best new music

Welcome to Happy Mag’s Best New Music, where we bring you the best new album releases.

Dive into the standout albums of 2024 so far with Happy Mag’s Best New Music. Covering genres from indie rock to experimental electronica, these releases remind us that music remains a powerful force, uniting and inspiring us through challenging times.

Grab a drink, kick back, and immerse yourself in the refreshing sounds of the best new music and enjoy the tunes that are making waves and set to redefine your musical experience in 2024.

Waxahatchee single '365'
Waxahatchee by Molly Matalon


WILLOW: empathogen

‘empathogen’ is the sixth studio album produced by WILLOW.

This jazz-funk fusion is an addictive soundscape showcasing the singer-songwriters diversity as an artist. ‘empathogen’ isn’t just an album, it’s an experience. You can’t predict what’s going to happen next, but you can’t stop listening.

The opening track ‘home’ features the talented multi-instrumentalist on Jon Batiste, blending WILLOW’s smooth vocals with hauntingly beautiful jazz piano riffs.

Pivoting away from the punk-rock sound of her last two projects, ‘empathogen’ sees the 23-year-old harnessing her creativity on a short but sweet 12 tracks that explore the confusion of coming of age.




Still Woozy: Loveseat

Still Woozy is back with the release of his sophomore album ‘Loveseat’, a dreamy blend of smooth vocals, dazzling harmonies, and psychedelic guitar riffs. ‘Loveseat’ is a soundscape that lives up to the name ‘Woozy’. The Californian indie singer, Sven Gamsky, has a way of transforming sound into the physical sensation of serenity.

Opening track ‘Again’ sets the tone for this psychedelic pop album that explores the intricacies of romance and identity alongside melodies you can’t help but groove to.

Still Woozy never fails to set the tone for the summer. The dreamy psychedelic pop tracks of ‘Loveseat’ culminate into an un-skippable album perfect for those warm sunset drives.




Charli XCX: Brat

Charli XCX has released the album of the summer with her sixth studio album ‘Brat’, solidifying herself as the latest ‘It Girl’ of music. ‘Brat’ is a blend of vulnerability with infectious autotuned vocals that is undoubtedly just cool.

Lead single ‘Von Dutch’ set the tone for the iconic album, switching things up from the artist’s previous work. The “young girl from Essex” even brought Aotearoa’s own Lorde on the album with ‘Girl, so confusing’, making the internet “go crazy” for the unexpected yet iconic duo.

‘Brat’ is an eclectic album reminiscent of hyper-pop pioneer SOPHIE, a friend and inspiration for Charli, and is paving the way for contemporary hyper-pop music.

This summer is definitely a ‘Brat Summer’.




Peggy Gou: I Hear You

South Korean DJ and singer Peggy Gou drops her debut album, “I Hear You,” and it’s a love letter to 90s house music. Gou isn’t afraid to wear her influences on her sleeve, channeling the infectious grooves and euphoric melodies of that era.

But “I Hear You” isn’t just a retread; Gou injects her own energy and contemporary production flourishes, creating a sound that feels both familiar and utterly fresh. The album boasts a star-studded list of collaborators, including legendary rocker Lenny Kravitz on “I Believe in Love Again.”

There’s also space for genre-bending experimentation, with the Spanish rapper Villano Antillano adding a fiery dose of attitude to the mix. Lead single “1+1=11,” with its playful video featuring artist Olafur Eliasson, perfectly encapsulates the album’s core theme of togetherness.



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The Lemon Twigs: A Dream Is All We Know

The D’Addario brothers are back with another slice of sunshine-drenched pop magic. “A Dream Is All We Know” is the fifth studio album by The Lemon Twigs, a masterfully crafted love letter to the sounds of the 60s. Recorded entirely on analog equipment, the album shimmers with a nostalgic warmth, channeling the spirits of Brian Wilson and The Small Faces.

Expect intricate melodies, layered harmonies, and Brian D’Addario’s signature soaring vocals. This isn’t mere imitation though; The Lemon Twigs weave their own brand of youthful exuberance into the mix, creating a sound that’s both familiar and fresh. Critics are divided on whether the album prioritizes reverence over innovation, but one thing’s for sure: “A Dream Is All We Know” is a guaranteed good time, a lysergic pop masterpiece.



the lemon twigs a dream is all we know best album of 2024


Kim Gordon: The Collective

Kim Gordon, the undisputed queen of noise rock, throws open the doors on “The Collective.” This isn’t a solo record in the traditional sense; it’s a collaborative effort featuring a who’s who of the underground scene.

