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The Country Albums to Look Forward to in 2024

January 22, 2024 11:07 am GMT
Last Edited April 17, 2024 10:36 am GMT

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We're only a quarter of the way through 2024 and we've already been inundated with some pretty strong country records, if we say so ourselves.

From the neo-traditional crooning of Zach Top's masterful debut and Ernest's long-awaited artistic manifesto, to the moving Joe Diffie tribute from many of the genre's best and Beyoncé's official foray into the country ranks, it's already been a year full of great strides within the format... and we're not even halfway done.

As the second quarter of 2024 gets underway, the next three months alone – similar to the last set – are once again packed to the brim with albums that will no doubt find their way onto our playlists and deep into our subconscious.

Now, we know you're wondering which of these projects are at the top of our list.

With our favorite guys 49 Winchester teeing up their highly-anticipated follow up and Megan Moroney all but confirming that her sophomore record is due to arrive any second, the country music gods have gifted us with quite an exciting next few months.

Here are the 11 country albums to look forward to in the Spring and Summer of 2024.

1
New West | 2024

49 Winchester - Leavin' This Holler

If the fact we've got a mention in the album title (thanks fellas) wasn't enough, we've been pretty psyched for a new 49 Winchester since we made Fortune Favours the Bold one of our albums of the year in 2022.

Two years on from their stellar New West label debut, the lads have barely unpacked their suitcases since venturing across the world to deliver one supreme live show after the other. It sounds like Leavin' This Holler will capture the band coming to terms with constantly being out on the road and spending a lot of time outside of their beloved Virginia.

'Yearnin' For You', the first taste we've had of this new music, certainly cements that notion. Across a rolling, bluegrass-inflected country rock beat, Isaac Gibson battles with the pressures of being away from home and a loved one, capturing the life and love of a band on the run in their tender and poignant way.

Be sure to mark August 2 on your calendars. The boys are coming home.

- Ross Jones

2

HARDY - TBC

One of country and rock's favorite love children is readying his next musical chapter, and to say we're excited would be an offensive understatement.

After confirming that this next effort would be his first full-length rock album, we've already gotten a few tastes of what's to come from the jarring spoken-word track 'QUIT!!' and his hybrid namecheck 'ROCKSTAR'. Together, they show two different sides to the same coin and provide an interesting first glimpse at what this 2024 project may have in store.

While little is known about HARDY’s impending rock era thus far, his shift to the genre doesn't come as too big of a surprise considering his 2023 LP, the mockingbird & THE CROW, took the shape of a dichotomous half country, half rock opus. Cleanly cut into two halves, the album served as a superb introduction to his rock sensibilities, producing hits such as 'JACK', 'TRUCK BED' and 'SOLD OUT', among others.

Taking to socials, the genre bender noted that the record would "be out before [his] tour starts", meaning that we'll be treated to this sure-to-be headbang worthy project sometime before May 30.

- Lydia Farthing

3
Big Machine Label group | 2024

Carly Pearce - hummingbird

Marking Carly Pearce's first full-length studio album since 2021's lauded 29: Written in Stone, her highly-anticipated return seems to be less of a continuation towards her infectious country-pop offerings and more a return to her Kentucky bluegrass roots based on its early releases.

Slated to include her Chris Stapleton-assisted, Grammy-nominated 'We Don't Fight Anymore', as well as the twangy 'country music made me do it', the vulnerable 'your place', the sassy 'heels over head' and the stunning title track, it's a project that has the makings of being her most complex and captivating yet.

Dubbed hummingbird and arriving on June 14, we're willing to bet that this is the Carly Pearce album that reminds everyone why she's one of the genre's leading ladies, one painstakingly relatable lyric at a time.

- LF

4
Melody Place / Born to Fly | 2024

Sara Evans - Unbroke

Come June, fans will see longtime country hitmaker Sara Evans back at it again. The ‘Born to Fly’ sensation will release her first collection of original material in seven years in the shape of Unbroke, an album that's set to be Evans’ most personal endeavor yet.

