Music

The Best Albums of 2024 So Far

Vaulted Mag’s pick of the best albums released so far in 2024.

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The Best Albums of 2024 So Far, Beyonce, Vince Staples, Billie Eilish
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This year has seen the release of some albums, by known artists such as Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish and Ariana Grande.

There have also been works by rising stars like Tems, Charli XCX Kali Uchis, Schoolboy Q, Faye Webster and Waxahatchee. Not to mention the albums from emerging talents including Sexyy Red, Mk.gee and Brittney Spencer and Tyla. Here’s a collection of our best albums of 2024 so far in alphabetical order.

21 Savage — American Dream

21 Savage American Dream 1

The awaited album “American Dream” by 21 Savage is finally here after a gap of more than three years since his last solo project. The album captures 21 Savage’s different styles – from his tracks like “Redrum” and “Dangerous” to his more mellow songs such as “Prove It” and “Should’ve Wore A Bonnet.” Tracks like ” Like Me” and “Dark Days” which showcases his emotions and sincerity. This album not lives up to expectations. Also pushes 21 Savage to new heights, including a memorable performance in his hometown of London for the first time, in 2023.

Adrianne Lenker — Bright Future

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In two decades people will reflect on Adrianne Lenkers songwriting from the 2010’s and early 2020’s as an artistic contribution of that era. Lenker has penned songs prompting her to venture beyond her band Big Thief to accommodate her prolific creativity. The album Bright Future stands out as an achievement, by an artist who dares to take risks and push boundaries. Although displaying some rawness the album features standout tracks like “No Machine” and “Already Lost,” along with intriguing experiments throughout.

Anycia — Princess Pop That

anycia princess pop that

Atlanta rapper Anycia, twenty six has swiftly garnered attention thanks to her personality and captivating baritone. Her debut album, Princess Pop That exudes an confident vibe that seamlessly fits into playlists featuring songs from a female perspective. Tracks like “Nenes Prayer” showcase her rap style positioning her among the “rap girlies” crafting music for both party vibes and chill moments.

Ariana Grande — Eternal Sunshine

Ariana Grande Eternal Sunshine

Ariana Grande drew inspiration from Glinda The Good Witch for her album Eternal Sunshine. Grande skillfully delves into relationship complexities in the album subtly referencing her divorce and newfound love, in a manner. The album kicks off with Grande pondering the compatibility of her relationship only to conclude with an advice, from her grandmother to always end the day with a loving gesture. The track “We Can’t Be Friends (Wait For Your Love)”. It’s captivating music video, inspired by the film Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind showcase Grande and Max Martins successful portrayal of a magical theme.

Ayra Starr — The Year I Turned 21

ayra starr the year i turned 21

In her album The Year I Turned 21 Nigerian artist Ayra Starr presents a blend of elements and fresh perspectives compared to her debut album 19 & Dangerous. While her youthful exuberance and carefree spirit continue to shine through in the tracks of The Year I Turned 21 this album also delves into a level of self awareness. This sophomore release narrates a tale of growth illustrating the singers embrace of maturity and stardom. Ayra Starr embodies her name as she confidently strides forward leaving behind anything that hinders her progress. She bids farewell to a relationship in “Goodbye (Warm Up)” featuring Asake. Sheds negativity in tracks like “Commas” and “Bad Vibes” alongside Seyi Vibes. Collaborating with Coco Jones and Anitta on “Woman Commando” empowers women while closing the chapter, on love is “Last Heartbreak Song” featuring Giveon. In her year Ayra Starr begins a chapter that is set to leave a lasting impression.

Benny The Butcher — Everybody Can’t Go

benny the butcher everybody cant go

When Benny The Butcher released his debut album with Def Jam there was no shift, in his rap style or approach from Buffalo. Instead it provided him with a platform to continue displaying the skills he has refined over the decade. Through the album “Everybody Can’t Go ” Benny collaborates with artists such as Lil Wayne, Stove God Cooks, Jadakiss and Babyface Ray to share captivating narratives and honor elements of rap music. This album signifies a start for Benny hinting at greater success than his prior endeavors.

