Over the course of a single week around 1960, Willie Nelson wrote “Crazy,” “Funny How Time Slips Away,” and “Night Life.” It was, perhaps, the greatest finite stretch of time in the history of Texas music. The spring of 2024 might not quite match Willie’s exalted week of composing, but it’s not too far off, either. Over the course of the next eight weeks, eleven of Texas’s most compelling artists—from bona fide megastars to venerable legacy acts to up-and-comers—are releasing new albums. 

The list is headlined by Beyoncé’s Act II, of course, but it includes a lot of names that fans are either already familiar with or that they’ll likely learn about in the next few months. In fact, it seems as though most of the high-profile names who aren’t releasing new albums this spring either already released them in the past eight months (see: Willie, Post Malone, Travis Scott) or are simply not announcing the release date for the project they’ll be dropping in advance (see: Don Toliver, Khalid). 

Let’s go through the list and plan our listening: 

March 8 (Norah Jones, Visions)

Kicking off the run of glory is Norah Jones, who is releasing her ninth album. The album is her second collaboration with hip-hop and soul producer Leon Michels (of the El Michels Affair), with whom she previously recorded her 2021 Christmas album. The first two singles, “Staring at the Wall” and “Running,” are a break from Jones’s jazzy roots, and showcase a poppier sound than her darker 2020 album, Pick Me Up off the Floor. The album features twelve songs, all new compositions, with Michels sharing songwriting credit on eight of them. 

March 15 (Kacey Musgraves, Deeper Well)

As she announced during the Grammys, Kacey Musgraves’s fifth album, Deeper Well, drops March 15. It comes at an interesting moment in Musgraves’s career. It’s six years since her breakthrough Album of the Year winner, Golden Hour, and two and a half years after her breakup album, Star-Crossed, failed to garner similar accolades. It’s also on the heels of “I Remember Everything,” her 2023 duet with Oklahoma country singer Zach Bryan, which became the biggest hit of her career, topping the Billboard Hot 100—the first country duet to do so since Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton released “Islands in the Stream” back in 1983. 

On Deeper Well, Musgraves’s Star-Crossed and Golden Hour co-writers and producers Ian Fitchuk and Daniel Tashian are back for a third time—but so are early collaborators Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne, at least on one song (“The Architect”). The press release announcing the album promised that Musgraves would be exploring 1960s Greenwich Village vibes, a point made all the more clear by her decision to pose for press photos wearing a black turtleneck. 

March 22 (Gary Clark Jr., JPEG RAW)

Austin guitar hero Gary Clark Jr.’s first album in five years, JPEG RAW, previewed four singles in advance of its release. Those songs show off Clark’s range, following the hard rock of 2019’s This Land—there are still meaty guitar riffs and blazing solos to be found here, but in the tracks released so far, those things are bent in the direction of genre exploration. The title track is a jazzy, groove-heavy jam that could pass as a lost track from The Roots; “Alone Together” finds Clark using his falsetto and the trumpet of frequent collaborator Keyon Harrold to express something a bit more soulful; he explores psychedelic pop sounds on “Hyperwave,” and keeps a foot in hard rock on album opener “Maktub.” The unreleased tracks include collaborations with legends such as George Clinton and Stevie Wonder—which suggests that Clark has more up his sleeve.

March 29 (Beyoncé, Act II, and Alejandro Escovedo, Echo Dancing)

Beyoncé’s Act II is the marquee release of the first quarter of 2024, and maybe the whole year. It’s already changed country music, stolen attention away from the Super Bowl, taken over TikTok and saved lives—and there are only two singles released so far. What more is there to say? 

If you’re looking for some counterprogramming while the world obsesses over Bey, though, there’s also the new release from Austin by way of San Antonio rocker Alejandro Escovedo, whose storied career spans more than thirty years and thirteen studio albums. On his latest, Echo Dancing, he reimagines songs from throughout his career as entirely new versions, essentially creating a tribute record to his younger self. (Check out his new take on “Bury Me,” originally released on his 1992 debut Gravity as a clean blues tune, now repurposed as a fuzzy rocker that recalls Tom Waits.) 

April 5 (Khruangbin, A La Sala; Old 97’s, American Primitive; Caleb Landry Jones, Hey Gary, Hey Dawn)

Big day here! To start, we’ve got Khruangbin’s fourth album, A La Sala, which is the latest piece of dreamy, headphone-ready pop from the Houston trio. The group’s upward trajectory in recent years has been something to behold for a largely instrumental band with a difficult-to-pronounce name, and A La Sala is likely to sell a zillion copies on vinyl, where the band historically does huge numbers

Next up are Dallas country-rockers the Old 97’s and their thirteenth album, American Primitive. The group, stalwarts of the alt-country scene for over thirty years, had a surprising return to the mainstream in 2022, as two songs they recorded for the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (in which the band also appeared) had some chart success. The album’s debut single, “Where the Road Goes,” is a catchy mid-tempo jam that finds front man Rhett Miller reflecting on the band’s years together with wit and grace. 

Finally, there’s actor-musician (and Texas Monthly heartthrob) Caleb Landry Jones’s latest, a David Bowie–inspired piece of pop-rock called Hey Gary, Hey Dawn. Jones is aggressively weird, and the lead single from the album, “Corn Mine,” isn’t particularly invested in being approachable. If listening to a guy from Richardson do his best impression of the Thin White Duke is your thing, yahtzee. 

April 19 (Claire Rosay, Sentiment, and St. Vincent, All Born Screaming)

San Antonio–raised experimental musician Claire Rousay is beyond prolific, releasing around fifteen albums since 2019 (honoring the “experimental” part of her work, some records include only a handful of songs, though each track may run fifteen or twenty minutes in length). That robust work ethic has served her well, and on April 19, she’ll be releasing Sentiment, her first for the venerable Chicago independent record label Thrill Jockey. Sentiment looks to be more traditional (though its first two singles are equally lovely), with fewer field recordings, more tracks (ten), and more conventional song structures. 

Dallas’s St. Vincent, meanwhile, returns for her eighth album and first since 2021’s Daddy’s Home. Where that release was something of a seventies light psych-guitar rock throwback in the vein of Pink Floyd, “Broken Man,” the first single from All Born Screaming, sounds more like a return to form. It features a downright dirty-sounding guitar over stuttering, industrial-tinged drums. Sign us up. 

April 26 (Charley Crockett, $10 Cowboy)

Rounding out the spring release schedule is RGV-raised rising star Charley Crockett, whose $10 Cowboy continues his run of throwback country jams. Crockett’s not as prolific as Rousay, but he’s not too far off: the album will be his eighth in the past five years, and the first single—the title track—showcases the resonant baritone he’ll be taking on the road at festival appearances throughout the summer.