Expect Gordon’s signature distorted guitar to weave its magic amongst a tapestry of diverse sounds, from experimental noise to bursts of pure rock fury. “The Collective” promises a fresh exploration of Gordon’s sonic palette, a testament to her enduring creative spirit.



kim gordon the collective, best new albums 2024


Real Estate: Daniel

Produced by Daniel Tashian, Daniel reflects the band’s ability to take their music seriously while maintaining a playful spirit. The band released a stunning set of singles in the lead up, “Haunted World” and “Water Underground,” the latter featuring stars from the 1990s Nickelodeon sitcom The Adventures of Pete & Pete.

Recorded during a lively nine-day session at RCA Studio, Daniel showcases Real Estate’s signature sound elevated by Tashian’s influence. The album’s 11 tracks blend the band’s early uninhibited wonder with mature perspectives, highlighted by tracks like “Flowers” with its Nashville-inspired licks.

Lyrically, and sonically, there is lot to love about this gem.



danile rela estate best album so far for 2024


Girli: Matriarchy

Alt-pop sensation Girli unveils her boundary-defying album, Matriarchy. This record marks a new era for Girli, showcasing her full creative control.

Opening with the self-love anthem “Be With Me,” all the way to the focus single ‘Feel My Feelings, ’ Matriarchy is brimming with introspection, and relatable themes of self-doubt, inner drama and being overwhelmed by emotion.

Girli describes herself as “the queen of overthinking,”  and offers up a generous and candid glimpse into her life. Matriarchy solidifies Girli as a cult figure and LGBTQIA+ ambassador, and above all else, an accomplished musician.




girli best new albums 2024


Faye Webster: Underdressed At The Symphony

Faye Webster’s highly anticipated fifth album, Underdressed at the Symphony, was well worth the wait. The album features previously released singles “Feeling Good Today,” “Lego Ring (ft. Lil Yachty),” “But Not Kiss,” and “Lifetime.”

Webster’s new songs delve into emotional intimacy, blending desire and comfort with hyper-specific imagery. Her trademark pedal steel, cinematic string arrangements, and unpredictable elements like vocoder create a unique sound.

This album is sublime, and complete indie pop perfection at its best.



faye webster underdressed at the symphony best albums of 2024


Khruangbin: A LA SALA

Khruangbin have dropped their first album, A LA SALA, in over four years. Produced by Steve Christensen, A LA SALA is a sonic journey, one that encourages listeners to penetrate the self, connect to the surrounding world, and craft their own life experiences.

With its sultry guitar and airy vocals, this album feels like a warm summer afternoon. The opening track, “Fifteen Fifty-Three” begins with the gentle hum of crickets, an electric buzzing so familiar to the sound of heat. “Fifteen Fifty-Three” is warm and electrifying, setting the mood perfectly for the next twelve tracks that take listeners on a journey outside of themselves.

In A LA SALA, the trio pushes the boundaries of what we know psychedelic R&B to be.




Adrianne Lenker: Bright Future

Adrianne Lenker returns with her latest album Bright Future, a beautiful combination of delicate vocals and intimate lyricism so unique to Lenker’s sound.

The album opens with “Real House”, guiding us gently into the next twelve tracks with a sombre yet warm piano solo. “Do you remember running?” Lenker asks us, singing softly, calling us back to a time where it was all so much simpler.

It’s raw, it’s playful, it’s simple, yet so complex. “Now 31 but I don’t feel strong.” Lenker gives us an album that feels like home, putting words to the grief that is coming into adulthood still searching for the wonder that once came so naturally.

Bright Future is a gift to us all. The result of what happens in the studio when you let it all out without any expectations.




Waxahathchee: Tigers Blood

Waxahathchee finds her voice on her latest album, Tigers Blood, an alt-country blend of strong vocals and raw lyricism that have cemented this album as one of this year’s landmark releases.

Tracks like “3 Sisters” and “365” create an intimacy with listeners unlike anything Katie Crutchfield has released before.

The rawness of “365” tells a breathtaking story of self-acceptance and forgiveness amidst addiction. With its hushed instrumentation, a spotlight shines directly on Crutchfield’s strong yet soft vocals – a testament to what the album is all about.

The lead single, “Right Back to It”, is the first love song Crutchfield says she has ever written. A duet with MJ Lenderman, the harmonies on this track sound as gentle as love itself.



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Peter Bibby: Drama King

Australian working-class wordsmith Peter Bibby drops his fourth album, Drama King, on Spinning Top Records. Produced by Dan Luscombe (Tropical Fuck Storm, Amyl and the Sniffers, The Drones), Drama King delivers an unfiltered peek into Bibby’s world – from chaotic late-night pub scenes to introspective reflections.

The opener, “The Arsehole,” kicks off with candid lyrics and wobbly riffs, while tracks like “Feels” and “Fun Guy” highlight Peter’s evolution as a songwriter.

