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#IMPresents: The Best of Q1 2024

The first part of 2024 is done, and we have already had some great music. We’ve been graced with some indie-rock goodness, lyrical hip-hop, and everything in between. It may be early on, but some of our faves of 2024 are contained in this list. So, without further ado, here are our writer’s favourite singles and albums of the last three months.

Santiago Abad

Best Song: IDLES – POP POP POP

The song that has defined my 2024 experience so far has to be ‘POP POP POP‘ by IDLES. They brought a new sound with an eerie yet mellow quality to the track. The lyrics feel more like poetic flowing verse than typical song lyrics. The conversation that IDLES continues to have about vulnerability maintains its relevance more and more every day. “Strong Like A Bull / Vu-Vu-Vulnerable,” are the lyrics that stuck with me particularly. A rock band with such harrowing imagery in their lyrics manages to bring those images and metaphors toward a broader, kinder message. Their portrayal of rock and punk music is a very honest one, with no makeup or extras added.

Best Album: The Last Dinner Party – Prelude to Ecstasy

The album that I haven’t been able to stop listening to has been ‘Prelude to Ecstasy‘ by The Last Dinner Party. The amount of great tracks is astounding for a debut album. From ‘Nothing Matters‘, the track that brought them into the spotlight, to the rock-infused ‘My Lady of Mercy‘, each song has its own identity while also fitting into the greater whole of the album. The LP took me on a journey of hedonism, eroticism, and the feminine experience, accompanied by powerful riffs and the commanding vocals of Abigail Morris. I can’t wait to see what The Last Dinner Party will come up with on their sophomore album and in the years to come.

Esme Watson

Best Song: Janna Jamison – Bambi Eyes

As I have previously picked Janna Jamison for some of my favourite tunes in the past, it is only fair that ‘Bambi Eyes’, her newest single, is my top song for this quarter. Janna is based in LA and has been doing several intimate gigs to showcase her new music. In addition to her latest single, she is working on releasing her upcoming EP, ‘Lovesuite’.

This track captures the plucky, female rage-fueled 90s rock perfectly. Demonstrated in the self-aware lyrics, it reveals the harsh reality of a relationship with someone who might be a little older. However, Janna puts all her feelings on show, something that works in the talented musician’s favour. Undeniably, it acts as the perfect tune to accompany powerful air guitar and angrily singing into a hairbrush.

Best Album: Faye Webster – Underdressed at the Symphony

If there is anything Faye Webster can do it’s transport you from your bedroom to the dreamiest bar gig in the world. This is no different for her latest album, ‘Underdressed at the Symphony’. It makes it impossible to not get swept up in the intricate details of every guitar strum and starry-eyed lyric. She seems to have perfected what she already does so well.

Additionally, Faye seems more adventurous on this record. While her transcending sound is as prominent as ever, there are a few tunes that pull listeners out of the meditative whirlpool to listen to exactly what she has to say. Just like her previous works, the enchanting singer’s silky voice makes everything she says so sincere in a way that makes listeners feel understood.

Kloe Paton

Best Song: Little Simz – Mood Swings

Don’t put Little Simz into a box… ever. With thudding production that feels like you’re in an underground nightclub, partnered with the London MCs signature slick lyricism, Simz opens ‘Drop 7‘ with a bang. Once heard, never forgotten, this song lets her creative energy take us where it needs to go. Chaotic yet calculated, threatening yet calm, she lets her haters know she can’t be minimised.

Best Album: ScHoolboy Q – BLUE LIPS

Whether you’re a longtime ScHoolboy Q fan, or just peripherally aware of his work, I invite you to listen to this labyrinth of a comeback project. ‘BLUE LIPS‘ showcases the many creative faces of the LA rapper, and houses ‘pieces’ rather than singles and filler. You can replay this album ten times and still peel back new layers. This is my favourite project the TDE star has ever released, and that’s a bold statement.

He darts between hypnotic flows, beats, and melodies at breakneck speed, leaving listeners enraptured. This album showcases personal growth and self-awareness, leaning into introspective, dark themes but then flips into brash, rage-filled hype episodes.

Favourite songs right now: ‘THank god 4 me‘, ‘Movie‘, and ‘Blueslides‘.

Peter Wellman

Best Song: Remi Wolf – Cinderella

It’s difficult to describe Remi Wolf. She’s hit the slightly too large to be small time yet not well-known enough to be a household figure. However, for any fans of tongue-in-cheek funk-influenced pop that oozes personality, her latest song, ‘Cinderella‘, will delight. This newest offering includes a football whistle, a horn section, and a deeply delightful drum section that encapsulates joy. The Cali singer set herself up for a big summer, with this releasing ahead of opening for Olivia Rodrigo on her tour (which you have to have ‘Guts‘ for). 

Remi’s music encapsulates an attitude best summed up as ‘vibe, vibe against the dying of the light’. There is no filter, just pure happiness in her songwriting and lyrics, which makes songs like this one. Also, the music video has Mac DeMarco as an ice cream man, which suits him. I refuse to explain why.  

Best Album: Lime Garden – One More Thing

Do you want a homegrown indie album that draws from post-punk rather than mid-2000s indie? Do you want an LP from the dispossessed youth of today, dripping in heavy guitar and distorted synths? The answer to that is Lime Garden; a band that I have been following for a while. They have finally released their debut record, ‘One More Thing‘, and it is everything that was expected plus more. 

From the bare guitars and the heavily doctored vocals on ‘Mother‘, to the incredibly catchy and driving drums on ‘Pop Star‘, they give us more of the British ‘crank wave’. It’s a genre that grew out of post-punk, sharing a common heritage with IDLES, Yard Act, and Dry Cleaning. This disillusioned post-Brexit new-wave comes across in songs such as ‘Floor‘, an electronic medley of fun production techniques that have lyrics that pull from the constant drag of life. If Remi Wolf finds joy in the hotel lobby, Lime Garden is driving down an A-Road after work screaming at the top of their lungs following 9-hour shifts. With gorgeous melodies and clever production, this is a record from a band with a job. But after clocking out, there is still a deep desire to keep playing even though life is not paying.  

Thomas Atkinson

Best Song: Nia Archives – Crowded Roomz/ Ghetts FT. Sampha – Double Standards

I’ve been incredibly indecisive, and some would say greedy here, but I was stuck between these two tracks. The former from the ‘Emotional Junglist’, is one of several great teasers of her upcoming debut album. Its melancholic production and lyrics fit the theme of feeling secluded at a rave, highlighting that there is more to dance music than a good beat. Nia’s music hits on a real level and continues to show the emotional power of jungle.

Meanwhile, Ghetts has returned with another great body of work, but ‘Double Standards‘ is the standout. The production is very minimal, allowing the artists to do their thing and their words to take centre stage. Sampha provides his usual soulful delivery on the chorus, while the leading man provides a cool and calm performance. His lyricism is on point here, whether referencing Islamophobia, Palestine, or his own music. The Newham MC has always been a top-class lyricist, and this single once again proves that.

Best Album: Potter Payper – Thanks For Hating

After delivering one of the best albums of 2023 (and not getting the credit from certain organisations), Potter came to show he means business. A sequel to ‘Thanks For Waiting‘, the Barking rapper consistently delivers lyrically and flow-wise. ‘Trench P‘ delivers as a banger and flex track, ‘Kid In A Court‘ reflects on his come-up with hard-hitting rhymes, and ‘Rappers Will Be Rappers‘ is calming in tone, yet commanding in its themes. The project is filled top to bottom with top-class hip-hop and shows why Potter Payper is one of the greatest of his generation.

You can read our picks for the best of 2023 here.

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