City Hub’s 15 best albums of 2024 (so far) 

City Hub’s 15 best albums of 2024 (so far) 
Image: Source: Darya Sannikova on Pexels

2024 has been a vibrant year for music so far. Full of discourse, record-breaking pop releases, groundbreaking underground moments and even existential questions about the future of the industry in the face of rapidly developing technology, there’s a lot to unpack. So here are our picks for the 15 best albums of the year so far!  

15. Mannequin Pussy – I Got Heaven 

Mannequin Pussy - I Got Heaven
Source: RateYourMusic

The indie veteran’s 4th and best record, I Got Heaven is a simple and hard-hitting mix of indie rock and hardcore punk, pushed by the biting lyrics and passionate vocals of frontwoman Missy Dabice. 

14. Adrianne Lenker – Bright Future

Adrianne Lenker - Bright Future
Source: RateYourMusic

Everything the Big Thief’s frontwoman touches turns to gold. Her latest solo record is a delicate and devastating folk tapestry, with her haunting yet angelic voice hanging over each instrumental like a heart-broken specter.  

13. English Teacher – This Could be Texas  

English Teacher - This Could Be Texas
Source: RateYourMusic

What helps this post-punk debut standout in a now overcrowded British scene is lead singer and songwriter Lily Fontaine’s observational lyricism, delivered equally well in both spoken word and singing. Top this off with thoughtful instrumentation, and you have a band to keep an eye on. 

12. IDLES – TANGK  

IDLES - TANGK
Source: RateYourMusic

Now a modern punk rock institution, IDLES continue to expand their sound, tinkering dance, electronics and art rock, continuing a hot-streak that has been going since 2018. 

11. Charli xcx – BRAT

Charli XCX - Brat
Source: RateYourMusic

What is already the defining record of 2024, BRAT is wall-to-wall electro and dance pop bangers with plenty of nuance to be found within these party anthems. Having dominated pop music conversations for a while, BRAT is a pop culture moment with some good music to go along with it. 

10. Vince Staples – Dark Times  

Vince Staples - Dark Times
Source: RateYourMusic

The best the Venice Beach rapper has sounded in nearly a decade, Dark Times is an album of introspection and reflection, focusing on lush and uncomplicated beats and bars packed with meaning. 

9. The Last Dinner Party – Prelude to Ecstasy  

The Last Dinner Party - Prelude to Ecstasy
Source: RateYourMusic

Every year needs that debut that turns heads, and Prelude to Ecstasy is just that. This dramatic pop rock opera is little afraid to stand out, and I daresay we can expect to be hearing more about this all-female British band in the coming years. 

8. Allie X – Girl With No Face  

Allie X - Girl With No Face
Source: RateYourMusic

For years now this Canadian pop songstress has honed her craft writing for other artists and releasing the occasional project, and it has all culminated in Girl With No Face. Dripping in 80s synth-pop and goth goodness, this record is as addictive as it is endlessly fun. 

7. Billie Eilish – HIT ME HARD AND SOFT  

Billie Eilish - Hit Me Hard and Soft
Source: RateYourMusic

Billie continues to grow and get better with each record, with her 3rd LP standing head and shoulders above other mainstream pop releases. Its poised, mature and packed with variety, and I daresay the best is yet to come. 

6. Beth Gibbons – Lives Outgrown  

Beth Gibbons - Lives Outgrown
Source: RateYourMusic

It’s amazing to think only now we are just getting the debut record from the legendary Portishead lead singer, and to no one’s surprise it is incredible. Gibbon’s vocals and the complex, contemporary folk arrangements mix perfectly on this ethereal and oddly primal piece of music. 

5. Friko – Where we’ve been, Where we go from here  

Friko - Where we've been, Where we go from here
Source: RateYourMusic

Like a time capsule from the 90s, Friko’s debut record is a noisy and brutally honest indie rock record that’s efficient with its time, in that it only needs 36 minutes to utterly devastate you. 

4. Dude Central – Where The Butterflies Go  

Dude Central - Where the Butterflies Go
Source: RateYourMusic

Continuing on the devastating theme, this obscure folk record buried on the depths of the internet is about as crushing as they come. Written by its teenage mastermind to process the passing of his mother, its utter simplicity leaves you nowhere to run. 

3. samlrc – A Lonely Sinner  

samlrc - A Lonely Sinner
Source: RateYourMusic

These days, the best shoegaze and post-rock can be found in a thriving, transnational scene on the music publication site Bandcamp. A Lonely Sinner is the latest breakthrough from this scene. A surprisingly uplifting record for its genre, samlrc expertly blends live instruments, samples and vocals like a veteran. 

2. Knocked Loose – You Won’t Go Before You’re Supposed To  

Knocked Loose - You Won't Go Before You're Supposed To
Source: RateYourMusic

Setting the metal world alight with their forward thinking and utterly relentless sound, Knocked Loose have managed to even find some mainstream crossover appeal with their third album. Its a brutal listen, but unimaginably engrossing at the same time. 

1. Cindy Lee – Diamond Jubilee  

Cindy Lee - Diamond Jubilee Best Albums
Source: RateYourMusic

A mysterious record that can only be found on the depths of the internet, its hard to quite pin down what Diamond Jubilee is. Sitting at 32 tracks and a full two hours, this project from underground hero Patrick Flegel is a lo-fi time-capsule back to the heady, psychedelic days of 60s pop and rock. Simply put, it needs to be heard to be believed. 

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