After a lackluster start to the new year, music is possibly the only thing that can lift one’s spirits during the gloomy and gray time of winter. Luckily, 2022 is projected to have exciting albums on the horizon.
From alternative to electronic-pop to R&B, here are some of the most anticipated releases of the year:
Apocalypse Whenever by Bad Suns - Jan. 28
If there’s anything to know about Bad Suns, it’s that its albums are always upbeat and infectious in nature. This time around on Apocalypse Whenever, the alternative group is inspired by the vibrant and loud wailing guitar sounds of the ‘80s and ‘90s, heavily apparent on its pre-released tracks such as “Heaven Is a Place in My Head” and “Baby Blue Shades.” Seemingly, frontman Christo Bowman is vocally at his strongest and his quirky lyricism and Danny Zuko-like persona are the perfect combination for their fourth studio album, which will be out on the music scene this Friday.
Laurel Hell by Mitski - Feb. 4
After the 2018 release of Be the Cowboy, Mitski has had an epiphany: love is all about making mistakes. In a recent statement with Genius about the upcoming release of her fourth album Laurel Hell, the singer says she “needed love songs about real relationships that are not power struggles to be won or lost.” Mitski also hints that this album is all about finding comfort within herself and forgiving herself, as well as others, for past mistakes. As an act of rediscovery and reflection, this album’s leading singles “Working for the Knife” and “The Only Heartbreaker” have already left fans craving more, indicating that this drop may be one of Mitski’s most profound as a growing alternative music figure.
Heterosexuality by Shamir - Feb. 11
The indie-rock newcomer is by far one of the most daring and compelling artists currently in the genre. These characteristics are clearly evident in the titles of Shamir’s leading singles for his upcoming release, with “Cisgender” and “Gay Agenda” acting as the unapologetic and thought-provoking predecessors that give insight to what the rest of the tracklist may entail. The album will center around trauma, in particular Shamir struggling with others’ perceptions of his sexuality. As a Black, gay man, Heterosexuality will be a noteworthy release, with its themes and concepts told through the perspective of one of the most controversial social groups of the past and present.
CRASH by Charli XCX - March 18
Acting as her final project with Asylum Records UK, the singer’s label for over 10 years, Charli XCX is ready to return to the pop music scene but with her own set of rules. CRASH seems to be the pop album that has been demanded of XCX since her smash-hit “Boom Clap,” yet is expected to be an ironic take on the genre itself. With a stacked list of collaborators like Christine and the Queens, Caroline Polachek and Rina Sawayama, the singer’s fifth album has already alluded to a futuristic, whimsical and highly sensual theme throughout. With songs like “Good Ones” and “New Shapes ft. Christine and the Queens and Caroline Polachek,” it is sure to dazzle listeners everywhere.
Chloe and the Next 20th Century by Father John Misty - April 8
Three and a half years later, Father John Misty has finally announced his fifth album Chloe and the Next 20th Century. Unlike his past music, this new release has already seen the implementation of a live orchestra and jazz-like trumpets on the leading single, “Funny Girl,” with a familiar country twang that is evident through the singer’s repertoire. With a more dark and lonesome tone, this new project may be the perfect heartbreak album to be released in 2022. Fans everywhere are anxious to hear more of the singer’s crooning vocals and this release is expected to resonate with audiences near and far.
SZA - TBA
With her captivating 2017 release of Ctrl in the rearview, SZA has been hinting at new music since the end of 2020. First releasing the rhythmic and contemporary vibe of “Hit Different ft. The Neptunes, Pharrell Williams and Ty Dolla $ign” and then the mellow warmth of “Good Days” and lastly, the burning scold of “I Hate U,” it seems like the R&B singer is ready to enter a new era. Unfortunately, there is still no release date or album title in sight. This is all due to the singer being involved in an ongoing battle with her label, Top Dawg Entertainment, who she says delayed her upcoming album’s release on purpose. What may signal new music from SZA is if her label partners, rappers Kendrick Lamar and Schoolboy Q, choose to drop music this year, so hopefully we see the return of SZA in 2022.