Bibby’s gritty authenticity, rooted in Perth’s punk scene, cements his status as a working-class hero and fiercely independent artist.



peter bibby new album DRAMA KING 2024 best new albums


The Smile: Wall Of Eyes

The much-anticipated debut from Thom Yorke’s side project, The Smile, has landed. “Wall Of Eyes” throws Radiohead’s experimental tendencies into a blender with the propulsive energy of drummer Tom Skinner (Sons of Kemet).

Gone are the sprawling epics; instead, we get sharp bursts of sonic exploration. Jonny Greenwood’s masterful arrangements twist and turn, Yorke’s vocals remain unmistakably haunting, and Skinner’s drumming keeps the whole thing teetering on the edge. This is Radiohead unbound, a wild and exhilarating ride.



the smile, wall of eyes, best new albums 2024


Grandaddy: Blu Wav

Grandaddy returns with their new studio album, Blu Wav. Jason Lytle, a prolific storyteller, draws inspiration from nature’s overwhelming beauty and life’s mundane yet memorable moments. The album title Blu Wav is a literal mash-up of “bluegrass” and “new wave,” offering a unique sound conceived as Lytle drove through the Nevada desert.

Envisioning a blend of bluegrass waltz and new wave electronics, Lytle adds dense synthesizers to sweet, simple lyrics. The album features the lo-fi lushness and psychedelic orchestration Grandaddy is known for, with Lytle’s first venture into true country, highlighted by pedal steel on seven of its 13 tracks.



grandaddy bluwave best new albums 2024


Future Islands: People Who Aren’t There Anymore

Future Islands are back, but don’t expect the synth-banger anthems of yesteryear. “People Who Aren’t There Anymore” dives deep, exploring the fallout of a long-distance relationship fractured by COVID lockdowns.

Samuel T. Herring’s signature soaring vocals take on a new vulnerability, harmonizing with introspective lyrics that crackle with raw emotion. Co-produced by the band and Steve Wright, this album promises an emotional journey, a stark contrast to the dance floor fervor of their past.



future islands best albums 2024


Tom Odell: Black Friday

Tom Odell’s latest album, “Black Friday,” isn’t your typical feel-good record. Instead, it delves into personal struggles with vulnerability and a push for unfiltered authenticity. But within this melancholic exploration lies its brilliance.

Odell exhibits emotional depth by confronting anxiety, self-doubt, and societal pressures with unwavering honesty. Tracks like “Answer Phone,” “Black Friday” and “The End” resonate deeply, creating a powerful emotional narrative.

The unproduced and unpretentious production choices amplify the intimacy of the songwriting, transforming the rawness into a felt experience rather than just auditory.

Despite its dark themes, the album transcends being a personal narrative; it becomes a mirror reflecting universal struggles with mental health and self-discovery.



tom odell best albums of 2024


Arcadia: STUMPS

Sydney’s indie rockers, STUMPS, deliver “Arcadia,” an album that’s equal parts danceable, introspective, & downright addictive.

Seamlessly blending Talking Heads-esque grooves, and The Beths’ thoughtful lyricism, the trio creates a unique sonic experience across 12 tracks. Tracks like “Serotonin” and “Dose” are infectious earworms, while introspective moments in “Life’s Moving Past You” and playful nods in “David Byrne” add depth.

Lead single “Cyanide” marks a thematic departure, injecting weightiness into its introspective atmosphere. Produced by Fletcher Matthews, “Arcadia” explores a diverse sonic landscape, from indie sleaze to pulsating dance beats.

Frontman Kyle Fisher describes the album as a walk home after the best night of your life, capturing moments of beauty and gratitude – and he nails it.


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Peacemaker: Vera Sola

Branded as the ‘lost love child of Leonard Cohen and Nancy Sinatra,’ Sola Vera aka Danielle Aykroyd, transcends folk-noir, evoking the spirits of Nick Cave and Patsy Cline. A departure from her isolated debut, “Shades,” the new album is a grand, orchestral journey through the American landscape, recorded in Nashville with a collaborative approach.

Her voice, likened to PJ Harvey at her most intense, takes center stage, embracing newfound strength. Influenced by Antonín Dvořák’s ‘New World Symphony,’ the arrangements are bold and cinematic, blending orchestral elements with punk-inspired vigor.

Despite a four-year journey marred by personal turmoil and the pandemic,  Vera Sola transforms darkness and difficulty into a profound musical experience, embodying the album’s title as a true peacemaker.

The ultimate irony lies in the name itself, referencing the Colt Single Action Army, the original “Instrument of War” that tamed the American West—a poignant reflection of the album’s thematic complexity and personal significance.


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