Beyoncé — Cowboy Carter

Beyonce Cowboy Carter album cover artwork

Beyoncé‘s eighth album, Cowboy Carter secured the spot on the charts. Delivered 23 tracks that made their mark on the Billboard Hot 100 list. Among these were hits like “Texas Hold ‘Em ” “II Most Wanted” featuring Miley Cyrus and “Jolene,” which claimed a position in the 10. The impressive 27 song collection honors Black musicians often overlooked in the country music scene like Linda Martell and empowers emerging Black country artists such, as Brittney Spencer, Shaboozey, Tanner Adell and Tiera Kennedy to embrace their talents with confidence.

Billie Eilish — Hit Me Hard And Soft

Billie Eilish Hit Me Hard And Soft

“Hit Me Hard. Soft” marks Billie Eilish‘s return after a challenging five year journey following her debut album. Displaying a maturity she skillfully crafted 10 tracks that resonate deeply despite their concise nature. Every song made it’s mark on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with “Lunch” climbing to a No. 5 spot. The standout track “cleverly weaves references to each song on the album offering a musical narrative, amidst industry turbulence.

Brittney Spencer —  My Stupid Life

brittney spencer my stupid life

Nashville native Brittney Spencer dedicated her years to honing her craft in Music City. Her debut country album “My Stupid Life” is poised to elevate her status within the genre. While it takes a few tracks to hit its stride once it does it’s brilliance shines through brightly. Recent country albums have had a lineup of songs the five song sequence, on this album. It kicks off with the ballad “The Time” and wraps up with the heart wrenching “If You Say So.”

Bryson Tiller — Bryson Tiller

bryson tiller bryson tiller cover

Bryson Tiller mentioned to Complex that his self titled album might be his last one for a bit. While news of another Tiller break is disappointing his captivating 19 tracks helped lift spirits. Solidified him as a source of rap and R&B music. The track “Whatever She Wants” did well hitting No. 5 on Billboards Hot Rap Songs and No. 19 on the Hot 100 charts. Aside from verses by Clara La San and Victoria Monét Tiller lets fans into his world in a way. In the song “Undertow ” he croons, “Hope you don’t get tired of me over time “. We certainly won’t.

Buddy — Don’t Forget To Breathe

buddy dont forget to breathe

In an era where many rappers use therapy and its language to show vulnerability and honesty in their music Buddy‘s album “Don’t Forget To Breathe” is a breath of air. The Compton rapper takes time to reflect on himself after years, in the industry sharing this journey with listeners. His musical style blends elements of R&B, with hip hop rhythms resulting in an vibrant sound. Tracks such as “Buddy A Fool” playfully tease his persona while songs like “Got Me Started” exude a sense of confidence and “You 2 Thank” blend various musical influences.

Charli XCX — Brat

charli xcx brat

Charli XCX‘s newest album breaks ground as she embraces nights and wild parties with even more than before. While she dances into the hours she delves into her doubts and fears exploring emotions often felt the day after. Through songs, like “360” and “Club Classics ” Brat presents a fusion of melodies and themes revolving around a post-Saturn return uncertainties and the self assured confidence typical of popular young women.

Chief Keef — Almighty So 2

chief keef almighty so 2

Chief Keef has undeniably made his mark on todays hip hop landscape significantly influencing the genre. Despite his age of 28 he is already considered a veteran in the rap industry compared to his peers. Keef’s fifth studio album, Almighty So 2, announced in 2019 and released five years later has garnered reception from fans. The album features collaborations with artists such as Tierra Whack, Sexyy Red, Quavo among others showcasing Keef’s prowess, in producing hitting tracks filled with bass.

Dua Lipa — Radical Optimism

Dua Lipa Radical Optimism


Radical Optimism climbed to the spot, on the Billboard 200 chart marking Dua Lipa‘s successful album so far. Despite not having standout hit singles apart from “Houdini ” this accomplishment is seen as a reflection of Lipa’s intent with the album. The cohesive and vibrant psychedelic pop vibe of Radical Optimism is geared towards moving to the music than analysis. In “End of an Era ” Lipa muses on whether the album will stand the test of time as a classic or fade away quickly. Ultimately urges listeners to savor the music.

