The absolute best part of listening to new music is the surprises — the new artist who comes out of nowhere with a surprise masterpiece, or the past-their-prime act that finds fresh energy for another banger. Those are the 2022 projects we’re really looking forward to.
That said, there is something reassuring about some surefire acts with a new album in the works for this year: the anticipation of hearing an artist you know you love with a new batch of tunes. And here are a few we just can’t wait to dig into.
The Weeknd: Dawn FM
Over the last two years, Abel Tesfaye has been an actor (Uncut Gems), a Grammy protestor and a Super Bowl Halftime performer. But this weekend, he’ll get back to being a recorder of massive hits.
Mitski: Laurel Hell
If early singles like the “Only Lightning” and the spectacular “Working For the Knife” are any indication, Mitski’s upcoming album will easily exceed the huge expectations she’s set for herself with her previous work.
Since 2018’s El Mal Querer, Rosalía has worked with everyone from Billie Eilish to Bad Bunny. The only thing she hasn’t done is give her legion of fans a new album, but that’s set to change with the upcoming Motomami, which will put the breakout star back in the spotlight.
Let’s Eat Grandma: Two Ribbons
Synth pop champs Rosa Walton and Jenny Hollingworth are returning from a three-year hiatus with a new collection of danceable tunes that harken to artists like the Cocteau Twins but also features the stripped down title track, which is more than a little Mazzy Star.
Father John Misty: Chloe and the Next 20th Century
Father John Misty has taken it upon himself to chronicle the downward spiral of the American empire. No mean feat! Since he last gave us an album, there’s been an enormous racial justice reckoning, a pandemic, an election, a riot at the Capitol …all the sort of stuff that would fall under Father John Misty’s purview. We’ll see if and how he tackles it all in April.
Charli XCX: Crash
By standing just left of the pop mainstream center, Charli XCX has often seemed able to see it all a little more clearly. Crash will come along with Charli’s new documentary, which charts how her pop artistry connected fans and kept her sane in 2020.
Big Thief: Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You
Big Thief are on a very hot streak right now, cementing a spot in modern indie rock as some of the most insightful and gripping songwriters on the market. This will be their first effort since the two(!) albums they dropped in 2019, and there’s every reason to think it’ll be among the year’s best.
Beach House: Once Twice Melody
Beach House’s latest album is rolling out in “chapters,” which means half of it is already here (you can listen to it now.) The full album will be officially out on February 18.
Kendrick Lamar: TBA
The notoriously private Kendrick Lamar offered a rare public statement in August announcing …what exactly? That he was working on his final project for longtime label TDE and that he’ll “see [us] soon.” Not much to go on, but the fact that the man is joining Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem and Mary J. Blige for this year’s Super Bowl Halftime Show would seem to suggest he’s got something in the works. Stay tuned.
Maverick City Music: TBA
So, there’s technically no confirmation that Mav City is releasing an album this year. But after releasing four albums in 2020 and eight albums in 2021, there’s no way Christian music’s biggest group isn’t making a new album, right?