In the blink of an eye, we’re already halfway done through 2024.

It’s been a big year so far for music. From the wave of sweet pop anthems to the graceful emergence of tender love songs to burning hot diss tracks to dream-come-true collaborations, the world of music — both here and far — has churned out a lot. There’s a lot to take in from so many different genres and scenes.

With six months more to go and a lot of music to look forward to, we’re taking a moment to look back at the year we’ve had so far and the music we’ve enjoyed. Here are 24 standout songs from 2024 so far.

“Heartache Generation” – Ena Mori

Opening with a beautifully plucked classical guitar and exploding into pure electro-pop bliss, Ena Mori’s maiden offering for 2024 shows that this immensely talented songstress continues to innovate and redefine pop on her own terms. If she keeps this up, it’ll be difficult to find another Rule Breaker for next year’s Women In Music awards. – Jason Caballa, Managing Editor

Kasing Kasing” – juan karlos and Kyle Echarri

Juan Karlos and Kyle Echarri teamed up for their first full-Bisaya collaboration, “Kasing Kasing” (Heart). Both The Voice Kids alums are powerful singers in their own rights, but in “Kasing Kasing,” these two completely hit it out of the park. The bridge, breakdown, and riffs are so vocally impressive that it is arguably some of their best, if not the best work. This is a song that you can’t miss out on. — Kara Angan, Writer

Sexy To Someone” – Clairo

Following her last record Sling, Clairo has made another sonic departure with the first single off her upcoming album, “Sexy To Someone.” The track sees the indie sensation embracing ’70s-inspired grooves that traverse through the genres of psychedelic folk and jazz-funk, with her whisper-like vocals conveying the desire to be appreciated by someone with an effortless ease. Its slight tinges of desperation ignite a sense of passion as Clairo translates the witty lyricism to life, which are perfectly backed by the soft and suave production by Leon Michels. — Gabriel Saulog, Writer

Nasty” – Tinashe

If you’ve been on TikTok these past few months, then you’re probably already familiar with Tinashe’s “Nasty.” This uptempo R&B club track has a hook that’s extremely difficult to get rid of, complete with an iconic line — “is somebody gonna match my freak?” — that has already become an integral part of the modern-day cultural lexicon. Beyond its catchy chorus, the track’s high repeat value and production by Ricky Reed and Zack Sekoff make it a must-listen as one of this year’s best and most surprising R&B hits, as it simultaneously chronicles Tinashe’s long-overdue breakthrough in the mainstream. — Gabriel Saulog

Suffocate” – Knocked Loose, Poppy

Joining forces with avant-garde, pop-metal artist Poppy, Knocked Loose have managed to create a haunting, less-than-3-minutes track that is as menacing as it is catchy. The song is an exploration of Knocked Loose’s dedication to reach their limits with heavy music, going with a much darker sound than ever before. On top of their punishing blend of hardcore and metal and that reggaeton beat-infused breakdown, the track stands out thanks to the trading of vocals between Poppy and Knocked Loose frontman Bryan Garris, like two tortured spirits screaming in harmony.

Exploring themes of cutting free from those who “suffocate” us, Knocked Loose and Poppy also break free from expectations with “Suffocate” as they silence the naysayers who initially scoffed at the collaboration, challenging what heavy music is and what it can potentially become. — Mayks Go, Photographer and Writer

“Espresso” – Sabrina Carpenter

“Espresso” is simply fun, flirty, and a little silly — all the ingredients of a good pop song. If the virality of her 2022 hit “Nonsense” was any indication, Sarbina Carpenter is an incredible songwriter, piecing together phrases that’s both cheeky and clever. Paired alongside its deliriously good melodies, the song has wormed its way into the brains of millions across the world. In the most unassuming situations, you’ll just find yourself singing “I’m working late, cause I’m a singer” or That’s that me espresso.”

It’s a track that’s hard to escape (not that you’d really want to) and it has rightfully earned its spot as one of this summer’s biggest anthems. — Franchesca Judine Basbas, Digital Editor

Ikot” – Over October

More often than not, the act — or even just the idea — of confessing how you truly feel for a special someone is something that not only comes with a lot of fear and hesitation, but also hope and excitement. This bittersweet mixture of feelings is something that Over October beautifully capture lyrically and, even more so, musically with “Ikot” [“Spin”]. 

The track does a fantastic job of translating the volatility that comes with setting this emotional dilemma to music. It starts rather calmly, its instrumentals mirroring a buildup of how slowly overwhelming all of this can be. In an impassioned, heartfelt manner, the song beautifully crescendos towards the end with frontman Josh Buizon’s vocals. Ultimately, the dreamy, synth-laden track is as delicate as the unspoken feelings its lyrics desire to profess. It explores the point-of-view of someone grappling with two choices: should they continue to keep their love hidden out of fear, or pluck up the courage to finally bare it all to the one their heart holds dear the most? — Mayks Go

BIRDS OF A FEATHER” – Billie Eilish

Who knew 2024 would be the year that we’d hear a tender love song from Billie Eilish? 