Largely inspired by the artist’s last few tumultuous years, Unbroke will find her examining her marriage and past relationships to tackle topics of trauma, abuse, reconciliation and healing. From the album’s gripping lead single, ‘Pride’, the record seems poised to cast Evans in a new, more vulnerable light, and ultimately, introduce to fans an even brighter star.

- Alli Patton

5
Legacy Recordings | 2024

Willie Nelson - The Border

Willie Nelson is set to release his 152nd album, The Border, on May 31. Dropping a month after the country icon celebrates his 91st birthday, the record will feature four new Nelson compositions, co-written by Buddy Cannon.

The title track – Nelson’s interpretation of Rodney Crowell’s ‘The Border’ – describes the inner life and outer reality of a border guard. His worldly take on the provocative song taps into an urgent universal relevancy that defines the record.

In keeping with his longstanding tradition of highlighting some of country music’s finest songwriters, The Border is rounded out with interpretations of songs written by Crowell, Shawn Camp and more.

- Laura Ord

6

Megan Moroney - TBC

“Been describing this album we’re making as Lucky’s cooler older cousin that can drink hehe,” Megan Moroney teased in a post at the end of March. It certainly doesn’t look like she'll be hanging about with the follow up to last year’s Lucky.

After adding three extra songs to her debut album in September, including the Mackenzie Carpenter duet ‘Nothin’ Crazy' and ‘Fix You Too’ with Kameron Marlowe, everyone’s favourite Georgia girl began teasing even more new music at the top of the year.

Having already released ‘No Caller ID’ and ‘28th June’ it seems like her sophomore album might be coming in 2024 after all, just one year on from Lucky. There’s no confirmation of a title or even a date yet, but she’s hinted that she's nearly finished the new album, sharing that she's “almost done writing my second record”.

She teased another new song, ‘Indifferent,’ written on the same day that she wrote ‘28th Of June’ with her trusted Jimmy James writing team – made up of Megan, Mackenzie Carpenter, Ben Williams and Micah Carpenter – in a post on her socials.

“The album is 98%, maybe 99% done," she recently told Billboard. "I’m just kind of tweaking the mixes and stuff."

She reveals very little about the forthcoming release, but hints: "There are no drastic changes in sound, but I do think the happy songs are happier and the sad songs are sadder. I think it’s a great look into the last year of my life and my songwriting... I do have someone pretty cool singing some background vocals on one of the songs.”

- Jof Owen

7

Lana Del Rey - Lasso

While all we know so far is that it’s coming out in September and it’s called Lasso, Lana Del Rey is definitely putting out a country record. She confirmed during a Billboard pre-Grammys event that the Jack Antonoff-produced project will arrive in the fall.

“If you can’t already tell by our award winners and our performers, the music business is going country. I knew it, I said it, it’s happening,” she told the whooping crowd. “That’s why Jack has followed me to Muscle Shoals, Nashville and Mississippi these last four years.”

There’s no tracklist yet, but in January Lana Del Rey shared a snippet of an unreleased song, ‘Henry, Come On’, via Instagram that feels like it could fit the brief. The sparse, atmospheric clip finds Lana losing patience with her partner, as she croons, “Do you think I’d really choose it? All of this off and on? Henry, come on”.

In December of last year, Lana Del Rey released a cover of John Denver's iconic sing-a-long anthem, ‘Country Roads, Take Me Home’, which many saw as her first major foray into the genre. Even so, Lana has spoken in the past about how she views some of her back catalogue as having country influences, revealing in a 2021 interview with MOJO, “I went back and listened to ‘Ride’ and ‘Video Games’ and thought, you know, they’re kind of country. I mean, they’re definitely not pop”.

She’s also covered Tammy Wynette’s 1968 pop crossover smash ‘Stand By Your Man,’ and she, Nikki Lane and Sierra Ferrell have performed an unreleased song called ‘Prettiest Girl in Country Music’, inspired by an encounter Lane had with an older man.

