Albums for the Summer

2024 has been good, so far, in terms of music releases. We got stellar new releases from rock veterans Green Day, Pearl Jam, Vampire Weekend and Idles. Waxahatchee, St. Vincent, Adrianne Lenker, Kali Uchis and Julia Holter dropped some of the most forward-thinking stuff in their genres. Future, Metro Boomin, Ye and Ty Dolla Sign ruled the hip-hop charts. We saw fantastic debuts from The Last Dinner Party and Tyla. I really do not need to mention the biggest pop releases—Ariana Grande and Beyoncé— knocked it out of the park. Finally, as I am writing this article, Taylor Swift has unsurprisingly occupied the top 14 spots on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, with her new album smashing records worldwide and dominating cultural conversations.

As we step into the summer, here is a gauntlet of my most anticipated album releases.

“Radical Optimism” by Dua Lipa

This is a no-brainer. Dua’s last album, “Future Nostalgia,” came out in 2020 and turned her into a global superstar. The album was filled with infectious grooves and catchy hooks, lacerated with her crystalline voices that made it a rare disco-flavored album that feels tight, concise, nostalgic yet futuristic (in short, it lived up to its title). The world has been thirsty for a new DL record, more so after the success of “Dance the Night” from the Barbie soundtrack.  The teaser tracks to the new album have been bangers, like “Houdini” or “Training Season,” featuring production credits from none other than Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker. If those tracks are any indication of what is to come, the new Dua Lipa album is poised to be another massive success under her belt.

“Hit Me Hard and Soft” by Billie Eilish

A new Billie Eilish release is bound to thrill the legions of her fans. More importantly, in the run-up to its release, Billie announced that there would be no teaser singles to this album. Therefore, we do not have any idea of what this album is going to sound like. As a big fan of her two studio releases, I know that the follow-up to “Happier Than Ever” will be, at the very minimum, awesome.

“Brat” by Charli XCX

My friends know me as the biggest Charli XCX fan, and that is an understatement. With her output, especially her last three releases, she has managed to combine glitchy dance and electro-pop into a pretty unique hyper-pop palette that feels like her own. “Crash” turned out to be her biggest album in terms of sales. The teaser tracks “Von Dutch” and “B2B” sound amazing. I hope “Brat” lives up to the hype.

“A Dream Is All We Know” by The Lemon Twigs

Given that I have always had a soft spot for the hugely underrated The Lemon Twigs, it was a pleasure to see them gain wider recognition with their last album “Everything Harmony”—filled with vocal harmonies and baroque—pop soundscapes into little nuggets of pop perfection. It felt like the best Beach Boys album they ever recorded, which somehow sounded not derivative. It’s good that we would not have to wait long for its follow-up which, judging by its singles, promises to be another solid effort.

You Won’t Go Before You’re Supposed To” by Knocked Loose

Very few bands in the metalcore realm have had an ascent in popularity and hype as Knocked Loose. That is not unwarranted. Their last album “A Different Shade of Blue” became widely revered among critics. They have been dropping singles and EPs regularly, toured with the likes of Gojira and Parkway Drive. Just a couple of days back, they dropped a fantastic single “Suffocate” with Poppy. I’m salivating for their new release.

“Dopamine” by Normani

The world has been looking forward to the debut album from the former “Fifth Harmony” star ever since 2018-2019. However, that didn’t pan out for five years. 2024 is finally the year we are getting the full-length debut from the singer who has been dropping big solo singles, as well as collaborations with Khalid or Sam Smith.

“Clancy” by Twenty One Pilots

Even to the die-hard fans of the band, “Scaled and Icy” was a minor disappointment. However, the album saw the band taking sonic left turns and risks that had me excited for what was to come. When they announced that “Clancy” would be a call back to their “Trench” days, it was pleasant news (as it is my favorite album). The teaser tracks have been great, and the production sounds fantastic. I hope this album finds the boys bouncing back to form. 

Altogether, the summer seems poised to be full of great music releases. Apart from these, I am also looking forward to releases by Kamasi Washington, Nick Cave, Gracie Abrams and many more. Also, I heard some whispers that a new Paris Hilton record is on the way? How cool would that be!

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