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Best Songs Of 2024: 10 Great Tracks That Define The Year
List & Guides

Best Songs Of 2024: 10 Great Tracks That Define The Year

From nu-disco chart-toppers to sharp-tongued diss tracks, the best songs of 2024 proves that musical creativity is in rude health.

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With 2024 well underway, music fans have been caught up in a whirlwind of welcome shocks and eye-popping surprises: dance-pop superstars such as Dua Lipa and Ariana Grande have already made bold comebacks, and Beyoncé has dared to switch genres completely. It seems everyone is keen to shake up pop culture with remarkable reinventions. At the same time, viral sleeper hits born on TikTok have stormed the charts, while deeply affecting folk-pop duets have tugged at heartstrings and legendary rock icons, such as Green Day, have reclaimed their crowns with defiant new anthems. We’ve listened to it all and selected the best songs of 2024 – the anthems and the unexpected gems that have shaken up the music world.

Listen to our Charts playlist here, and check out our best songs of 2024, below.

10: The Black Keys: Beautiful People (Stay High)

Scoring Ohio-based garage-rockers The Black Keys their seventh No.1 on the US Alternative Airplay chart, Beautiful People (Stay High) sees the duo team up with former Gorillaz producer Dan The Automator and the genre-spanning songwriter Beck. “No matter who we work with, it never feels like we’re sacrificing who we are,” Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach told NME. “It only feels like it adds some special flavour.” As the bluesy lead single from their 12th studio album, Ohio Players, Beautiful People (Stay High) is one of many funk-based collaborations recorded by The Black Keys during highly fruitful sessions in Nashville, proving that the group continue to creatively straddle the lines between primal roots-rock and experimental genre fusion. If the alt-rap swagger of Beautiful People (Stay High) is anything to go by, The Black Keys remain as adventurous as ever.

9: Ariana Grande: yes, and?

Recorded in Jungle City Studios, in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, Ariana Grande’s comeback single, yes, and?, kicked off the campaign for her seventh album, Eternal Sunshine, in January 2024. It also marks the start of an incredibly busy year for the Florida-born pop singer, who has also taken a starring role in this year’s blockbuster film adaptation of the stage musical Wicked. Grande’s spellbinding appeal is in full force on yes, and?, resulting in a dance-pop banger among the best songs of 2024 which summoned house-inspired vibes to gift its creator her third US No.1. “This whole song was her idea – she had a vision,” co-songwriter Ilya Salmanzadeh said of yes, and? in an interview with Billboard. “I remember we were going through chords and she was like, ‘It needs to be more confident. It has to be more sassy.’” Both brazen and assured, yes, and? leaves us all pondering what’s next.

8: Liam Gallagher And John Squire: Just Another Rainbow

“To me, the most obvious take on Just Another Rainbow is that it’s about disappointment,” John Squire has said of the lead single from Liam Gallagher John Squire, “and the sentiment is that you never get what you really want.” Ironically enough, in joining forces with the legendary Stone Roses guitarist, Liam Gallagher has gotten exactly what he wants. It’s no secret that the ex-Oasis frontman’s love of music began with seeing Ian Brown onstage with The Stone Roses, so teaming up with Brown’s former creative partner seems to be fulfilling a childhood dream. This much is evident from Just Another Rainbow, which sees Gallagher wrapping himself up in a swirl of vintage psychedelia that recalls The Beatles circa 1966. Ranking among the best songs of 2024, it’s a dazzling display of retro-rock that peaked at No.16 in the UK, with Squire’s miasmic guitar solo making this wondrous meeting of minds an out-of-body experience for anyone who hears it.

7: Megan Thee Stallion: Hiss

Rattling off a series of venomous rhymes on her diss track Hiss, US rapper Megan Thee Stallion landed herself a US No.1 in February. “When a snake feels like you been playin’ and doing a whole bunch of swayin’,” Megan told The Breakfast Club, “it’s basically telling you to back off.” Lashing out at everyone from her ex-boyfriend Tory Lanez – who is currently serving a ten-year prison sentence for shooting Megan in the foot – and superstar rapper Drake, as well as throwing in a few apparent barbs at Nicki Minaj, Hiss could well be the most hard-hitting score-settler since The Notorious B.I.G.’s Who Shot Ya. Coiling around a trap-influenced beat, Hiss has all the visceral impact of hardcore hip-hop, turning Megan’s beefs into a remarkable clapback to her rivals that will probably have them nursing their wounds for years to come.