“BIRDS OF A FEATHER” not only sees Eilish embrace a new sound, but its romantic subject matter traverses into new territory for the beloved alternative pop musician. While most of her tracks deal with more serious, if not existential themes, this one is more uplifting — dealing with an unconditional love that is bound to stand the test of time. Yet beyond its subject matter, it’s also a welcome showcase of Eilish’s evolving vocal techniques, highlighting her range and impressive display of balancing the soft, breathy parts with more powerful belting. It’s one of the year’s best songs so far, as it continues to resonate with millions of listeners worldwide due to its universal appeal. — Gabriel Saulog

“surreal” – justin

SB19’s Justin de Dios made his solo project debut with the mononym, justin. It’s a completely different sonic direction from his work with the group, leaning into folk-pop territory. We’re excited to see where Justin takes his personal sound and vision in his next releases. — Kara Angan

Good Luck, Babe!” – Chappell Roan

It’s rare to witness someone’s rapid ascent in the music industry in real time, yet Chappell Roan’s viral success with “Good Luck, Babe!” is one of the best ‘star is born’ moments that we’ve seen in recent years. The song’s stellar production and ’80s synth beats cleverly guise it as an upbeat earworm, but Chappell’s direct and pointed lyricism divulges heart-wrenching experiences that are relatable in several ways to any queer individual out there. It’s a powerful anthem that sticks out as one of this year’s best tracks — especially by the point it hits its unforgettable bridge that is as cathartic as it is catchy. — Gabriel Saulog

“Tequila Rose” – Hellmerry and Al James

Hellmerry is well on his way to achieving legend status run with a string of hit releases since his emergence onto the scene — very telling with his chosen collaborator for “Tequila Rose,” Al James. Hellmerry’s ability to create infectious and memorable moments without the typical repetition of a certain line or phrase, shows he has built an audience that is willing to listen to his story beyond his viral 10-second clips.

Production on this track is tight, and showcases Hellmerry’s family ties. Producer Klumcee takes cues from different eras of his career while pushing the sound forward, resulting in a delight for Filipino hip-hop fans old and new. With standout flow and cadence, top tier production, and a heavyweight feature thrown in, what do we get? A crew that is making hits look easy without becoming formulaic, and that is truly exciting. — Bret Jackson, Editor-In-Chief


Cebu’s IIICCCYYY (also known as Sepia Times’ Elisha Ang) makes her stellar solo debut with “Habit,” an indietronica pop ditty that you can’t help but sing along to. It’s catchy, cute, and a new brand of bubblegum pop that the widespread music community has yet to hear. With news of a new single coming up, you should definitely keep an eye out for IIICCCYYY. — Kara Angan

Tear Gas (2024)” – Tanya Markova

While Tanya Markova are more often known for their comedy and mischievous leanings with their thematic or lyrical choices, “Tear Gas” sees them forego these tendencies. Here, they opt to go down a more candid and heartfelt route, complete with an equally emotional approach for their instrumentals.

“Tear Gas” is sweet and simple, exploring themes of acceptance and letting go of a love that is now unfortunately lost. It is a straightforward, heartbreak-infused rock song, tinged with a healthy dose of good old 2010’s OPM nostalgia that Tanya Markova were able to execute quite well on this track.

Originally released in 2021, with more mellow instrumentals courtesy of acoustic guitars and keys, the track has been reimagined into a more electric guitar-driven form, complete with a catchy guitar solo to boot. This version highlights the already emotional essence of the song and takes it up a notch, effortlessly emphasizing the woeful nature of the song’s lyrics even further. Mayks Go

Von dutch” – Charli XCX

As the first taste of her sixth studio album brat, Charli XCX’s “Von dutch” is an astounding display of her uncompromising artistry for this era, packed with maximalist production, raving engine sounds, and unabashedly confident lyrics. Even at face value, one could easily note just how skillful it is, with its chaotic energy almost like an empowering force, resulting in a supercharged blast of dance-pop, club, and hyper-pop. It’s probably one of 2024’s most fun listens, with an insane repeat value worth repeating over and over again. — Gabriel Saulog

Moonlight” – SB19

SB19’s first collaboration with producers Terry Zhong and Ian Asher created a fresh dance pop sound for the group. Production-wise, the song doesn’t feel too cluttered or busy, making the melodies and vocals pop better. If anything, this is a style that SB19 should continue to explore in the future. — Kara Angan

“Into The Sun” – Cinéma Lumière

After several well-received singles and an EP, these cult indie-pop favorites have returned with their strongest tune yet, with sublime lead guitar hooks and an agile bassline that makes you bounce in place. Add the band’s trademark girl-boy harmonies and knack for infectious melodies, and you get an exceptionally fun track that leaves you wanting more. – Jason Caballa

On and On” – Tyla

If her breakthrough hit “Water” isn’t enough evidence, then you should know that there’s just something entrancing about the Grammy Award-winning Tyla’s voice. It’s something that is greatly highlighted in an intimate way with “On And On” — a straightforward, contemporary R&B track from the South African songstress, with an ethereal chorus at its forefront.

