Zach Top in blue striped shirt and white cowboy hat starting straight into the camera while leaning on a guitar in his lap.
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The Country Albums to Look Forward to in 2024

January 22, 2024 11:07 am GMT
Last Edited January 24, 2024 10:35 am GMT

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With 2023 declaring itself the 'Year of the Album' pretty early on in Holler's books, 2024 is going to be hard-pushed to deliver the same sort of gold that the last 12 months have offered us.

But, with the projects that are already on the books ready for release, we're pretty sure this year is going to set another banner year for the country album.

So what should we be looking forward to most, we hear you ask?

From Sierra Ferrell's rousing return to the much anticipated debut release from Zach Top, there is a sweet array of releases right around the corner.

With that in mind, here are 16 records that Holler is most excited for in 2024.

1
Leo33 | 2024

Zach Top - Cold Beer & Country Music

No one is creating more buzz out there right now than Zach Top. The young man from Sunnyside, WA, is everyone's new favourite artist - and with his debut album Cold Beer and Country Music on the way, now's the time for him to become yours too.

With boot-scootin' guitar lines, 90s Texas Radio melodies and zestier lyricism than a corona lime, Top offers a little romance, some tried and tested wisecracks and a whole lotta fun with his modern brand of neo-trad.

Remember how it took everyone outside of Texas about six albums to catch on to Cody Johnson? No one's sleeping this time. Come get it.

- Ross Jones

2

HARDY & Friends - HIXTAPE Vol. 3: DIFFTAPE

In 2024, your favorite country collaboration project is back. HIXTAPE Vol. 3 will be bigger than before… and painted John Deere Green.

As previewed at the 2023 CMA Awards in November, the third volume of the beloved HIXTAPE series – dubbed DIFFTAPE – is centered around award-winning country legend, Joe Diffie, bringing his greatest hits to life in a brand new way and with some significant star power behind it.

With rap behemoth Post Malone lending his vocals to ‘Pick-Up Man’ and Morgan Wallen and HARDY, on board for ‘John Deere Green’, it’s set a high bar for what’s to come on March 29.

- Lydia Farthing

3
2024 | Rounder Records

Sierra Ferrell - Trail of Flowers

Sierra Ferrell is a time traveller who is forever present. While her old-time sway may ache for more straightforward and nostalgic pastures, her relatable lyricism pulls you into the now.

Where Long Time Coming, her debut album, introduced us to this tremendous artist, Trail of Flowers will find her thriving. 'Dollar Bill Bar' is impulsive and romantic. At the same time, 'Fox Hunt' is wild and inventive, the layering of new instrumentation on the former as striking as the production that lingers on the latter.

There are few out there who we've been more excited to see return, and from what we've heard so far, Ferrell's sophomore effort can't come soon enough.

- Ross Jones

4
2024 | Son of Davy / Thirty Tigers

Charley Crockett - $10 Cowboy

It's been almost 18 months since we've been graced with a new album of original songs from Charley Crockett. If you know anything about his album cycles, that's quite a lull for the ‘Man From Waco’. Lucky for us, the dry spell is nearly over.

Written over two months of extensive touring across the US, Crockett's new LP provides vivid portraits of the country's current state as seen through his lyrical lens.

Recorded live to tape and dripping with Crockett's compelling conviction, $10 Cowboy marks a new era for the Texas native. No doubt it'll be our new favorite in no time.

- Lydia Farthing

5
2024 | Warner Music Nashville

Kenny Chesney - Born

One of the most consistent artists of the past few decades, Kenny Chesney is readying his first full-length record since 2020’s Here and Now.

BORN looks set to strike a balance between sun-soaked, tropical-themed escapism and outlook-changing narratives. The best part? Kenny says we’ll be getting a longer tracklist than usual - so prepare for another unbeatable summer soundtrack coming your way on March 29.

- Maxim Mower

6
Big Machine Label Group | 2024

Sheryl Crow - Evolution

As Evolution is Sheryl Crow’s first album in five years, expectations are sky-high.

When the multi-Grammy winner revealed that the title-track pivots around her anxieties around AI and a guitar solo from Rage Against The Machine's Tom Morello, she made it clear she’ll be taking risks, making this March project a must-listen.

Given Crow’s undisputed track record, this is shaping up to be an unexpected highlight of the 2024 calendar.

- Maxim Mower

7
2024 | Cut A Shine / Thirty Tigers

Brit Taylor - Kentucky Bluegrassed

After landing in Holler's 2023 Top 25 albums with her sophomore record, the Sturgill Simpson-produced modern-countrypolitan of Kentucky Blue, Brit Taylor is taking the project and reimagining it as a set of eight bluegrass songs.

Featuring five new versions of songs from the album and three new originals, Taylor’s mountain twang and an acoustic string band take us back to the music she was raised on.

- Jof Owen

8
Late August | 2024

Cody Jinks - Change The Game

Cody Jinks is out on his own, and we can't wait to see what he creates.