“Nikki told me a little story about him”, she told the crowd at Nikki Lane’s show at Sam’s Town Point in Austin, Texas, last January. “He had a little meeting with her and he crept a little too close to her, and he said, 'How does it feel to be the prettiest girl in country music?' and I was like, 'bleh!' so immediately I wrote a little chorus and then we expanded".

Jack Antonoff himself has also dipped his toes in country before, working with Taylor Swift and producing the Chicks’ 2020 album Gaslighter, so we can’t wait to see what the pair of them come up with on Lasso.

- JO

8

Post Malone - TBC

Ever since they discovered the grainy, lo-fi videos of a young, unknown artist named Austin Post, covering Bob Dylan’s ‘Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright’ and Hank Williams’ ‘There’s A Tear in My Beer’, fans have been begging a certain hip hop phenom to release a country project.

Now known worldwide as Post Malone, with eight Diamond-certified singles under his belt, the time has finally come for him to drop his debut country album.

After dipping his toes into the genre during the 2023 CMA Awards with his swaggering take on Joe Diffie’s ‘Pick-Up Man’, Posty has been teasing blockbuster collaborations with Luke Combs (‘Ain’t Got A Guy For That’) and Morgan Wallen (‘I Had Some Help’). Both have promptly gone viral, and with rumoured guests including ERNEST, Brad Paisley, HARDY and Jelly Roll, this record is shaping up to be a seismic, game-changing moment for country music.

There’s no release date as of yet, but with the frequency of Post Malone’s unreleased teasers picking up pace and his highly anticipated Stagecoach set looming at the end of April, it seems Posty’s country album is being readied for a late Spring/early Summer release.

- Maxim Mower

9

Lainey Wilson - TBC

Lainey Wilson fans have been chomping at the bit for the highly-anticipated follow-up to her 2022 success Bell Bottom Country. While she most recently satiated them with the insta-hit ‘Country’s Cool Again’, she’s also promised more to come.

Little is yet known about the forthcoming effort from the ‘Watermelon Moonshine’ star, but she has confirmed she’s hard at work on one. Sporadically, she has even dropped a few hints of what we can expect from a forthcoming project, like the inspiration behind it and how it will compare to her breakout opus.

Inspired in part by her years-long relationship with beau, Devlin ‘Duck’ Hodges, followers can expect more loved-up offerings in the collection. She has also said she’s ready for a change, perhaps gearing up to break her own mold. “This next record, it needs to be different,” she revealed of the project. “It needs to be a step up. It needs to show a different side of me”.

We’re hopeful to get a glimpse of this “different side” sooner rather than later.

- AP

10
Ramseur Records / American Recordings | 2024

The Avett Brothers - The Avett Brothers

Typically you can expect a self-titled album to be released early in the artist’s career - a debut project or when they feel like they’ve found their footing and their ‘sound’. The body of work is a statement piece, bearing the name of the artist as it’s title, showing the world who they are.

After more than two decades, The Avett Brothers have announced their self-titled album, mirroring their first EP released in 2000.

The Avett Brothers is the band’s first full-length album in five years and marks a return to their original label Ramseur Records. The first single, ‘Love of a Girl,’ is an up-tempo indie-rock jam reminiscent of the early 2000’s and is sure to sound incredible at one of the band’s upcoming summer shows.

- LO

11
Warner | 2024

Orville Peck - Stampede

Orville's back! With a duets album! FEATURING WILLIE NELSON?!

Having just signed to Warner, Peck is returning with his first new music since his 2022 record, Bronco. A collaborative album featuring some of his favourite artists and closest friends, Peck is once again breaking the mould for what a country artist is expected to be.

Brewed out of collaborations with the Outlaw himself, Willie invited Orville to record a version of Ned Sublette's 'Cowboys Are Frequently Secretly Fond of Each Other' together, inspiring Peck to explore the potential of a complete duets project. It's suitable then that the first taste of the album would be that very song, complete with a stunning video featuring both stars.

Never one to stick to the traditional format, this duets album will show us another side to the the masked troubadour.

- RJ

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

Written by Lydia Farthing
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