Alongside its lyrics centered on dancing and partying “like it’s ‘95,” “On And On” is tinged with playful nostalgia. It is simple in instrumentation yet catchy enough to keep any listener hooked and vibing along with every beat that passes. Tastefully supported by a subdued yet consistently appealing rhythm alongside boppy percussive elements, Tyla’s vocals shine forth in this track, properly highlighting the unique, soulful quality of her tone. Mayks Go

“Not Like Us” – Kendrick Lamar

The Kendrick Lamar and Drake feud showcased just how quickly rap beefs can develop on social media — diss tracks being dropped within minutes of each other, AI vocals, diss-trumentals, and more. Kendrick Lamar’s “Not Like Us” seemingly ended the feud, with coming out on top with his latest No. 1 hit. 

“Not Like Us” was a tribute to that West Coast sound, with Kendrick employing veteran producer Mustard to create a song filled with comedy, punchy one-liners, wit, and a danceable beat. This track was definitely a highlight of this year. — Kara Angan

“Sunny When I’m With You” – Ysanygo and Purplecat

Ysanygo and Purplecat’s “Sunny When I’m With You” paints the image of a warm, serene day where you’re lazing around with the people you hold near and dear to your heart. You’re truly at peace, unfazed by the responsibilities of the world, and simply enjoying each other’s presence. Like its lyrics, the track is so warm and cozy, embodying the perfect summer day. It takes the best of the Filipino sibling duo’s signature chill R&B-pop melodies and combines them with the groovy beats of the Thai duo, resulting in a tranquil little tune perfect for bringing some sunshine to our gloomy days. — Franchesca Judine Basbas


UNIS are wasting no time on their mission to achieve their dreams with the release of their debut mini-album, WE UNIS, led by the single “SUPERWOMAN.” The record is a cohesive first project that explores the delicate science of creating bops. Modern production and fearless arrangements are a welcome surprise on “SUPERWOMAN,” showing that UNIS are not limited to creating two-minute songs with an emphasis on going viral.

Where the track truly shines though is its ability to balance empowerment with fun, a battle cry to be a superwoman with a carefree attitude of la la la’s. This group is off to an impressive start, and when you have ambitions to take on the world, you need to be your own superwoman. — Bret Jackson

Aurora” – Toneejay

Indie star Toneejay continues to heal his inner child with “Aurora,” the title track of his latest album. The song highlights what makes Toneejay a once-in-a-generation talent: the songwriting. Everything about the song is picturesque — the blend of instruments evoke that ethereal feeling of an aurora, while the songwriting puts into words emotions that are usually hard to describe. — Kara Angan

“Magnetic” – ILLIT

The playful and cheerful pop anthems from the world of K-pop continue with ILLIT. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t learn about the girl group’s breakout hit “Magnetic” through TikTok, but like a lot viral soundbites, they find a way into your head and you have no choice but to check out the full song. “Magnetic” feels almost like a video game soundtrack, pulsating with energy before bursting with soft electronic beats that you can’t help but dance to. While it’s not entirely groundbreaking for a K-pop debut, there’s just something so aptly addictive about it. Franchesca Judine Basbas

Salamin Salamin” – BINI

BINI’s “Salamin Salamin” is a chart-topper for many reasons: it’s infectious, danceable, and bubblegum funk in all the best ways. One of the best parts of the song would be the prominent bass groove, which elevates the song itself and makes it stand out from the rest. — Kara Angan

Fake Faces” – Felip

Felip has always been the perfect way for SB19’s Ken to tastefully showcase his multifaceted artistry and evolving musicianship. With “Fake Faces,” the rising hip-hop soloist continues to fully manifest his love for the rock genre, letting it be known that he’s definitely no one-trick pony.

In this pop-punk-infused follow-up to the heartfelt “Kanako,” Felip calls out two-faced people who slyly take advantage of his success, boldly voicing out his undeniable frustration and disappointment, supported by a simple yet catchy backdrop of punchy drums and electric guitars. Ultimately, what drives the message of this track home is Felip’s deep and distinct vocal delivery, with “Fake Faces” letting listeners know just how emotive it can get. It shows the kind of versatility he continues to be known for, with the singer being able to fully express himself on his own terms, whatever theme or genre he chooses to tap into. Mayks Go