The Best Roots Music Albums of 2024 (So Far) (2024)

We’ve just passed the midpoint of 2024, and as we hurtle toward another six months of stellar roots music releases, we thought we’d take a moment to appreciate all that have come so far this year.

We asked No Depression’s staff and contributors to vote for their personal top 10 roots music releases of 2024 so far, and, as expected and greatly appreciated, they shared a wide variety of favorites. The 10 albums on the list below are what came up most often, and most passionately, on their lists. Each album is followed by an excerpt of our coverage from the time of its release; you can click the album title in the heading to check out the full review or story.

You’ll probably see some favorites of your own on this list, and we hope you discover some new music to love, too. Keep listening, keep reading, and keep note: We’ll ask you for your favorites in our Year-End Readers Poll toward the end of 2024!

10. Kacey Musgraves – Deeper Well

Musgraves’ mellow, soothing vocals draw listeners into the emotional soundscapes she so colorfully paints, inviting them to look deep within their own wells of loneliness, hope, and love. — Henry Carrigan

The Best Roots Music Albums of 2024 (So Far) (1)

9. Aoife O’Donovan – All My Friends

All My Friends serves as a tribute to the U.S. Constitution’s 19th Amendment, which a century ago outlawed voter discrimination based on gender, thereby granting women the right to vote. O’Donovan honors this history through excerpts of original texts, personal narratives, and more instrumentation than ever before. — Hilary Saunders

The Best Roots Music Albums of 2024 (So Far) (2)

8. Bonny Light Horseman – Keep Me on Your Mind / See You Free

In contrast to many of history’s most famous double albums,Keep Me onYour Mind/See You Freerepresents more of a refinement than a reinvention for Bonny Light Horseman. Anaïs Mitchell, Eric D. Johnson, and Josh Kaufman continue to center gorgeous harmonies and focus on universal themes like love, desire, and the cruel, beautiful passing of time.— Tom Williams

The Best Roots Music Albums of 2024 (So Far) (3)

7. Swamp Dogg – Blackgrass: From West Virginia to 125th Street

ThroughoutBlackgrass, as is the case with most of Swamp Dogg’s albums, the risqué mixes with the poignant. It’s a refreshing reminder that we all contain multitudes, that comedy and tragedy do often share the same bed.— Michael Elliott

The Best Roots Music Albums of 2024 (So Far) (4)

6. Willi Carlisle – Critterland

Declaiming like a medieval bard on his evocative new album,Critterland, Carlisle finds the union between his past life as a poet and his current role as a troubadour.— Rachel Cholst

The Best Roots Music Albums of 2024 (So Far) (5)

5. Madi Diaz – Weird Faith

Weird Faithsinks into all the cracks of a person’s psyche as they navigate the uneven terrain of intimacy. “This is your brain on love,” Diaz seems to be saying in these songs. —Maeri Ferguson

The Best Roots Music Albums of 2024 (So Far) (6)

4. Sierra Ferrell – Trail of Flowers

Wanting to feel settled but wanting to chase every opportunity is sort of the conundrum of trying to “make it” as an artist, and this is the line Sierra Ferrell finds herself straddling on Trail of Flowers, a full-hearted collection of songs sung straight from the chest. — Maeri Ferguson

The Best Roots Music Albums of 2024 (So Far) (7)

3. Waxahatchee – Tigers Blood

Katie Crutchfield is utterly present onTigers Blood, at ease even when she’s mining the prickly stuff of relationships, insecurities, and self-acceptance. Her powerful voice is especially grounded by harmonies from MJ Lenderman, which fit as perfectly as clasped hands with Crutchfield’s own.— Maeri Ferguson

The Best Roots Music Albums of 2024 (So Far) (8)

2. Sarah Jarosz – Polaroid Lovers

Polaroid Lovers, the seventh studio album from the prolific songwriter with a voice of gold, is Nashville through and through. It has the buoyancy and spirit of the best ’90s country confections. Whether or not Jarosz meant to pay tribute to the Martinas, the Trishas, and the Pattys,Polaroid Loverslistens like a love letter to the sound they mastered.—Maeri Ferguson

The Best Roots Music Albums of 2024 (So Far) (9)

1. Hurray for the Riff Raff – The Past Is Still Alive

The Past Is Still Alive finds Alynda Segarra looking inward, exploring their own life and processing loss and the passage of time. Full of vivid lyrical imagery and taut, direct arrangements, the 11 tracks onThe Past Is Still Alivemake for a compelling and emotionally affecting listening experience. — Jim Shahen

Read more about The Past Is Still Alive in this interview that ran in ND’s Spring 2024 journal.

The Best Roots Music Albums of 2024 (So Far) (10)

Thanks to the No Depression staff and contributors whose good ears and thoughtful votes went into creating this list: ND managing editor Hilary Saunders and assistant editor Stacy Chandler; columnists Peter Blackstock, Henry Carrigan, Chris Griffy, and Amos Perrine; reviewers John Amen, Noah Berlatsky, Lyndon Bolton, Rachel Cholst, Nick Cristiano, Michael Elliott, Maeri Ferguson, Avery Gregurich, Alli Patton, Kyle Petersen, Nancy Posey, and Jon Young, and photographers Peter Dervin and C. Elliott.

The Best Roots Music Albums of 2024 (So Far) (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Mrs. Angelic Larkin

Last Updated:

Views: 5644

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (47 voted)

Reviews: 86% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Mrs. Angelic Larkin

Birthday: 1992-06-28

Address: Apt. 413 8275 Mueller Overpass, South Magnolia, IA 99527-6023

Phone: +6824704719725

Job: District Real-Estate Facilitator

Hobby: Letterboxing, Vacation, Poi, Homebrewing, Mountain biking, Slacklining, Cabaret

Introduction: My name is Mrs. Angelic Larkin, I am a cute, charming, funny, determined, inexpensive, joyous, cheerful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.