HomeaflBest Albums of January 2024: Staff Picks

Best Albums of January 2024: Staff Picks

It’s a new year, and the Consequence staff is already up to our eyeballs in fantastic music. January can be a mixed bag of releases — often peppered with big pop singles like last year’s long-charting “Flowers” by Miley Cyrus — but we spent January of 2024 more immersed in albums. From fresh voices like glass beach to deeply personal reflections from Boldy James and the best work yet from The Smile, this month ushered in plenty of new favorites destined to stay on rotation as the year progresses.

Listed in alphabetical order, here are what our Consequence writers and editors think are the best albums of January 2024. And for more records we can’t wait to get our ears on, check out our Most Anticipated Albums of 2024.

Benny the Butcher — Everybody Can’t Go

benny the butcher album artwork best albums of january 2024

With Everybody Can’t Gothe most consistent member of the Griselda family is making his major label debut on Def Jam. His new “villain mode” includes a line seemingly supporting Trump, but if moral perfection was a prerequisite for hip-hop, record store shelves would be a lot more bare. Besides, his reportorial rapping is as sharp as anyone today, and bars like, “Me teary-eyed and gullible/ I lived it with a mother who struggled through addiction, I know every side of drug abuse,” reveal a real pain that so many of his peers shy away from sharing. — Wren Graves

Future Islands — People Who Aren’t There Anymore

future islands people who aren't there anymore

Half of People Who Aren’t There Anymore was released before the album arrived in full, with some tracks dating back over two years. So it’s rather remarkable how cohesive this collection is. Credit it to two things: Less atmospherics than 2020’s As Long As You Are, and miraculously even richer vocals from Samuel T. Herring. You can say “no one does X like Y” about a lot of singers, but it’s hardly hyperbole that no one does earnestness like Herring. From his melancholy introspection to his heart-on-his-sleeve optimism, his delivery is consistently, magically evocative. This LP is simply synth poetry. — Ben Kaye

glass beach — plastic death

glass beach favorite albums january 2024 new music plastic death

Though glass beach were initially hailed as torchbearers of fifth-wave emo, their second proper LP, plastic death, makes a current all its own. Culling from inspirations like intricate experimental music, Jungian theory, and the deep sea, the record sees the indie rock maximalists push their limits to shockingly imaginative effect, existing somewhere between In Rainbows as rock opera and Pink Floyd in the internet age. If that all sounds too wild to believe, then you’ll just have to listen for yourself. –– Abby Jones

Junodream — Pools of Colour

junodream pools of colour best albums of january new music 2024

Every year since 2018, English quartet Junodream put out a new song or two, and occasionally an EP, like 2019’s Isn’t It Lovely (To Be Alone) and 2021’s Travel Guide. But with each expansive track, they were building out an impressive sonic repertoire that makes the release of their debut album, Pools of Colour, all the more satisfying.

Junodream’s sound is indebted to their late ’90s influences: The Bends-era Radiohead, Parachutes-era Coldplay, the dream pop majesty of Air, the melody-forward rock of Ride. But there’s something about Junodream’s ability to be both rousing and comforting at the same time that makes the songs on Pools of Colour stick. They’ve put out a lot of great tracks over the years, but the ones on Pools of Colour are their most ambitious and electrifying yet. — Paolo Ragusa




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