The Best Music of 2024 So Far

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Image by Chris Panicker

Pitchfork’s editors are already thinking about what albums have left the biggest impressions and will land a coveted spot on our year-end list. So we’re spotlighting some of the 2024’s most outstanding releases to date by rounding up albums that have earned high scores and Best New Music designations with a quick list of RIYLs (that’s Recommended If You Like) and links to our coverage.

Unlike our year-end lists, this one is organized in reverse chronological order. To help you keep track of the year’s best music, we’ll be updating it periodically throughout the remainder of 2024.

(All releases featured here are independently selected by our editors. When you buy something through our retail links, however, Pitchfork may earn an affiliate commission.)


May

3XL

Naemi: Dust Devil

3XL

Naemi: Dust Devil

RIYL: Sweeping mountain vistas; pranayama; staring at the sky and watching the clouds drift by; kankyō ongaku; mushroom foraging; sound baths; Laraaji; wildflower bouquets

Listen/Buy: Bandcamp


Big Dada

Yaya Bey: Ten Fold

Big Dada

Yaya Bey: Ten Fold

RIYL: Smoking a blunt on the stoop with your crew; Audre Lorde’s Zami: A New Spelling of My Name; drinking eight glasses of water a day; completing your nighttime skincare routine; giving yourself grace even when it’s hard

Listen/Buy: Amazon | Apple Music | Bandcamp | Rough Trade | Spotify | Tidal


43B

Chief Keef: Almighty So 2

43B

Chief Keef: Almighty So 2

RIYL: Samples incorporated into the lyrics of the song; being a rap veteran at 28; gothic grandeur; sparking blunts; kissing yourself in the mirror; Tierra Whack with the Twista flow; the undying influence of Scarface

Listen/Buy: Amazon | Apple Music | Spotify | Tidal


Matador

Mdou Moctar: Funeral for Justice

Matador

Mdou Moctar: Funeral for Justice

RIYL: Left-handed guitars; fractal patterns; pyrotechnics; environmental justice; rolling dunes; classic rock; crows; fuzzboxes; Frantz Fanon; righteous fury

Listen/Buy: Amazon | Apple Music | Bandcamp | Rough Trade | Spotify | Tidal


Mexican Summer

Jessica Pratt: Here in the Pitch

Mexican Summer

Jessica Pratt: Here in the Pitch

RIYL: Cosmic threads; a stitch in time; black cats; following the muse; flea markets; Joanna Newsom; analog tape; 27-minute albums; unexplained weather phenomena; liquid mercury

Listen/Buy: Amazon | Apple Music | Bandcamp | Rough Trade | Spotify | Tidal


April

Arts & Crafts

Hovvdy: Hovvdy

Arts & Crafts

Hovvdy: Hovvdy

RIYL: Fraternity; twangy Pinegrove; tiny Modest Mouse songs; Richard Linklater movies; lone-star indie; Southern vowels; catching up with an old friend

Listen/Buy: Amazon | Apple Music | Bandcamp | Rough Trade | Spotify | Tidal


Backwoodz Studioz

Cavalier: Different Type Time

Backwoodz Studioz

Cavalier: Different Type Time

RIYL: Backwoods; buttermilk drops; the writer’s notebook; Tribe, Nas, OutKast; jazz samples; being “a head”; your regular deli order; buying weed the old-fashioned way

Listen/Buy: Amazon | Apple Music | Bandcamp | Spotify | Tidal


Impulse!

Shabaka: Perceive Its Beauty, Acknowledge Its Grace

Impulse!

Shabaka: Perceive Its Beauty, Acknowledge Its Grace

RIYL: Yusef Lateef; new age jazz; flutes; not being in a rush; transcendental meditation; breathwork; the wind; the concept of cosmic harmony; discovering the new class of jazz artists

Listen/Buy: Amazon | Apple Music | Rough Trade | Spotify | Tidal


Columbia

Vampire Weekend: Only God Was Above Us

Columbia

Vampire Weekend: Only God Was Above Us

RIYL: “Why I’m Leaving New York” essays; the first three Vampire Weekend albums; self-mythology; self-referentiality; Soul II Soul’s “Back to Life”; albums that open with the word “fuck”; holding on loosely but not letting go

Listen/Buy: Amazon | Apple Music | Rough Trade | Spotify | Tidal


March

Realistik Studios

Cindy Lee: Diamond Jubilee

Realistik Studios

Cindy Lee: Diamond Jubilee

RIYL: The Velvet Underground; the Ronettes; Bradford Cox’s old Blogspot; drag queens; hypnagogic pop; Brill Building pop; double albums; listening to albums on YouTube; untagged .wav files; CD-Rs

