james debate
james debate

Wednesday 14 February 2024

Welcome back to The Ephemeric's 2024 Hot List. This week we will be having a look at the most exciting new music due for release in the coming year.

best anticipated new music 2024 albums hot list

Join us as we embark on a journey through the most anticipated releases that will shape the soundtrack of our lives in the months ahead. Whether you're a die-hard fan, a casual listener, or somewhere in between, prepare to be inspired, surprised, and moved by the power of music in its ever-evolving glory. Tastes may differ, but if you start your 2024 musical adventure off here, you won't go far wrong.

So without further ado, here is our list of the top albums to keep an eye on in 2024, starting with number 15:

15. "Light Verse" by Iron and Wine

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Starting off easy for 2023, Iron & Wine's eagerly awaited seventh studio album, Light Verse, marks the artist's first full-length release in over seven years. 

The album, which follows two back-to-back Grammy-nominated works, is a testament to Sam Beam's enduring prowess in crafting lyrical narratives that weave together both fictional and personal insights, illustrated by tracks such as Flightless Bird, American Mouth and Tree By the River

Described as equal parts elegy, kaleidoscope, truth, and dare, the album promises to be a comprehensive journey through the intricate and emotive landscapes that have long defined Iron & Wine's music. One track has so far been released, You Never Know, and if it's any indication we've got a real tour de force coming our way when this releases in April.

Release Date: April 2024

14. Kenya Grace (New band)

kenya grace 2024 debut album best most anticipated new music
Kenya Grace, a rising talent with a background that spans continents from South Africa to Southampton, has made waves with her unique blend of music. She began writing music at the age of 10 and has since developed a sound that incorporates elements of dance music, dubstep, and more, showcasing her versatility as an artist. 

Her biggest hit to date has got to be Strangers, emphasising her mastery of disparate genres, taking electronic influences and crafting it into something with lyrical depth and worldwide appeal.

While specific details about a debut album are not available, it is expected to arrive in 2024. Her track record suggests that any such project would reflect her eclectic musical influences and her journey through the musical landscape.

Release Date: TBD 2024

13. "Ohio Players" by The Black Keys

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With their newest album, Ohio rock duo The Black Keys are looking back to where it all began. The title, Ohio Players, pays homage to the legendary funk band of the same name from Dayton, Ohio, and signifies the Black Keys' connection to their roots while exploring new musical territories.

The album is introduced by the lead single Beautiful People (Stay High), a bold, retro-infused proclamation of a track that celebrates the rich and diverse musical heritage of their greatest influences. The rest of the album is said to include a wide array of collaborators, including Beck, Dan the Automator, Noel Gallagher and more, inspired by dance parties and "record hangs" the band hosted around the world, aiming to capture the energetic spirit of these gatherings. 

Carney and Auerbach have described the work as their best record yet, reflecting a significant evolution in their sound and artistic approach. No small amount of hype, then, when the album drops in April.

Release Date: April 2024

12. "People Who Aren't There Anymore" by Future Islands

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Sticking to the rock and roll genre, we have the seventh studio album from Future Islands. People Who Aren't There Anymore marks a continuation of the band's exploration into the realms of synth-pop, described as a blend of '80s pop and arena rock. 

The early released tracks include King of Sweden and The Tower, delivering on the band's signature sound of melancholic yearning blended with full-throated passion.

Future Islands are always good value. You can always depend on this band to put all of themselves into their music, and we won't have long to wait until this newest release drops in February.

Release Date: February 2024

11. Jamie xx

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Jamie xx, the renowned English musician and producer, is finalizing his eagerly awaited, as yet untitled new album. Best known for being one third of indie rock maestros The xx (who, incidentally, are also allegedly in the studio cooking something up), this new release will mark his first solo project since the widely acclaimed 2015 album In Colour. 

The biggest hits in his discography include the likes of Loud Places and I Know There's Gonna Be (Good Times), timeless, retro-infused classics. But his repertoire also includes significant electronic influences, and from the sounds of the new album's initial track It's So Good, it seems likely that this is the direction the new album will take. 

