Releases We’re Looking Forward to in Early 2024

As 2023 comes to a close, we can’t help but look forward to what’s to come next year. New music is on the horizon, here are some album releases we’re excited about for early 2024.

Kali UchisOrquídeas

There are two versions of Kali Uchis, musically speaking. One of them drops gems of futuristic soul and psychedelic funk, rubbing shoulders with Gorillaz, Thundercat and BadBadNotGood. That’s the one that stands out on 2018’s surprising debut album Isolation. The other is the one that connects with her Latin roots, singing in Spanish and addressing both the traditional and the popular, from bolero to reggaeton, like the one that takes over 2020’s Sin Miedo (del Amor y otros Demonios), inspired by a book by García Márquez that was published when she was born. In many ways, one completes the other: Kali wouldn’t be the artist she is without those two versions of her.


Earlier this year, Kali Uchis released her third album, the groovy and astrology-inspired Red Moon in Venus. It was a return to her neo-soul vibe, singing in English, although with some Spanglish. So somehow we knew what the Colombian-American singer’s next step would be. That’s Orquídeas, her new “Latin” album, announced for this January 12. We’ve already been enjoying her advance singles. First, it was Muñekita, a bouncy dembow track with some reggaeton – featuring American rapper JT and Dominican singer El Alfa. Then followed the classic bolero “Te Mata” and its Latin soap opera atmosphere. And finally we got “Labios Mordidos”, an urban Latin bomb with the Colombian star Karol G.


Helado Negro – Phasor

Roberto Carlos Lange, better known by his stage name Helado Negro, has a difficult challenge with his next record. The thing is that Phasor, his eighth full-length studio album announced for February 9, has to follow none other than 2021’s Far In, which is probably his most accomplished and complete work to date. Of course, it’s a nice challenge for someone with the talent of the Ecuadorian-American singer-songwriter, who’s encouraged after releasing a multicolored album that encapsulates soul, ambient, pop, electronica, bossa nova, jazz, funk and hip-hop, always with his subtle, swaying and silky style.


Released last October, “LFO (Lupe Finds Oliveros)” was the first preview of his upcoming album. The steady pulse of psych-rock, fueled by valve-warmed guitars and relentless tambourines, seems to be a departure from the refined dance rhythms of Far In. The song is inspired by two women: the minimalist composer and ambient pioneer Pauline Oliveros, known for her concept of Deep Listening, and Lupe López, a woman who worked for Fender in the 50s building amplifiers that today have become legendary. Different is what we felt last month when his second single “I Just Want To Wake Up With You” came out, once again placing Lange’s voice between that soft groove and that tiny but always bearable swagger, to support this letter from homely love, in an ode to domestic life.


Brittany Howard What Now

Let’s take a chance on this: if Prince were alive, he’d be jamming with Brittany Howard. It’s not that the Alabama Shakes frontwoman is cool now because she always was. The feeling is that she has found broader freedom since she went solo, leaning towards more danceable beats, letting other producers reimagine her songs, updating her sound and avoiding the easy link with the retro wave of her band on hiatus. Just check out her acclaimed debut album, 2019’s Jaime, to play before and after: from roots blues to psychedelic funk, from southern rock to synth rock, from soul to neo-soul. Everything ventures to the extreme, even her voice, heartfelt and powerful like no other.


The bass hits straight to the chest, and the groove can no longer be stopped: “What Now” was the first single, like a bomb of rubbery and sticky funk, released last October and titled the same as her new album. “It was written during the pandemic, when the question ‘What now?’ was on all of our minds,” explains Brittany Howard on her YouTube page. “I think it’s a feeling that has continued to the present moment in the world we live in. It’s also the title of the new album.” Her second single “Red Flags” joined the cause in the middle of last month, providing oriental epic and tribal beats. Scheduled for February 2, What Now promises to take everything to another level, closer to the future. 


Amaro Freitas Y’Y

Avant-garde jazz celebrates the arrival of a new album by Amaro Frietas. Originally from the coastal city of Recife, in northeastern Brazil, this talented pianist and composer highlights the influence of the cultures of Pernambuco and the Amazon in his work, to complete a musical lineage essentially inspired by minimalism, bebop and Afrojazz. Scheduled for March 1, Y’Y was defined by its author as an “homage to the forest, especially the Amazon Forest, and the rivers of Northern Brazil.” A call to nature. “A call to live, feel, respect, and care for nature, recognizing it as our ancestor,” he completes. Y’Y speaks to the importance of the water, the river, and our environment and how the conservation of the Brazilian rainforest is an answer to the reality of our climate struggles.


A month ago, Amaro released “Encantados”, an instrumental single that references the idea of enchantment – an attempt to recreate the incandescent power of enchanted spirits that intervene on behalf of the community in times of struggle. Featuring Shabaka Hutchings on flute, Hamid Drake on drums, and Aniel Someillan on acoustic bass, “Encantados” celebrates the African diaspora and reinforces how traditions are part of who we are, whether in the way we connect with our roots or how we understand sound as a powerful ancestor. Y’Y is part of the “decolonized” Brazilian jazz saga that Freitas began charting with previous recording projects like 2018’s Rasif and 2021’s Sankofa.