Faye Webster — Underdressed At The Symphony

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Faye Webster is renowned for her style. The Atlanta singer-songwriter has carved out a niche for herself as someone unafraid to follow her own path. Her latest release, Underdressed At The Symphony showcases this individuality through tracks like the 7 minute “Thinking About You ” featuring Lil Yachty and a song titled “eBay Purchase History.” Over time Webster has honed a engaging sound proving she holds her own in the music scene.

Flo Milli — Fine Ho, Stay

Flo Milli Fine Ho Stay

A budding star hailing from Alabama Flo Milli has garnered attention by infusing impactful lyrics, with grace and sophistication. Through her album, Fine Ho Stay she continues to display her authentic lyrical approach while exploring themes of love and vulnerability.
The production of the album is really diverse mixing Nineties hip hop elements, with techniques and taking inspiration from various hip hop styles across the country.

Future and Metro Boomin — We Don’t Trust You and We Still Don’t Trust You

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Back in 2017 Future made headlines by dropping two albums to back; Future, a rap album filled with trap beats and Hndrxx a more soulful and introspective R&B project. This groundbreaking move made him the first artist to have two albums simultaneously topping the Billboard 200 chart. Forward seven years later Future and Metro Boomin followed suit with We Don’t Trust You. We Still Don’t Trust You. Futures ability to showcase facets of his prowess while consistently delivering exceptional work is truly remarkable. These albums are widely regarded as some of the best in music by 2024 with one sparking the biggest rap battle for hip hop in decades.

Gunna — One Of Wun

gunna one of wun

Gunna‘s current phase in his career was unpredictable five years ago. Collaborations with artists like Young Thug, Future and Lil Baby that were once a given are now a thing of the past, for him. Gunnas fifth album, One Of Wun illustrates how he is leveraging his connections to their potential as his previous resources have dwindled. Gunna’s latest album highlights his signature suave style demonstrating his ability to embody this persona at will. Standout tracks like “On One Tonight” and “Hakuna Matata” showcase impressive finesse and effortlessness while “Today I Did Good” reflects an evolution, in Gunna’s life. With One Of Wun Gunna moves towards a future leaving behind the shadows of the past.

Jessica Pratt — Here In The Pitch

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Jessica Pratt‘s music is often characterized as “timeless “. That might not capture it accurately. In truth her music is firmly rooted in an era giving it a touch of being “dated but in a way.” In her album Here In The Pitch subtle orchestrations blend with bossa nova rhythms and Pratt’s emotive vocals hinting at emotion beneath a composed exterior. It could easily be mistaken, for the standout album of 1966 released in 2024.

Kali Uchis — Orquideas

Kali Uchis Orquideas cover art

Kali Uchis latest album, Orquídeas captures a blend of allure, charm and mystery. Reflecting her roots the album signifies a chapter, in her artistic evolution. Uchis delves into narratives in Spanish about passion, heartache and romance like never before. Drawing inspiration from Don Toliver as her muse she embraces the concept of love than shying away from it as seen in her hit “Tyrant” back in 2017. Conveying these reflections in her mother tongue adds a touch to the album.

Kaytranada — Timeless

kaytranada timeless

Known for his prowess on the dance floor Kaytranada recent album features collaborations with Donald Glover, Don Toliver and PinkPantheress. He mentioned deactivating his Twitter before the album drop due to requests from fans eager to hear his unique sound on tracks by popular artists. It’s no wonder fans were curious; on Timeless Kay crafts beats that allow his collaborators to shine bright. Tracks like “Snap My Finger” featuring PinkPantheress showcase Kays signature style coming together to create something enduring.

Kyle — Smyle Again

kyle smyle again

The resurgence of jungle and drum & bass music has reignited a sense of youthfulness within me lately with Southern California native Kyle playing a role, in this revival.
Year his album “It’s Not So Bad” beautifully captured the spirit of the Y2K British rave scene blending elements of 2 step and garage music. On the hand “Smyle Again ” a follow up, to his 2015 mixtape “Smyle ” embraced a more intense approach to tapping into that era. Like his works it seamlessly fuses the lively beats of 2000s UK EDM with Kyles trademark sunny and upbeat style resulting in one of the most innovative projects of the year.