Although specific details about the album remain under wraps, it's known that the album will feature contributions from The Avalanches, hinting at a potentially eclectic and rich sonic landscape. This collaboration promises to blend Jamie xx's signature electronic and dance music influences with The Avalanches' knack for inventive sample-based music, creating an exciting prospect for fans of both artists.

Release Date: TBD 2024

10. "The Mess We Seem to Make" by Crawlers (New band)

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While I am inherently skeptical of bands that go viral online, I will make an exception for Liverpudlian rock band Crawlers, who are set to cap two years of building hype with a full LP release in 2024.

The track that originally launched the group to fame, Come Over (Again) is just pure gold, but there is plenty else to admire with tracks like I Can't Drive released last year to similar praise, showcasing their range and exploration of eclectic alt-rock sounds, delving into topics like trauma, sexual politics, and mental health. 

This has all resulted in Crawlers being one of the more hyped bands of 2024, included in many of the industry's one-to-watch lists. That debut album finally drops in February and it is one to be excited for.

Release Date: February 2024

9. "Book 1" by Grimes

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Bizarre, baffling, and uniquely brilliant. Grimes has come a long way from her humble electro-pop beginnings. Her last album, Miss Anthropocene, ended up being one of the musical highlights of 2020 with some astonishing tracks including Violence and 4ÆM. Her latest, Book 1, has been described as a complex, sci-fi influenced concept record, promising to be her most ambitious project yet.

With a narrative that seems to delve into futuristic themes, the album has already teased collaborations with notable artists like The Weeknd, hinting at its potential to blend different musical styles from electronic-pop to EDM. Grimes has involved her fans in the creative process, seeking their input on choosing between two distinct options for the album cover. 

So far we have two tracks that are said to be part of this new album, Player of Games and Shinigami Eyes. As one would expect, they largely defy any kind of classification. Suffice it to say, this is going to be "something", and that something could end up being brilliant.

Release Date: TBD 2024

8. "Moon Music" by Coldplay

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One of those bands that can't be ignored. Coldplay have a new album releasing in 2024. The band's forthcoming tenth studio album, Moon Music, is a highly unusual sequel to their 2021 release, Music of the Spheres. 

In interviews, frontman Chris Martin has hinted at the album's continuation of the band's foray into universal and celestial themes, promising a collection of songs that build upon their established sound while venturing into new creative territories. Moon Music is not just a follow-up but an extension of the narrative and musical ideas introduced in Music of the Spheres, promising to captivate listeners with its innovative production and collaborative efforts.

And... that's about all we know. I don't think I need to link any old tracks, we all know who these guys are. The album is said to be releasing early this year.

Release Date: Early 2024

7. Tommy Lefroy 
(New band)

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Next up, another exciting new artist in Tommy Lefroy, a London-based folk duo inspired by Jane Austen and musicians such as First Aid Kit and Phoebe Bridgers. 

Tommy Lefroy followed up their well received 2021 EP with a series of tours through Europe and America in 2022. Now they are hard at work at putting out their debut album, which is expected to release in 2024.

Folk duos are a dime a dozen, but Tommy Lefroy stand out for their lush instrumentals and impeccable production, with some superb tracks released with their EP, notably The Cause and Shoot. They have just put out the first track from their upcoming debut, Worst Case, and it is a gem of a track. Definitely one to keep an eye on.

Release Date: TBD 2024

6. Sam Fender

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One of the brightest lights in British music today, Sam Fender's first two albums have received widespread acclaim and seen him rise to the very heights of the musical firmament. Now a bonafide superstar, his third, as yet unnamed, studio album is set for release in 2024.

Tipped as a British Bruce Springsteen, Fender has made his name for his massive,  anthemic songs, praised for his lyrical depth and societal commentary that shines a spotlight onto the state of the modern British working class. His last album's title track Seventeen Going Under ranks as one of the finest rock songs of the 2020s so far, and there's very much the belief that his story is just beginning.

No details available as of yet, but the expectation is for this to release a the conclusion of Fender's big homecoming tour this year.