Listen/Buy: Geocities | YouTube


Parkwood Entertainment / Columbia

Beyoncé: Cowboy Carter

Parkwood Entertainment / Columbia

Beyoncé: Cowboy Carter

RIYL: Square dancing in Dior; Cavender’s Boot City; late nights at the local saloon; impossible melismas; The Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo; hog-tying your man; smoked brisket; correcting the historical record

Listen/Buy: Amazon | Apple Music | Rough Trade | Spotify | Tidal


Domino

Julia Holter: Something in the Room She Moves

Domino

Julia Holter: Something in the Room She Moves

RIYL: Uncontainable feelings; slips of the tongue; fretless bass; glissando; swimming-pool reverb; Fantastic Voyage; lava lamps; antique perfume atomizers; pressed flowers; faded Technicolor

Listen/Buy: Amazon | Apple Music | Bandcamp | Rough Trade | Spotify | Tidal


Planet Mu

Jlin: Akoma

Planet Mu

Jlin: Akoma

RIYL: Triplets; fractals; the intersection of rigor and whimsy; staccato; diamond-bit drills; rock tumblers; HBCU drumlines; classical minimalism; astronomical observatories; optical illusions; arcane quantization settings; physical modeling; ping-pong balls falling on mousetraps; AP math

Listen/Buy: Amazon | Apple Music | Rough Trade | Spotify | Tidal


Fax / Epic

Tyla: Tyla

Fax / Epic

Tyla: Tyla

RIYL: Dipping your toes in the pool when it’s 90 degrees; Sade; wearing tiny sunglasses at the club; finally deciding to let go of a situationship; Savanna Dry; smoking hookah at a rooftop bar

Listen/Buy: Amazon | Apple Music | Rough Trade | Spotify | Tidal


Three Six Zero

1010Benja: Ten Total

Three Six Zero

1010Benja: Ten Total

RIYL: Art Dealer Chic-era Miguel; The-Dream but weirder; auteur R&B; arthouse maximalism; one good guitar solo; swaggy feelings; hurt feelings

Listen/Buy: Amazon | Apple Music | Bandcamp | Spotify | Tidal


Giant Music

Empress Of: For Your Consideration

Giant Music

Empress Of: For Your Consideration

RIYL: Rhinestone eye makeup; heated romances; stainless steel chokers; drinking straight from the bottle; corset tops; jagged synth-pop arrangements; sweaty perreos with a stranger

Listen/Buy: Amazon | Apple Music | Rough Trade | Spotify | Tidal


Anti-

Waxahatchee: Tigers Blood

Anti-

Waxahatchee: Tigers Blood

RIYL: Indie-country; Sheryl Crow; Gillian Welch; that Brad Cook Sound; MJ Lenderman showing up; catchin’ skinks down by the creek; ice cream stand off the highway; letting your legs dangle off a pier

Listen/Buy: Amazon | Apple Music | Bandcamp | Rough Trade | Spotify | Tidal


4AD

Adrianne Lenker: Bright Future

4AD

Adrianne Lenker: Bright Future

RIYL: Solar-powered camp stoves; 10-gallon hats and weightlifting gloves; anagrams; involuntary punning; metaphysical conceits; bestiaries; seeing all your friends at once; fistfuls of dirt; farmer’s markets; heartbreak; recording live to tape

Listen/Buy: Amazon | Apple Music | Bandcamp | Rough Trade | Spotify | Tidal


DEEWEE / Because Music

Bolis Pupul: Letter to Yu

DEEWEE / Because Music

Bolis Pupul: Letter to Yu

RIYL: Epistolary novels; incense; urban soundscapes; late-night ferries; vintage synths; Belgian new beat; genetic memory; diasporic pride; making up for lost time

Listen/Buy: Amazon | Apple Music | Bandcamp | Rough Trade | Spotify | Tidal


Matador

Kim Gordon: The Collective

Matador

Kim Gordon: The Collective

RIYL: Leather jackets; getaway cars; dead stares; sunglasses; free association; no free will; experimental film; formant shift; Playboi Carti

Listen/Buy: Amazon | Apple Music | Bandcamp | Rough Trade | Spotify | Tidal


Ruination
Ruination

Hannah Frances: Keeper of the Shepherd

RIYL: Alternate tunings; close harmonies; fantasy-league John Fahey x Joni Mitchell collabs; freight-train clatter; the changing seasons; old-growth forests; the Old Farmer’s Almanac; catharsis

