In times of chaos, music can be a place of escape or comfort. This year, favourite artists like SZA and Lana Del Rey returned with reliably stunning releases, rising artists like 100 Gecs, Amaarae, and yeule pushed the boundaries with breakthrough releases that set the tone for where music might go next, and some of the year’s biggest surprises also happened to be just the thing we needed (hello, André 3000 flute album!). and while 2024 certainly has its work cut out to beat or even match its predecessor, given the list of already confirmed (and expected) projects on their way, it’s looking like another year for the history books. Here, HUNGER runs you through the records we’re most excited about and that you need to pencil into your diary for a must-listen.
Kali Uchis – Orquídeas (January 12th)
Back in October, Kali Uchis announced that her fourth studio album – and second Spanish record – would arrive in winter 2024. And last month, the singer-songwriter revealed that Orquídeas would be the project’s title. “The orchid is the national flower of Colombia, and we have more species of orchid than anywhere on earth,” the Colombian American singer said in a statement. “I always felt distinctly intrigued and magnetised by the flower. This album is inspired by the timeless, eerie, mystic, striking, graceful and sensual allure of the orchid. With this vast scope of fresh energy, I wish to redefine the way we look at Latinas in music.” Let’s hope Uchis can heat up the winter with this one.
Liam Gallagher and John Squire – TBA
In a landmark moment for Mancunian music, Liam Gallagher and John Squire have announced their previously teased collaboration, revealing they have recorded a whole album as a duo. The ex-Oasis frontman and ex-Stone Roses guitarist – two of the most successful and acclaimed musicians to emerge from Manchester – have a longstanding connection. Squire played live with Oasis and later Gallagher on performances of the epic psychedelic ballad Champagne Supernova, and in 1997, Gallagher co-wrote a song with Squire called ‘Love Me and Leave Me’, which was recorded by Squire’s band the Seahorses, who also supported Oasis on tour. But the new project marks the first time the pair have recorded music as a duo. The album, its title and release date have not been fully announced, but press materials refer to a full record and hint at live gigs for the pair.
SZA – Lana (TBA)
SZA’s forthcoming album Lana – which started off as a deluxe edition of her multi-Grammy-nominated second full-length SOS but now may or may not be a separate release – has been in a state of flux ever since it was first conceived. But it apparently took a big step closer to completion in December when the singer posted a series of photos that are apparently cover artwork for the release, each one bearing the familiar “Parental Advisory: Explicit Content” sticker. While a deluxe edition is a given for most successful albums, and SZA has been talking about one for SOS almost since that album dropped last December, Lana has seemed different every time she’s spoken about it. Unfortunately, the release date, tracklist, and even how many songs might be on it are completely unconfirmed; however, it shouldn’t be too much longer until we have a new SZA album blasting through our headphones.
Tems – TBA
Tems’ debut studio album is on its way in 2024. The Grammy-nominated singer, who featured on the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever soundtrack, promised new music after a fan called her out on Twitter for pushing back the album release date. “@temsbaby promised us an album this year, but as we no come hear anything like dis nko? [sic]” the fan wrote in November, to which Tems replied, “Next year.” The singer had an incredible run the past few years, collaborating with megastars including Drake, Beyoncé and Future – the latter of which earned her a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Song and Best Melodic Rap Performance. As one of the most beloved and talented artists on the rise today, we can’t wait to see what Tems has in store on her debut album.
MGMT – Loss of Life (February 23rd)
Just a few years ago, MGMT seemed like they were spiralling into oblivion. The psychedelic synth-pop dup of Andrew VanWyngarden and Benjamin Goldwasser exploded onto the scene back in 2007 with their debut LP, Oracular Spectacular, and the hits ‘Kids’, ‘Electric Feel’ and ‘Time to Pretend’. But follow-up albums Congratulations and MGMT divided critics, baffled many fans, and failed to generate any genuine hits. Everything changed in 2018, when they dropped Little Dark Age, which was a return to the anthems of their debut. Little Dark Age was the one that proved Oracular Spectacular was no fluke — and it sent them back into the studio with renewed confidence when the time came to cut their fifth album, Loss of Life. In a new press release about the LP, VanWyngarden and Goldwasser said, “All joking aside (never!), we are very proud of this album and the fact that it was a relatively painless birth after a lengthy gestation period, and are happy to be releasing this baby into the world with Mom+Pop.” They added, “Musically speaking, we are running at around 20% adult contemporary and no more than this, please.”