Maggie Rogers — Don’t Forget Me

Maggie Rogers Dont Forget Me

Maggie Rogers, an individual who stays away from the spotlight and keeps her life private let’s her music speak for itself. Despite her nature her songs tell tales. In her piece “Don’t Forget Me ” she delves into themes of aging. Challenges societal expectations of an idyllic traditional life. While fitting into that image may not be everyones reality there is still joy to be found in life’s pleasures as we navigate its twists and turns.

Mannequin Pussy — I Got Heaven

Mannequin Pussy I Got Heaven Album Art

Marisa Dabice, lead singer of Mannequin Pussy shared that their track “I Got Heaven” explores the longing, for adventures and excitement. Their fourth album hailing from Philadelphia brings an exhilarating sound that has been recognized as one of this years standout releases. “I Got Heaven” exemplifies the growth of Mannequin Pussy akin, to how Hole transitioned from ” On The Inside” to “Live Through This ” or Turnstile evolved from “Time & Space” to “Glow On.” While the sound leans towards an approach compared to their albums shorter and intense tracks it still carries a lingering sense of intensity. Opting for singing over screaming adds a touch of catharsis and emotional release.

MK.Gee — Two Star & The Dream Police

MK gee Two Star The Dream Police

In years MK.gee has been making a name for himself in the music scene by collaborating with artists like The Kid Laroi and Omar Apollo. His contribution to Drake‘s Certified Lover Boy through a sample further solidified his presence. Now with the release of his debut album, Two Star & The Dream Police he showcases his growth through production, profound lyrics and engaging content.

PartyNextDoor — PartyNextDoor 4

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PartyNextDoor revisited his style from the mid 2010’s with his album, PartyNextDoor 4. The return to his signature sound is evident in tracks like the Her Old Friends” and the appreciative “Real Woman.” Despite evoking nostalgia PartyNextDoor 4 reflects the artists aspiration for growth, beyond his works. There is a focus, on love in this album more prominently than in his previous works. While he does sometimes revert to his style the effort to better himself makes PartyNextDoor 4 a listen, especially with standout songs like “No Chill.”

Rapsody — Please Don’t Cry

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Rapsody has crafted her new album Please Don’t Cry by drawing from therapy insights reiterating themes and highlighting the outstanding work of her production team. The album embodies vulnerability, sincerity and exceptional lyrical prowess. Tracks such as “Stand Tall ” “Diary Of A B*tch ” “A Ballad For Homegirls ” and “Forget Me Not” deliver raw and authentic rap verses that fans have been craving.

Schoolboy Q — Blue Lips

schoolboy q blue lips

At this point most of us should be understanding about the extended gaps between releases, from Top Dawg Entertainment. In times we’ve witnessed the release of albums such, as Ab Soul‘s “Herbert ” Isaiah Rashad‘s “The House Is Burning,”. SZA’s “SOS” after long breaks of five years resulting in some of their most heartfelt and groundbreaking work. Following a trend Schoolboy Q‘s latest album arrives five years after his one “Crash Talk ” showcasing the unique essence of Los Angeles experimental jazz scene. Titled “Blue Lips,” this diverse collection of songs reveals a refined side of the artist.

Sexyy Red — In Sexyy We Trust

sexyy red in sexyy we trust

Kicking off the summer with an infectious anthem titled “Get it Sexyy ” Sexyy Red exudes confidence in her appearance and talent while collaborating with producer Tay Keith to deliver an promising sound. When featured on tracks like “U My Everything” alongside Drake Sexyy Red’s star power shines through. Her mixtape aptly named “In Sexyy We Trust” underscores her self assurance and musical prowess.

Shaboozey — Where I’ve Been, Isn’t Where I’m Going

shaboozey where ive been isnt where im going

This year marked a breakthrough for Virginia country singer Shaboozey as he stayed true to himself whether commanding the spotlight solo or sharing it with superstars, like Beyoncé ensuring that his name would be unforgettable. Beyoncés hit songs “Spaghetti” and “Sweet ★ Honey ★ Buckiin” helped him secure a top 3 spot, on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with “A Bar Song (Tipsy).” His latest album, titled Where I’ve Been Isn’t Where I’m Going offers a Shaboozey experience. A blend of action packed storytelling, party vibes and heartfelt emotions. Throughout his journey Shaboozey is always looking ahead leaving behind struggles and embracing the adventures of tomorrow. Tracks like “Horses & Hellcats ” “Anabelle,” and “Highway” from Where I’ve Been Isn’t Where I’m Going showcase that Shaboozey is on the path.

