Music News

The Qobuz Guide to June 2024

Every month, the Qobuz editorial team identifies the releases not to be missed, in all genres.

Jess Rotter June 24


Marina Allen’s incredible third record, Eight Pointed Star, is, simply put, one of the best folk releases of the year, and arrived with far too little fanfare. Today!, made long after Skip James’ supposed prime, shows his mastery outlasted pop America’s obsession with the art form he helped create. Enjoy it in newly remastered hi-res audio. Linda Thompson, robbed of her ability to sing by spasmodic dysphonia, enlists an incredible wealth of singers to perform a new collection of her wry and brilliantly-penned songs. Decades after their first and only release, Staples Jr. Singers reunite for Searching, a masterful gospel record tinged with God-fearing country blues. The first four albums from the late O.B. McClinton, the self-described “Chocolate Cowboy”—who before his days as a recording artist was a songwriter for Stax—are newly remastered and available digitally for the first time. Lore has it that McClinton ran away from home to Memphis at age 14 to pursue his country star dreams.


An amalgamation of players and styles, Beings live in a perfect warp zone between rock and free jazz on There is a Garden. Julius Rodriguez couldn’t possibly recreate a live show so enthralling, and so filled with vibrancy and joy for both bebop and funk, and yet here we are with Evergreen. Love Changes Everything, Dirty Three‘s first album in 12 years, will not only enthrall longtime fans but provides some of their best post-rock/jazz material in their storied career. Outer Spaceways Incorporated: Kronos Quartet & Friends Meet Sun Ra, the fourth entry in the incredibly crafted Sun Ra tribute series, proves that these aren’t just covers but respectful journeys into Ra’s powerful catalog. The abstract, exploratory latter half of Joni Mitchell’s jazz period—The Asylum Albums 1976-1980—may have turned off some of the pop-folk crowd, but it stands as a vital era of her singular career.


The long-awaited Peggy Gou debut full-length, I Hear You, mashes up the best parts of any sun-soaked dance party where the DJ is doing it right. Known for melding genres like rap and R&B, Kaytranada demonstrates on Timeless that he has perfected them as well. A leftfield producer and an R&B singer walk into a bar... and create one of the best hazy, relaxing ambient records of 2024; this is no joke, it’s Black Decelerant’s Reflections Vol. 2. É. Motherway present a dubby, trippy and dialed-back set of killers on Dilapidation, distinguished from so many other ambient projects by the differentiation in ideas from song to song. b_b, the transporting debut EP from Yetsuby, the solo project of South Korean producer Yejin Jang, simultaneously feels like another dimension and also the key to unlocking its mysteries.


Strut of Kings is the first—and supposedly only—Guided By Voices record of 2024, and Robert Pollard has made it count. The Ohio rockers’ 40th (or 41st or 42nd ... we lost count) album is packed with anthems-in-waiting replete with big, hooky choruses and powerful, crunching guitars. Deciding to release a self-titled double album in their fifth decade as a band could only come from the minds of the irreverent, influential and irresistible Redd Kross. Brothers Jeff and Steven McDonald, who were 15 and 11 respectively when they started Redd Kross, continue their mastery of earworm melodies and killer riffs. Cola’s slick production does wonders to show just how groovy and enchanting their post punk/indie rock songs really are. MONO’s return to the core of their cinematic post-punk would seem redundant, but their command of the craft has never shined so brightly. The first three albums from seminal Oregon punk band Dead Moon are lovingly remastered in 24-bit Hi-Res audio by their longtime engineer Timothy Stollenwerk, who unearths new depth without compromising any of the lo-fi allure.


On the stunning Big For You, Zsela’s voice and careful selection of off-kilter ideas combine for a rousing, passionate and mesmerizing R&B debut. John Cale’s long-term fascination with electronic music culminates in some of his best later-career works while exploring the deepest rifts of his songwriting on POPtical Illusion. Angélica Garcia touches on indie while still recalling her Mexican-Salvadoran roots on the tender and beautiful Gemelo. Describing their music as “future soul” does not change how adept Hiatus Kayote is at using elements from all parts of funk, soul, jazz, R&B and, most importantly, fun on Love Heart Cheat Code. Set over upbeat club music, the lyrics in Charli XCX’s sixth studio album BRAT range from blunt and fun to intimate and vulnerable, making it possibly her best work yet. Caroline Shaw + Sō Percussion team up for a second album, Rectangles and Circumstance. Perceptible and abstract evolutions of song unfold as layers are built using musical fragments, samples of instrumentation and found sounds and lyrics sourced from 19th century poems.


Conductor Klaus Mäkelä and violinist Janine Jansen, along with the Oslo Philharmonic, deliver a magnificent album dedicated to Sibelius and Prokofiev. Pianist Saskia Giorgini brings French impressionistic paintings to life on Debussy’s Images. British horn player Martin Owen is joined by Francesca Dego (violin) and Alessandro Taverna (piano) for not-so-common repertoire on Brahms, Ligeti, Mozart, Schumann: Horn Trios, truly putting the spotlight on the French horn and its versatility. Star soloists and friends Benjamin Grosvenor (piano), Nicola Benedetti (violin), and Sheku Kanneh-Mason (cello) team up to perform Beethoven’s Triple Concerto under the direction of Finnish conductor Santtu-Matias Rouvali along with the Philharmonia Orchestra. On Stradella: Mottetti, the Concerto Italiano performs short motets by Italian composer Stradella under the direction of Rinaldo Alessandrini. In his latest album, composer and conductor Joe Hisaishi shares a world premiere recording of his Symphony No. 2 and a recording of his Viola Saga featuring renowned violist Antoine Tamestit with the Wiener Symphoniker. A new volume of Julius Eastman recordings performed by the Los Angeles music collective wild Up continues to shine a light onto the late, minimalist composer.

More Favorites

Japanese composer Eiko Ishibashi teams up for a second time with filmmaker Ryusuke Hamaguchi to score his eco-thriller Evil Does Not Exist. With an assist from her frequent collaborator Jim O’Rourke, Ishibashi masterfully builds tension with subtle touches of menace that can stand on its own, removed from its visual counterpart. Previous Industries—Open Mike Eagle, Video Dave, and Still Rift—wax nostalgic about ‘80s and ‘90s big-box-store mall culture with verses chock full of pop culture references. And along the way, complex and less fuzzy feelings about consumerism are unlocked and reckoned with. The name of the band (and album) says everything and more about The Joy, the incredible vocal-forward South African collective. The incendiary live shows of Australia’s Royal Headache are preserved here via What’s Your Rupture? Records, who released the soulful punk band’s two albums in the 2010s. Live in America is a great artifact of a band that only performed a few dozen shows in North America. Sibiir mix D-beat hardcore with soaring metallic riffs to create one of the most compelling underground aggressive releases of the year.

Written by Jeff Laughlin, Sujan Hong, Nitha Viraporn/Qobuz USA