Best Welsh Albums of 2023

Best Welsh Albums of 2023

It’s that time of year again! With Christmas nearing and 2023 drawing to a close, we take a look back at some of the best art and cultural offerings to come out of Wales this year. Today, we’re reflecting on the best Welsh albums of 2023.

It has been a bumper year for the Welsh music scene, across all genres, with new releases from folk to hiphop, pop to electro. Headphones at the ready and volume up please everyone! We now, (formally) present to you: the best Welsh albums of 2023, and where to listen…

The Years Between Dog and Wolf by Safari Gold

Recommended by Scott Taylor, the alt-pop quarter Safari Gold have made their return four years after their debut with The Years Between Dog And Wolf, a collection of atmospheric tracks that come together into a beautiful and full adventure into the realms of electro pop music. Safari Gold have managed to create a truly beautiful work, and their ingenuity and smooth musicianship has created something special and unique that deserves your attention.

The Almond and the Seahorse by Gruff Rhys

The soundtrack to the 2022 Celyn Jones and Tom Sterne movie The Almond and Seahorse, Gary Raymond recommends lending your ear to Gruff Rhys’ latest release. Full of ideas and full of life, The Almond and the Seahorse as an album is a long listen, but a good companion, full of rich tapestries, musical joys, and more than a few times, an entire, fully-formed, cracking song.

Tell Me World by Tapestri

The debut album from new Welsh folk duo Tapestri comes recommended by Gary Raymond for its smoothly-produced, beautifully sung, middle-of-the-road Americana songs. Described as an album of important themes – empowerment of women, domestic abuse, the gender divide – which is eleveated by the musicianship of Lowri Evans and Sarah Zyborska and their conjoined vocals.

AWDL by Mr Phormula

Volume up! Described as a landmark in Welsh hip-hop by Tomos Williams, AWDL (Artist With Dual Language) is the latest release from MC and Producer, Mr Phormula. Displaying a mix of influences, from grime, to house, to techno, while simultaneously rapping in both Welsh and English – there’s no doubting that this is an album by a Welsh rapper. There are some serious bangers left, right and centre on this album!

Dos Bebés by Rogue Jones

The long-awaited (and well worth it, too) second album from Cardiff-based duo Rogue Jones had to make it onto the list. Dos Bebés strides confidently and boldly, full of great songs built and presented with excellent musicianship and production. It even forces Gary Raymond to end a paragraph with an exclamation mark – if that’s not something to go by.  This album should propel Rogue Jones into every conversation being had about the best albums of 2023.

Metamorphosis by Bethan Lloyd

This album is a beautiful yet haunting mix of trance-inducing electronic and synth-heavy backbeats with avant-garde pop. There are thousands of albums released each year, and very few of those will feel truly unique or inspired or leave an impact, which is what makes Metamorphosis such an important and impressive outlier of the year. There is nothing else that sounds like it that is as well refined or crafted. Bethan Lloyd has created a meticulous piece of beautiful art, and it deserves every last bit of respect and praise that it can be offered.

Days Like Now by Huw Marc Bennett

Argued to be Bennett’s best record yet, Days Like Now reflects on Bennett’s place of origin as a Welshman in London. A record built around the versatility and charisma of the guitar, the vision for the music is simple, allowing the space for the musicianship and the humanity behind it to amount to something. It is at times a shimmeringly emotive album, a work of beauty, reflective and musing, but most of all, it has the ring of honesty to it.

Curries by Euros Childs

Childs’ latest albums is filled with surprises – you can never be quite sure of what is coming next. From an electro loop to a sounscape meditation on time and nature, this one’s sure to entertain, according to Gary Raymond.

Sŵnami by Sŵnami

There’s something about Sŵnami’s music which evokes that summer feeling. Lead singer Ifan Davies has described the album as “very much a mixed bag”, which is “ less rock and… more ‘running up that hill’-style synths!”. The eleven tracks which make up Sŵnamii are all refreshingly different. Read the review here

Smile by Skindred

Highly recommended by Gary RaymondSmile is the only thing a great Skindred album can be: colossal. Anthemic, political, energetic, cathartic, and that effortless meshing of hard rock and ragga – you can see immediately why the response to it has been so euphoric. Skindred is without doubt is one of Wales’s most important musical figures, and Smile shows you why.

Milk for Flowers by H.Hawkline

Produced by Cate Le Bon, Milk for Flowers is the fifth album from Huw Evans, aka H. Hawkline, and sees a maturation of his kooky songwriting style, full of good humour and driving melodies.

God on All Fours by Edwin R Stevens

Stepping out from his erstwhile creative moniker of Irma Vep, musician and novelist Edwin R. Stevens delivers a dark and stodgy collection of songs that go to places most songwriters wouldn’t dream of going. God on All Fours will have to laughing, tapping your foot, and probably wincing.

Splott World by Mace the Great

Mace the Great (Mason Burnett) is a grime and hip-hop artist from Splott in Cardiff. Having previously won a Triskel Award at the Welsh Music Prize in 2020.


Join us on December 22nd for Wales Arts Review’s album of the year.