Listen/Buy: Amazon | Apple Music | Bandcamp | Spotify | Tidal


Top Dawg Entertainment / Interscope

Schoolboy Q: Blue Lips

Top Dawg Entertainment / Interscope

Schoolboy Q: Blue Lips

RIYL: Ignoring dread through partying; anxious joyrides; chameleonic flows; lyrical TDE rap; going hard; daddy issues

Listen/Buy: Amazon | Apple Music | Rough Trade | Spotify | Tidal


Epitaph

Mannequin Pussy: I Got Heaven

Epitaph

Mannequin Pussy: I Got Heaven

RIYL: Jesus impersonators; stage diving; carnal knowledge; biting (consensual); raw egg; the best revenge

Listen/Buy: Amazon | Apple Music | Bandcamp | Rough Trade | Spotify | Tidal


February

quiNonesuch

Hurray for the Riff Raff: The Past Is Still Alive

quiNonesuch

Hurray for the Riff Raff: The Past Is Still Alive

RIYL: Hitching a ride; helping a friend; road movies; stick-and-pokes; pedal steel guitar; Eileen Myles; tombstone rubbings; eternal life

Listen/Buy: Amazon | Apple Music | Bandcamp | Rough Trade | Spotify | Tidal


Moikai

Rafael Toral: Spectral Evolution

Moikai

Rafael Toral: Spectral Evolution

RIYL: Aurora borealis; the Voyager Golden Record; shortwave radios; numbers stations; whistling tea kettles; metal birds; eolian harps; the curvature of space-time

Listen/Buy: Amazon | Apple Music | Bandcamp | Rough Trade | Spotify | Tidal


Dangerbird

Grandaddy: Blu Wav

Dangerbird

Grandaddy: Blu Wav

RIYL: Placid ’00s indie rock; Acetone and Sparklehorse and Songs: Ohia that kind of thing; a touch of pedal steel; playing sad songs on a jukebox; bummer jams; self-sabotage; the phrase “everywhere you go, there you are”

Listen/Buy: Amazon | Apple Music | Bandcamp | Rough Trade | Spotify | Tidal


Island

Brittany Howard: What Now

Island

Brittany Howard: What Now

RIYL: Experimental soul; a futuristic Muscle Shoals sound; magic spells; sound bowls; incredible vocal performances; saying things like “good separation; wide soundstage;” a surprise house song

Listen/Buy: Amazon | Apple Music | Rough Trade | Spotify | Tidal


Ideologic Organ

Kali Malone: All Life Long

Ideologic Organ

Kali Malone: All Life Long

RIYL: Liturgical splendor; secular beliefs; microtones; mirages; horizons; polished metal; ECM New Series; madrigals; dogeared poetry books; solar eclipses; stone labyrinths; pulling out all the stops

Listen/Buy: Amazon | Apple Music | Bandcamp | Rough Trade | Spotify | Tidal


4AD

Helado Negro: Phasor

4AD

Helado Negro: Phasor

RIYL: 800 thread count sheets; Sunday morning jams; full-recline lawn chairs; beep boop; Pauline Oliveros; doodling; zoning out

Listen/Buy: Amazon | Apple Music | Bandcamp | Rough Trade | Spotify | Tidal


January

XL

The Smile: Wall of Eyes

XL

The Smile: Wall of Eyes

RIYL: Hot takes about this being better than Radiohead; The King of Limbs; side projects; paranoia; prog; kosmische; noise interludes; Thom York fronting a Brit-funk band at times; almost being so back

Listen/Buy: Amazon | Apple Music | Bandcamp | Rough Trade | Spotify | Tidal


34Ent

Xaviersobased: Keep It Goin Xav

34Ent

Xaviersobased: Keep It Goin Xav

RIYL: Weed; polarizing Gen-Z culture; living forever; zooted dance rap; New York; samples of online porno games; Chief Keef; Lil B

Listen/Buy: Amazon | Apple Music | Bandcamp | Spotify | Tidal


Geffen

Kali Uchis: Orquídeas

Geffen

Kali Uchis: Orquídeas

RIYL: Milk baths in clawfoot tubs; fur-trim silk robes; sapphic reggaeton; arepas de choclo; nail art that takes hours to complete; charm thongs; rose hip tea; protecting your peace

Listen/Buy: Amazon | Apple Music | Rough Trade | Spotify | Tidal

Originally Appeared on Pitchfork