Indie Music

‘I’d take a mediocre album rather than nothing!’: the new music readers want to hear in 2024

Sometimes the best new music comes from old favourites: 2023 saw a Rolling Stones album, André 3000’s ambient flute solo debut, a Paramore comeback, and Jai Paul’s return to the stage.

Now, in 2024, there’ll be returns from mega pop names such as Dua Lipa alongside scuzzier cult faves such as Idles, so we asked readers who else they want to hear new music from – whether it’s someone who hasn’t released a single track in decades, or a newcomer to the industry who is yet to release a full length album.

Archie Shepp

I had the pleasure of hearing Archie Shepp and Jason Moran at the Charlie Parker jazz festival in Tompkins Square Park in Manhattan two years ago. One of the last great jazz saxophonists, Shepp sang and played his instrument, performing some of the classic spirituals such as Sometimes I feel Like a Motherless Child and Go Down Moses. His renditions brought me to tears, as I felt the deep meaning behind them in a way that only a refugee, a migrant, a victim of human trafficking or a permanently marginalised minority group would know. The musical wisdom and genius of octogenarian Shepp shone through every single note. Just beautiful. Holger Henke, 63, Jamaica

Sam Fender

After teasing a third album throughout 2023, Sam Fender fans eagerly anticipate new music. Alongside his recent string of exceptional live performances, Fender’s two previous albums have built his status as one of music’s most exciting prospects with a particularly powerful ability to connect with his listener. From rousing anthems such as Seventeen Going Under, which touches on the shared disillusionment of youth to the raw explorations of difficult subjects seen in songs such as Dead Boys, Fender’s emotive songwriting is refreshingly meaningful, and as such it will be exciting to see how album three compares. Lalita, Nottingham

Ariana Grande

I’ve had a stressful six months and discovering that, actually, this teeny pop princess with her whistle notes and high pony has cheered me up no end. Thank U, Next is a banger and a half and I’m dying for a new album to pop on and bob about to. Frances, 31, London

Wet Leg

Their first album lived up to the hype of the early singles. I mean, that isn’t just me; not only did they win Brit awards, they won Grammys! Blimey. I’m glad they haven’t rushed a new album out and I know they had a bit of burnout. But as a middle-aged person, they were the first band that had genuinely excited me since I first heard their labelmates Arctic Monkeys’ song I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor. I twice had tickets to see Wet Leg and both times had to pull out, so hopefully a new album would mean a new tour. Antony, 48, Staffordshire

Ayra Starr

Afrobeats and amapiano are currently among the popular music genres in many of Europe’s multicultural cities; Afrobeats also influences many local artists in Europe and the US. Ayra Starr has an amazing voice, therefore she is asked to be a featuring artist on songs of many other international artists including David Guetta, and in the UK, Stormzy and Leigh-Anne of Little Mix. Starr is still young; she’s only 21 years old. Perhaps one day she can become as successful as Beyoncé or Rihanna. René Romer, Rotterdam, Netherlands

My Bloody Valentine

It’s been 10 years since the last album was released andit was as good as their first few records from the 80s and 90s. But I don’t know how much longer I can wait for the new stuff. It’s making me very angry. I have been a huge fan of Kevin Shields and MBV for many years – he’s one of my favourite artists ever. I feel their music is genuinely transcendental. Even just one new song would be a blessing, the man is an undisputed musical genius on a par with Hendrix, Gershwin, Coltrane, Brian Wilson etc. Hurry up and release new stuff now! Patrick, 47, Farnborough

The Cure

I would finally like to see the Cure release the album Robert Smith has been promising for more years than he should have. In concert, the new songs sounded very Disintegration-y. That was the first album I found less than interesting from them, lyrically and musically. Nevertheless, I would like to hear what he and his mates have managed. Of course, be careful what you wish for, right? Smith has probably tinkered the album to death since he first promised it. Woods, Munich, Germany

Michael Kiwanuka

Some artists come along and immediately feel like a link to the greats. Michael Kiwanuka is the real deal. He’s making music that I never tire of listening to; you can tell how much he cares about his craft. But we’ve not had a new album for years – despite seeing him in Glasgow last year. He’s a joy of a man and a peerless musician. In my head, he’s agonising over every chord of his next album. Come on Michael – I’d take a mediocre album rather than nothing! Stephen Cuffe, 59, Glasgow

Nick Cave

But specifically, a Nick Cave disco album. It’s long been a dream of mine, and I even once spoke about it with Bad Seed Jim Sclavunos after accidentally meeting him at a Martin Rev show. I’m still vaguely holding out hope. Apart from anything else, it would be the most un-Nick Cave thing he could do, and I know he likes to Kick Against the Pricks. Right now his music is the most anti-disco it’s ever been, so I’ve decided to start making it myself. If Nick Cave reads this, tell him to get in touch. Horton Jupiter, the Wirral

Kate Bush

I need to know what’s been brewing in that extraordinary imagination for the past 13 years. I couldn’t possibly say what I’d want or expect a new Kate Bush album to be like. After all, the last one was all about snow. I know to expect the unexpected; to be introduced to a perspective on life, death and everything in between which I could never have dreamed of, and yet recognise as completely true. I love a great variety of music but for me Kate’s artistry is unique in its ability to astonish, challenge, even frighten me. It is never just a nice sound, it is a full sensory experience; deeply emotional but never sentimental. Jane Clements Womack, 41, Sheffield

The Sundays

The Sundays released three LPs of gentle, jangly indie between 1990-1997, with not a peep since, though they said in an interview they were writing new music. That was nine years ago, which should be enough time for them to have cobbled together an album. As a teenager I was mildly obsessed with their blend of intricate guitar, singer Harriet Wheeler’s angelic vocals and their very English, sometimes nonsensical, lyrics. I often listen to their beautiful, blissed out music when experiencing turbulence on a plane; as the last few years have felt like the whole world has been going through bumpy air, a new Sundays album would be very welcome indeed. Ciaran Norris, 40s, Dun Laoghaire, Ireland

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