Taylor Swift — The Tortured Poets Department

taylor swift the tortured poets department

While Taylor Swift humorously refers to herself as the “Chairman of the Tortured Poets Department ” her music truly reflects her thriving in that title. She pushes the boundaries of her songwriting by merging the Folklore and Evermore sounds with a hint of synth pop polish. Her songs maintain her signature storytelling style. Now delve deeper into her experiences, for inspiration.

Tierra Whack — World Wide Whack

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Tierra Whack‘s first album, “World Wide Whack ” has been eagerly awaited in the hip hop scene for five years. It definitely lives up, to the excitement. While her EP “Whack World” gave us a glimpse into her world “World Wide Whack” delves into the realities she has faced since then. Despite it’s charm the album showcases some of her poignant and heartfelt music yet. Tracks like “Two Night” and “27 Club” call for an supportive space for creative souls who are often misunderstood.

Tems — Born in the Wild

Tems Born in the Wild

Tems has brought a perspective to pop music with her distinctive style. Her debut album is a testament to the work and passion she has poured into her craft blending elements of professionalism, family values and spirituality. The result is a journey that resonates both physically and emotionally. Drawing inspiration from stripped down ballads 1990’s R&B vibes reminiscent of SWV and Sade lively highlife beats, Afro dance tunes like Amapiano and raw hip hop elements create a timeless landscape.

Tyla — Tyla

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Tyla‘s self titled debut album solidified all the acclaim and success she had garnered prior, to its release. When I look back it’s obvious that the African singer displayed all the qualities of a star through her breakout hit “Water.” This infectious song took the world by storm, with it’s amapiano rhythm that had everyone on their feet along with it’s lyrics that piqued the interest of listeners. Tyla’s latest album, “No. 1 ” includes empowering anthems like the one featuring Tems while tracks such as “Jump” with Gunna and Skillibeng shine as standout pieces on the album. In Tyla’s world the dance floor is where true self expression thrives and her album truly excels in capturing that essence.

Vampire Weekend — Only God Was Above Us

Only God Was Above Us vampire weekend

The incorporation of distortion, in God Was Above Us sets it apart from Vampire Weekend‘s albums. In years to come it will be easy to identify songs from this record like “Hope,” “Capricorn,” or “Mary Boone.” Unlike their works that somewhat blend together OGWAU stands out for its sound. The lyrics also root the album in an East Coast ambiance of their album. It feels like a iteration of their past efforts. Despite these changes OGWAU still preserves Vampire Weekends signature sound.
In general the album signifies a beginning, in their music catalog.

Vince Staples — Dark Times

vince staples dark times

The album Dark Times explores Vince Staples memories of growing up in Long Beach, California. Most of the songs delve into his struggles with the environment, around him. How his earlier experiences have shaped his connections, with others. One particular song, “Justin ” narrates a tale that keeps you on edge before delivering a twist representing the risks of residing in such hazardous surroundings.

Waxahatchee — Tigers Blood

Waxahatchee Tigers Blood

The indie rock musician, once seen as an underdog has attracted a number of fans with her 2020 hit “Saint Cloud,” known for it’s laid back heartland rock and roll vibes. On the hand “Tigers Blood” showcases more resilience and confidence with Waxahatchee portraying herself as a talented storyteller aware of her successful streak. Her lyrics delve into themes of adult relationships overcoming addiction and the daily battle to stay grounded all presented in a style of a seasoned Lucinda Williams who honed her skills through grassroots punk performances in intimate settings.

Willow — Empathogen

willow Empathogen

The public misconceives Willow as a product of nepotism, in the music industry; instead attention should be directed towards identifying which parent she inherited her talent from. In an industry saturated with remakes and adaptations Willow’s latest release Empathogen shines as an refreshing exploration of genres and themes. Willow is definitely thriving in her role, as an artist. Her audience is reaping the rewards of her liberty.