April Release Rundown

A look at some of the most notable new albums and singles released in April, from established stars to emerging artists.

April Release Rundown
Third Bridge Creative
Third Bridge Creative
May 1, 20243 min read
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Written by Peter A. Berry of Third Bridge Creative

This is the fourth installment of our monthly column that looks back at key new releases from artists across the spectrum, from superstars to upstarts. We’ll break down what happened and why it mattered. In this edition, we look at releases from Taylor Swift, Drake, GloRilla, BbyMutha, and Doja Cat.

Taylor Swift's historic debut with THE TORTURED POETS DEPARTMENT

Whoever said, “nothing exceeds like excess” clearly never met Taylor Swift. Last week, the singer released her latest album, THE TORTURED POETS DEPARTMENT, only to drop an additional deluxe version (THE TORTURED POETS DEPARTMENT: THE ANTHOLOGY) hours later. The resulting 31-track album is a crowded, if largely enjoyable, demonstration of pop music acumen. Her pensive, Post Malone-assisted track “Fortnight” has collected over 156 million Spotify streams since April 19, and it currently holds down the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The atmospheric “Down Bad” is a relatable heartbreak anthem that sits at No. 2. The album has already sold over 2.1 million copies, a total that easily bests the 1.5 million she sold in her opening week for her last original album, Midnights. According to Chartmetric, her Spotify monthly listeners have grown by 12.9 million since April 19, bringing her to 111.14 million.

Drake strikes back with “Push Ups,” but flubbed release impacts success

Three weeks after Kendrick Lamar’s Drake and J. Cole diss on Future & Metro Boomin’s “Like That” set the rap world ablaze, Drake issued his clap back. Well, sort of. If we’re being technical, an unfinished version of his Kendrick Lamar diss, “Push Ups” leaked on social media, creating a frenzy over a track with a fuzzy sound quality that indicates it wasn’t ready for release. Featuring an array of incisive putdowns, the track gained acclaim quickly — but it didn’t gain any official numbers until he released the completed version on April 19, now with over 43.7 million Spotify streams. When it comes to the Big 3, the results could lie in a different metric: Spotify monthly listeners. Drake is the only rapper whose Spotify monthly listeners have taken a significant hit in the past month, losing 2.4 million listeners. Kendrick has seen a 5.3 million increase in monthly listeners, while J. Cole trails behind at 1.6 million listeners gained. Still, because Drake knows how to chart, the song debuted at No. 19 on the Billboard Hot 100. 

Doja Cat’s Scarlet Deluxe delivers, but streams stall

Usually, a “deluxe edition” might as well be called the “overstuffed cash-grab edition,” but not in the case of Doja Cat. Released on April 5, Doja’s Scarlet 2 CLAUDE adds seven hearty new songs to the original Scarlet, and every one of them feels meticulously crafted. For “ACKNOWLEDGE ME,” she cruises over a disembodied soul beat for a fraught rumination on damaged romance. Meanwhile, "URRRGE!!!!!!!!!!" is a quirky ride that brings out the best in A$AP Rocky. The raps on the deluxe are eccentric, yet controlled, stylistic hallmarks for one of rap’s most dynamic all-around creators. Although the deluxe is entertaining, it hasn’t translated to bigger stream totals; since its release, Doja Cat’s Spotify monthly listeners fell from 64 million to 61.5 million over the course of April. For comparison, the OG Scarlet led Doja to reach a new peak monthly listenership at over 76 million. 

BbyMutha’s new album helps them level up

If you’ve been tapped in with Tennessee’s BbyMutha, then you’re more than a little happy with the release of sleep paralysis, a new LP that’s as striking as it is experimental. For this one, they show they can be comfortable whether coasting over an electronic-punk fusion (“lines”) or dystopian trap (“gun kontrol”), a type of versatility that’s helped make them a niche favorite for a while now. The fruits of the new project has boosted their profile on SoundCloud. But Bbymutha isn’t only thriving on the aforementioned alternative space, they’re doing numbers on platforms like Spotify too — gaining 7.5k more monthly listeners, an 8.3% increase.  

GloRilla gets second-biggest hit with help from Megan Thee Stallion

This time last year, GloRilla was in a bit of a downturn, with her clumsy attempt at New York drill being panned by fans before fading into the abyss of irrelevance. Thus far, 2024’s been the year of Glo’s comeback, with “Wanna Be” being the latest example. Featuring a Megan Thee Stallion guest verse, a memorable J. Cole interpolation, and heavy bass, the track feels designed for big commercial success. And thus far, the numbers say it’s been exactly that. Since being released on April 5, the track has already been streamed over 27 million times on Spotify alongside nearly 18.5 million YouTube views. Her monthly Spotify listeners have increased by 3.4 million since the track’s release, jumping her from 5.8 million to just under 9.2 million. Stats like those help explain why “Wanna Be” peaked at No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Yeah, Glo!

Data as of May 1, 2024.