bowl Cleaners), to simply singing your name over and over (The Guy Who Sings Your Name Over and Over). This powerhouse work ethic enables him to make a comfortable living off of the streaming algorithm, but it also has the unfortunate side effect of obscuring his more “legitimate” no-jokes work. “Need a Smile” demonstrates Farley’s keen melodic sensibilities and power-pop chops to perfection. It’s just a good song.

Hotline TNT - Protocol

Shoegaze is having a bit of a moment in the indie rockosphere. But where many pale imitators come up short by simply drowning their bog standard work in the requisite walls of reverb and distortion, Will Anderson of Hotline TNT goes the extra mile. From the perfectly executed Kevin Shields tremolo glides to the squealing synths, “Protocol” pays homage to the past while creating a path forward for the genre to evolve.

Daddy’s Beemer - Studying Roses

A bubbly ballad that offers the best of vintage college rock and modern anthemic indie pop. Daddy’s Beemer have logged a couple hundred shows in their scant five years of existence, and that level of honed expertise shines through on every song on Tangles. Sometimes all you need is a breezy melody straight off of a Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me B-side and an arena-ready hook that invites you to scream along.

Cory Hanson - Housefly

Cory Hanson takes the best of his past work with Wand and Ty Segall to create the best Southern stoner rock record of the year with the least recommendable name. Choogling riffs come hot and heavy, awash in fuzz. The all-consuming fervor with which one usually attempts to kill a fly hasn’t been rendered so dramatically since Breaking Bad.

Cole Pulice - If I Don​’​t See You in the Future, I​’​ll See You in the Pasture

I know what you’re thinking - twenty-minute experimental saxophone noise projects are a dime a dozen these days. But if you listen to any this year, make it this one.

Wednesday - Bath County

Wednesday is creating a lived-in, Appalachian universe all their own within the cramped and vibrant space of contemporary indie rock. On Rat Saw God, conflicting feelings of sentiment and disgust for this vision of rural American life come to a head in Karly Hartzman’s songwriting. You know these places and these people, even if you’ve never met them.

 DJ Nick - For You’re [sic] Sunday - Sunday 3-7pm  

Yo La Tengo - Fallout

This is my unofficial official theme song.

Geese - Mysterious Love

Just can’t get enough of this song.

Yard Act - trench coat museum

The video alone is worth it.

Slowdive - the slab

Shoegaze is back my friends!

Grian Chatten  - Fairlies 

The lyrics for this song are wonderful.

Wednesday - Quarry

This band has the beautiful melancholy quality that I just love.

Jungle - Back On 74

Song of the summer for me

Feeble Little Horse - Sweet 

More shoegaze please!

 Squid - Swing (In a Dream)

Just a great song and it starts the album, no notes!

Ducks Ltd. - The Main thing

I have been playing this a lot lately. 

 DJ Jake Witt Overtime Wednesday 3-7pm

Slowdive - everything is alive -

Sufjan Stevens - Javelin -

Blur - Ballad of Darren -

Boygenius - The Record -

ANOHNI and the Johnsons - My Back Was A Bridge For You To Cross -

Caroline Polachek - Desire, I Want to Turn Into You -

Spirit Award - The Fear -

Paul Spring - Always Almost Home -

Brian DJ B. Love Tuesday 3-7pm

“Caution To The Wind”, Everything But The Girl 

Multi-instrumentalist Ben Watt has always known what to do with the voice of Tracey Thorn, a voice aging like a vintage wine.  I’ve had the refrain in my head for months.

“No More Lies”, Thundercat & Tame Impala

While I’m on the subject of what’s been in my head for months, this is ‘70’s r&b for this year. 

“Death Wish”, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit

Nashville may never again warm to country music with lyrics referencing struggles of real people, like dealing with a partner’s mental illness on a daily basis.  That’s the industry’s loss. 

“The Trench Coat Museum”, Yard Act 

Now watch the video, which was recorded in a proper film studio with lots of ‘80’s choreography.

 Music Director Nils Illokken Friday 3-7pm

Westerman - An Inbuilt Fault

Avalon Emerson - & The Charm

Pachyman - Switched-On

Nation of Language - Strange Disciple

Ratboys - The Window

Anohni and the Johnsons - My Back Was A Bridge For You To Cross

Frost Children - SPEED RUN

Laura Cameron - Photographer / Concert Reviewer


Ducks Ltd. - Hallowed Out

Addictive Jangle Pop. Evan Lewis creates guitar riffs like nobody since Smith’s era Johnny Marr.

Bully -  Days Move Slow 

This just happens to be the best of a whole album full of gems.

Nation of Language - Stumbling Still 

This band just keeps getting better. What seemed like an 80’s nostalgia band a couple years ago is creating the music of today.

Girl and Girl - Dance Now 

I defy you to sit still while listening to this song. Video wins award for best performance by a chicken girl.

En Attendant Ana - Wonder 

This song starts off slow and delicate then builds to a blissful crescendo. Simple but excellent songwriting.

Like Nick says, Shoegaze is back, and bdrmm is perhaps the best shoegaze band out there right now.

The Chemical Brothers - All of a Sudden 

This song makes me want to install a strobe light and a disco ball in my basement and drop a couple pingers.

Rahill, Beck - Fable 

Is Beck not the greatest collaborator of all time? No disrespect to Rahill, but he could make a record with Yanni and I’d dig it.

Vanishing Twin - Afternoon X 

I feel like I’m listening to the future.

Marnie Stern - Plain Speak 

Please don’t go away for another decade


Florry – The Holy Bible

Goes down as easy like a miller high life on a summer day

Frog – GROG

Album I shout sang along to the most this year (and it only came out in November). A truly weird and wonderful album.

Hotline TNT - Cartwheel


Lewsberg – Out and About

quiet guitars

Pardoner – Peace Loving People

Makes me want to run through a brick wall and hug my friends

Ratboys – The Window

For when you want to get nostalgic about 2010 but in a very 2023 alt country kind of way

Sharp Pins – Turtle Rock

4th wave post punk but make it power pop

Slaughter Beach Dog – Crying, Laughing, Waving, Smiling

Crying, Laughing, Waving, Smiling? Don’t mind if I do

Superviolet – Infinite Spring

Its catchy. I could say a million other things about this one but you know were really here for Steve’s hooks.

Wednesday – Rat Saw God

2023 is the year of yeehaw and Wednesday are the most yeehawin’ of them all

Yo La Tengo – This Stupid World

These mfs don’t miss. The most dependable band out there.


Alter. - Loyal - January 15, 2023

Nothing But Thieves - Welcome To The DCC

Daft Punk - Infinity Repeating

bdrmm - Be Careful

Andrew McMahon/Wilderness - Lying On The Hood Of Your Car

Atmosphere - Rotary Telephone

Gorillaz - Baby Queen

Caroline Polachek - I Believe

The Voidz - Flexorcist

Whitney - Kansas

Inhailer Radio
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