6: Noah Kahan And Sam Fender: Homesick

Peaking at No.5 in the UK in February 2024, Homesick is a hugely thought-provoking duet written by Vermont-based singer-songwriter Noah Kahan and boosted with a verse supplied by Newcastle-born indie-rocker Sam Fender. “I loved the idea of the song being a transatlantic call-and-response between two young kids desperate to escape their hometowns,” Fender explained to People magazine. “Chatting with [Noah] about things in both of our pasts made me realise how universal Homesick is. We’ve all been that kid.” With all the weight of a blue-collar Bruce Springsteen anthem, the folk-pop howl of longing at the heart of Homesick’s chorus makes it an intensely relatable entry in our list of the best songs of 2024, fully capturing the restless yearning experienced by many seeking to break free from their roots.

5: Green Day: Dilemma

Easily one of the best Green Day songs, Dilemma – the third single released from the group’s 14th studio album, Saviors – is a reminder that you should never underestimate the elder statesmen of the pop-punk generation. “Dilemma was one of those songs that was kind of easy to write because it was so personal to me,” Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong has said. “We’ve seen so many of our peers struggle with addiction and mental illness. This song is all about the pain that comes from those experiences.” Peaking at No.4 on the US Rock Airplay chart, Dilemma is a passionate power-pop explosion among the best songs of 2024, offering ample glimpses of Green Day’s Dookie-era heyday and proving that Armstrong’s subject matter is still capable of prescribing an antidote to our 21st-century woes.

4: Twenty One Pilots: Overcompensate

With their highly ambitious fusion of alt-rap and electro-pop, Twenty One Pilots seem to bleed eclecticism, fearlessly dabbling in concept-driven narrative ideas as well as branching out into other genres such as electronica and reggae. It’s no surprise, then, that Overcompensate – the lead single from their sixth studio album, Clancy – barges its way onto this list of the best songs of 2024, with its heady mix of crunchy, swaggering breakbeats and hyper-verbose lyrics about squaring up to danger (“I said I fly by the dangerous bend symbol/Mm, don’t hesitate to maybe overcompensate”). “It’s a certain sign, it’s like a zigzag sign that basically says, ‘Hey, up ahead,’ slow down,” frontman Tyler Joseph told BBC Radio 1’s Clara Amfo. “It’s kind of cheesy, I guess, but a bit of an analogy in certain seasons of my life where I would just completely ignore those sorts of signs.” With Clancy set to be a sequel to the duo’s 2018 album, Trench, Overcompensate is clearly a powerful and compelling prologue to a much bigger story.

3: Dua Lipa: Training Season

Released in February 2024, a few months ahead of her much-anticipated third album, Radical Optimism, Training Season confidently brought Dua Lipa back into the UK Top 5. Joyfully mixing euphoric dance-pop grooves with a sprinkling of 80s pop magic, the song sees the TikTok-anointed “Queen Of Nu-Disco” give any would-be love interest a fiery dressing-down. “While it is obviously about that feeling when you are just absolutely done telling people… men specifically in this case, how to date you right,” Lipa told Forbes, “it is also about my training season being over and me growing with every experience.” A relentlessly upbeat floor-filler, Training Season easily enters the knockout stages among the best songs of 2024, reminding us why Dua Lipa is one of the most exciting pop acts of her generation.

2: Beyoncé: Texas Hold ’Em

Strap on your spurs and saddle up for the rodeo, everyone – Queen Bey has gone country! Much to everyone’s delight, Texas Hold ’Em – the genre-swapping lead single from Beyoncé’s eighth studio album, Cowboy Carter – traded the disco-house vibes of Renaissance for a banjo-plucking hoedown frenzy. Debuting at the top of the US Hot Country Songs chart, the track even saw Beyoncé become the first Black woman in Billboard history to score a No.1 country hit – a truly historic moment that instantly makes Texas Hold ’Em a dead cert among the best songs of 2024. “I feel like she’s always been genre-less,” country singer-songwriter Maren Morris told E! News when speaking of the song’s success, “but I think the leaning into country elements and sort of reclaiming country music back to Black people because they created the genre is such a statement.”

1: Benson Boone: Beautiful Things

After making his name as a contestant on American Idol and establishing a loyal following on TikTok, singer-songwriter Benson Boone lets his folk-pop sensibility unfurl into a muted electric guitar groove on Beautiful Things, before diving into a pop-punk-indebted thrash that perfectly showcases his spirited vocal range. “This song just shows a new side of me that people haven’t seen,” Boone said in an interview with Variety magazine, “and I am just stoked that it’s resonating with people because obviously that’s all an artist can dream of.” Peaking at No.2 in the US and No.1 in the UK, the song has quickly become one of this year’s biggest success stories, amassing more than 390 million Spotify streams and enlivening the charts with a fresh burst of energy that more than deserves the top spot on this list of the best songs of 2024.

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