Playboi Carti – Music (TBA)
Perhaps the only artist more reclusive than Frank Ocean, Playboi Carti began the rollout for his long-awaited fourth studio album, Music, over the holidays, sharing three new tracks ‘Different Day’, ‘2024’ and ‘H00DBYAIR’ – all of which weren’t released on streaming services. Today (January 2nd), the artist released yet another single, ‘Backr00ms’, featuring Travis Scott, with the title in reference to the infamous creepypasta (horror-related stories shared around the internet) ‘The Backrooms. Across the four singles released so far, the Atlanta musician has utilised deep vocal inflexions as opposed to his signature high-pitched deliveries. Known for drastically altering aesthetics across each of his releases, Music looks to usher in yet another era of untrodden musical territory in Carti’s discography.
Frank Ocean – TBA
It’s now been eight excruciatingly long years since the release of the enigmatic Frank Ocean’s second studio album, Blonde. It seemed as though 2023 would finally be the year we’d be blessed with new music from arguably the most reclusive mainstream artist out there. And It was all set up so perfectly for Ocean. The star was scheduled to headline Coachella 2023, his first festival appearance since 2018, and it was widely expected that we’d at least get a new single to accompany the appearance. What we got instead was a complete disaster. Ocean performed a stripped-back set after arriving late on the first weekend of the festival and would go on to pull out on the subsequent weekend, reportedly due to injury. Fans in attendance were furious, and even those watching online couldn’t quite believe what was happening. And, unsurprisingly, there was no new music. Now, If it were anyone else, we probably would’ve lost interest by now, but such is Ocean’s talents and star quality that we’re still just as excited as we were a few years ago. Details of an upcoming project are practically non-existent, other than a couple of short snippets previewed recently, but let’s all just hope this is finally the year we’re put out of our misery.
Rihanna – TBA
Much like Frank Ocean, everyone is waiting for Rihanna to make her big musical comeback. January will mark seven years without a new album from one of the world’s biggest pop stars, but it certainly feels like a lifetime. Fans did get a taste of how the singer’s vocal range matured over the hiatus with the release of 2022’s ‘Lift Me Up,’ her first song in six years, for the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever soundtrack, which also included her track ‘Born Again.’ The new mother and entrepreneur took to the biggest stage in the world at the Super Bowl Halftime Show in February, an appearance that fans expected would accompany a new release. However, no new material was performed. “Honestly, it’d be ridiculous if it’s not this year,” she told British Vogue when asked about a potential album release in 2023. “But I just want to have fun. I just want to make music and make videos.” So, if it didn’t come in 2023, that means it surely has to come in 2024, right?
A$AP Rocky – Don’t Be Dumb (TBA)
Although A$AP Rocky has yet to confirm the title of the album officially, he did seem to share it during an appearance on the Amazon Music Live series. “Album finished. Don’t Be Dumb. Let’s go,” he can be seen saying to the camera. While it’s still unclear when the album will be released, he assured fans it’s already completed and told Complex in 2023 that we will “not have to wait long.” The Harlem rapper also took a moment to reflect on the project’s significance in a recent interview with DAZED. “I’ve been really experimenting as usual, and what I like about this is it feels like my best work yet,” he revealed in October. “I want to leave expectations wide and open. I don’t want to tell you what to expect. I just want people to experience it how they do naturally.” While Rocky hasn’t disclosed the LP’s release date or tracklist, he previously teased fans with new music. His latest single, ‘RIOT (Rowdy Pipe’n),’ landed in July. During that same month, he headlined Rolling Loud Miami 2023 and performed an unreleased track.