Release Date: TBD 2024

5. "Pratts and Pain" by Royel Otis (New band)

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The fresh faced band you'll fall in love with. Royel Otis are an Australian indie duo consisting of Royel Madell and Otis Pavlovic. This is one of those bands that has been doing the rounds building hype with a series of exciting singles and a well received EP last year. In 2024, the band is releasing debut album Pratts and Pain.

Named after a south London pub, Pratts and Pain aims to capture the exuberance and woes of youth, with music that is at once introspective and whimsical. Oysters in My Pocket is absolutely essential listening, and from the sounds of new single Fried Rice, we could be in for a very tasty album when this drops in early 2024.

Release Date: Early 2024

4. Braxe + Falcon (New band)

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One of the most exciting new projects in music. Braxe + Falcon is a new collaboration of legendary French producers Alan Braxe and DJ Falcon

Their work, deeply rooted in '70s disco and pioneering production techniques, showcases a reverence for classic sounds while embracing modernity. 2022 saw the release of the duo's first EP, Step By Step, a fantastic that reflects a seamless blend of timeless music and contemporary flair, featuring the unmistakable vocals of Panda Bear, lead vocalist of Animal Collective and highly successful solo artist in his own right.

The EP was well received, generating hype for what was to come next. A smattering of additional singles and remixes have followed to similar praise, but we're all really just waiting now for the inevitable full blown LP, confirmed recently to exist in a Reddit AMA. If, as expected, this sees the light of day in 2024, it will be one of the biggest releases in electronic music for the year.

Release Date: TBD 2024

3. "Only God Was Above Us" by Vampire Weekend

vampire weekend new album 2024 only god was above us best new anticipated musicOne of 2024's biggest upcoming releases, Vampire Weekend is set to return with their fifth studio album, Only God Was Above Us.

Vampire Weekend are one of those bands that have been around forever, yet they seem to get bigger and better with each release. Their last album, 2019's Father of the Bride, was a critically acclaimed hit, with great tracks like Harmony Hall and This Life.

This latest LP marks the band's first project in five years and draws inspiration from 20th-century New York City. Recorded globally in cities like Manhattan, Los Angeles, London, and Tokyo, the album promises a blend of stark grit and complex beauty. No tracks have been released at the time of writing, but we don't have long to wait, with the release scheduled for April.

Release Date: April 2024

2. "Loss of Life" by MGMT

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Once the hottest thing in music, MGMT famously followed up their world-conquering debut LP by leaning ever further into obtuse, arguably inaccessible work, earning themselves plenty of critical praise and the following of a diehard set of fans, but nowhere near the commercial success of that first record and its smash hit singles Kids and Time to Pretend

That changed with the release of their fourth album, 2018's Little Dark Age, seen by many as a return to form and a return to prominence. Now their fifth album, Loss of Life is nearing release, the big question is can they build on this?

Christine and the Queens is said to be collaborating on at least one track, marking a first for the notoriously protective band. Legendary producer Danger Mouse is also taking the reins on production, his first collaboration with MGMT.

We've had just a few brief glimpses into the musical direction of the album thus far, and so far it is difficult to pin down exactly where this is going. Nothing to Declare seems to suggest at a rather folksier, more sophisticated direction, perhaps in the vein of their sophomore LP, Congratulations. Then there is Mother Nature, which seems to be more of a departure into an almost grungy, Oasis-tinged flavour. Well, we will soon know the result, with Loss of Life due to release in February.

Release Date: February 2024

1. "Gangbusters Melody Club" by Caravan Palace

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But this year's number one most hotly anticipated album is Gangbusters Melody Club from the French monarchs of the electro-swing genre, Caravan Palace.

Undisputed titans of the genre, Caravan Palace are heavily influenced by classical swing and jazz, fusing this retro style with the modern electronic beats of French House. The result is music that is frequently out of this world, with tracks like Lone Digger, Plume, and Rock it For Me to their name.

This newest album looks like more of the same, perhaps with an additional emphasis on the electronic dance elements, and that is no bad thing. The tracks we have heard so far, including MirrorsReverse, and MAD all sound outstanding, and I for one can't wait for the rest of this album to release in March.

Release Date: March 2024

So there you have it folks: 2024 in music. Tune in next week for this year's final Hot List, where we look at the most exciting new movies in 2024.

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