THIS YEAR’S GRAMMYS were a spectacle. Taylor Swift took home the album of the year award (and announced a new album, more on that in a moment), Jay-Z called out the Recording Academy’s frequent snubbing of his wife, and female artists reigned supreme with wins in almost every major category. But does anyone else feel like the Grammys are already so yesterday? The music of 2023 is in our rear view, it’s time to get pumped for the soundtracks of the year ahead.
2024 will see a number of new releases from high-profile artists. Some are already confirmed to be dropping, while others are only expected to. We know that juggernauts like Taylor Swift, Dua Lipa and Billie Eilish are all likely to drop in 2024, but the real excitement comes from those whose release schedule is purely speculative. An artist like Frank Ocean, who hasn’t released an album since 2016, fits into that class well. Frank, if you’re reading this, please, it’s been eight years. Just give us anything.
Regardless of the absence of an official release schedule, we can already start making predictions for the 2025 Grammys. Bear in mind, much of what will be released in 2024 hasn’t even been announced yet. So this is by no means a definitive list; expect new additions to pop up as the year progresses.
Without any further interruptions, these are the most anticipated albums of 2024.
What are the best albums coming out in 2024?
Taylor Swift, The Tortured Poet’s Department
Taylor Swift stole the show in more ways than one at the 2024 Grammys. Before claiming the evening’s top honour, Swift accepted the award for best pop vocal album and sent Swifties everywhere into raptures by announcing a new album while on stage. Swift’s next album is titled ‘The Tortured Poet’s Department’—the societally adjudged quality of the name has been polarising to say the least—and the cover and track list have already been revealed. Judging by the available evidence—that is to say, the titles of the tracks—TTPD looks like it will feature Swift’s standard focus on current and former paramours. Personally we can’t wait to learn more about Travis Kelce through the songs titled ‘My Boy Only Breaks His Favorite Toys’, ‘But Daddy I Love Him’, ‘Loml’, and ‘I Can Fix Him (No Really I Can)’.
Lenny Kravitz, Blue Electric Light
An enigmatic entertainer, polymathic musician and former Esquire cover star, Lenny Kravitz is releasing his 12th studio album in 2024, titled ‘Blue Electric Light’. The album, which is Kravitz’s first since 2018 and will be released on March 15th, is an homage to the earlier stages in his career, but maintains a contemporary flavour. Last year, Kravitz told Esquire Australia what listeners can expect from the upcoming album. “The new album is a look back and a look forward. This music is a vibe of what I was doing before ‘Let Love Rule’—it’s a reinterpretation of that time and celebrating a time that I never celebrated,” Kravitz said. “This record is a beautiful mix of live instruments, synthesisers, drum machines and has a bit of an ’80s vibe of what I was doing at that time before the first album. It’s going back and giving people a vision of where I was before the first record.”
A$AP Rocky, Don’t Be Dumb
It’s now been six years since Rocky’s last album, ‘Testing’, and much has changed since then. The rapper has married Rihanna, had two children with her, and worryingly, is awaiting trial for the alleged shooting of a former friend. Perhaps in reference to the latter, Rocky’s next album is called ‘Don’t Be Dumb’, although the title isn’t final. Rocky released two songs in 2023 and both are expected to make the album’s final cut, which is still awaiting an official release date.
Dua Lipa, TBA
Back in 2020, ‘Future Nostalgia’ solidified Dua Lipa’s status as a global superstar. It’s been a while between projects since then, but Dua has had plenty to keep her busy. The enormous staying power of her previous album’s hits, a single with Elton John, and an appearance on the Barbie soundtrack have ensured Dua’s domination of the airwaves has remained unchallenged. The first track on her new album is titled ‘Houdini’. That song was produced by Tame Impala and has already been released. On the upcoming album, Dua told The New York Times, “A lot of this album was written in those joyous moments of absolute chaos and how I moved through the world with lightness and optimism of whatever the outcome may be.”
Playboi Carti, TBA
At the end of 2023, the elusive Playboi Carti dropped four tracks off his forthcoming third studio album, sending rap internet into meltdown mode. But unlike his previous releases, which he’s dropped unannounced on YouTube Live, Instagram and Reddit—often taking them down a short time after so you had to see it to believe it—this record is getting a more traditional track-by-track rollout… by Carti standards at least. How it will bode with fans that love him for the easter egg hunts will remain to be seen. But it’s about the music at the end of the day. And judging by the popularity of his first four releases, this one’s going to be big.
Paul McCartney, TBA
We don’t know much about McCartney’s next album, but we know that it is coming soon. Now a one-man-band, McCartney has been working with producer Andrew Watt while recording his upcoming project, which will be his first since ‘McCartney III’ in 2020. If we had to guess, we’d put forward ‘McCartney IV’ as the likely title of the Beatle’s next album.
Billie Eilish, TBA
Billie Eilish is dominating awards season right now. Eilish won both song of the year and best song written for visual media for ‘What Was I Made For?’, now she’s also expected to claim best original song at the Oscars. With some new hardware to store on her mantel, Eilish is now looking to a new creative endeavour in the form of another album. “There is a whole album of music coming,” Eilish said back in September. “We’re in the final stages of making it, so that doesn’t mean it’s about to come out, but it is getting there and it’s very exciting.”
Elton John, TBA
Musicians are shockingly good at reneging on retirement. For anyone else, rejoining the work force would be a nightmare, but for artists like Elton John, it’s something it seems he can’t wait to do. Sir Elton supposedly retired back in 2018, when he announced that the Yellow Brick Road tour would be his last. It didn’t wrap up for almost another five years though. When Elton inducted Bernie Taupin into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last November, he revealed that he had recently completed yet another album that “is going to surprise the shit out of you.” It’s very existence achieves exactly that.
MGMT, Loss Of Life
After becoming the ultra-popular pop group of the late 2000s, with tracks like ‘Kids’ and ‘Electric Feel’ skyrocketing them to global stardom, MGMT have been pretty quiet this last decade. But even though MGMT’s most recent album, ‘Little Dark Age’, found little immediate success when it came out in 2018, it has more recently attained viral status on TikTok, leading to a resurgence in the band’s popularity. Promptly, the alternative duo are capitalising on their newfound TikTok fame by releasing a new album, with two preview songs already unveiled.
Many would say that SZA was snubbed by the Recording Academy for both album of the year and song of the year after her landmark album ‘SOS’ and smash-hit ‘Kill Bill’ missed out on the major awards. SZA has been teasing a new album, titled ‘Lana’, on Instagram with a series of indecipherable social media posts. Supposedly, the album is a collection of outtakes and throwaways from ‘SOS’ with the addition of a few new tracks. “It’s become more than I expected,” she told Variety. “It’s definitely turning into its own album… and I guess I could drop a new album randomly, because no one’s actually expecting that from me right now.”
The Weeknd, TBA
The Weeknd is entering the end of an era. Last year, the Canadian singer revealed that his next album would be his last under the name ‘The Weeknd’. “It’s getting to a place and a time where I’m getting ready to close the Weeknd chapter. I’ll still make music, maybe as Abel, maybe as The Weeknd. But I still want to kill The Weeknd. And I will,” he said in May of 2023. “The album I’m working on now is probably my last hurrah as The Weeknd. This is something that I have to do. As The Weeknd, I’ve said everything I can say.” More recently, The Weeknd—we’re still calling him that for now—posted the album covers of his two most recent albums on Instagram, along with a third blank slide with a question mark over it. The caption was similarly cryptic, a simple “3”. We can expect an album soon.