Having paved the way with the new idea of what an outlaw artist is in today's country music wild west, Jinks is embracing his lone wolf persona and looking inward for inspiration - and not shying away from what he finds.

Whether he's observing his path to sobriety or challenging the very concept what being an 'outlaw' means, Jinks is once again committed to changing the game.

- Ross Jones

9
Signature Sounds | 2024

Willi Carlisle - Critterland

Welcome to Critterland, folks!

Down here you'll find all manner of creatures and characters, the wild and free, the wise and weary, the peculiar and obscure. Deep down in the Critterland holler is where you'll find Willi Carlisle, mulling over what he's seen from years on the road as he picks at a banjo or plays tricks with a spoon.

Before you know it, he's holding a mirror up to you - in fact, the whole of this strange place is reflecting back at you. This is your world, why don't you spend a little time in it?

- Ross Jones

10
2024 | 3 Legged Records/Thirty Tigers

Blackberry Smoke - Be Right Here

Atlanta-based quintet Blackberry Smoke are back with their 8th studio album, Be Right Here.

Produced by Dave Cobb, the follow-up to 2021’s You Hear Georgia promises to be the significant Southern Rock record of the year.

Whether it's the gentle outlaw country of ‘Azalea’, the Stonesy barroom shuffle of ‘Little Bit Crazy’ or the thumping Queen Of The Stone Age-esque country rock of ‘Hammer And The Nail’, Be Right Here reaffirms that Blackberry Smoke are the only band around today capable of creating something on a par with the giant country-rock masterpieces of the 1970s.

- Jof Owen

11
2024 | Rounder

Katie Pruitt - Mantras

A little psychedelic rock, a touch of coffee shop acoustic and a whole lot of oomph – that’s what you can expect from Katie Pruitt’s highly-anticipated sophomore record, Mantras.

Where her previous effort grapples with her identity, the upcoming LP finds Pruitt thriving with a newfound perspective underpinned by refreshing optimism. Dubbed her “most personal work to date,” Pruitt describes it as “a full circle journey from self-sabotage to self-compassion”.

Channelling her traumas into encouraging mantras, the record is 11 tracks of complex and introspective storytelling poised to make an even bigger splash than her debut.

- Lydia Farthing

12
Warner Music Nashville | 2024

Randall King - Into the Neon

In case you didn’t get the memo, neo-traditional country is back with a twang - and Randall King is one of the key proponents of this 90s-inspired sound.

Into The Neon finds King reinforcing comparisons to the other ‘King’, George Strait, with a mix of honky-tonkin’, dance-hall barn-stormers (‘When My Baby’s In Boots’), sumptuous, drawn-in ballads (‘Hang of Hangin’ On’) and - of course - simmering, heartbreak anthems (‘Burns Like Her’).

- Maxim Mower

13
2024 | New West Records

The Secret Sisters - Mind, Man, Medicine

The Alabama duo have unveiled their keenly awaited Saturn Return follow-up, with the shimmering lead single, ‘Same Water’, serving its purpose of whetting fans’ appetites for the 11-track album.

Given the purple patch currently being enjoyed by the folk-leaning arm of country music, this could be the perfect time for The Secret Sisters’ ethereal blend of haunting harmonies, evocative lyricism and intricate instrumentation to propel them into the mainstream.

- Maxim Mower

14
2024 | Geronimo West / Thirty Tigers

Shane Smith and The Saints - Norther

After 10 years of heavy touring throughout the US, in 2023, it felt like Shane Smith & The Saints finally got the recognition they deserved.

With their blend of Texas country, Southern Rock and four-part harmonies, their live performances evoke the same rousing togetherness that Mumford and Sons always could. Norther, their forthcoming album, has the potential to be just as uniting.

- Jof Owen

15
2024 | Anti-

Waxahatchee - Tigers Blood

In a world where everyone seems perfectly happy for HARDY to make ‘country’ records that sound like Linkin Park, while Katie Crutchfield and Jess Williamson’s The Plains record is almost entirely overlooked by the country mainstream, it’s unlikely that radio is going to get behind Waxahatchee’s forthcoming album; that’s their loss.

If the first single, ‘Right Back To It’, is anything to go by, then Tigers Blood will be one of the biggest, boldest and best country records released this year.

- Jof Owen

16
2024 | Big Machine

Conner Smith - Smoky Mountains

One of the most promising new acts in commercial country, Conner Smith’s debut album has been 23 years in the making.

Titled Smoky Mountains, a nod to the beautiful topography found in his home-state of Tennessee, the album already has its fair share of hits, from the Gold-certified ‘Take It Slow’ and his breakthrough hit ‘I Hate Alabama’, to his current Top 20 single, ‘Creek Will Rise’.

As new music has been drip-fed to us over the last few months, each track has displayed Smith’s penchant for clever, heartfelt songwriting that offers a little slice of life topped with an infectious melody.

- Lydia Farthing

For all the release dates of all the new and upcoming country albums in 2024, see below:

Written by Ross Jones
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