New year, new music! Kicking off 2022 by taking a look at some very exciting records coming soon.
Happy New Year, one and all!
After wrapping up 2021 with the best songs and albums what seems like a small eternity ago, it's time to get excited about the year ahead. There's no shortage of reasons to be pumped for 2022 with plenty of potentially great records in our midst, so what better way to kick off the year than by getting ourselves hyped on all the good stuff ahead?
I've outlined ten of the most exciting upcoming releases below, as well as getting into exactly why I'm so hyped to hear them. I've also kept this list to albums dropping in the next four months, so there's not too much waiting in store if you're the impatient type like myself.
Of course, each and every one of the below will be covered on site in the coming months so if you haven't subscribed yet, then now's a great time to do so.
Here are E/O's most anticipated records of 2022.
Dawn FM - The Weeknd
Release Date: 7th January
Singles: 'Take My Breath'
Announced just a matter of days ago and set to drop within hours as I write this, the fifth studio album from Abel Tesfaye is undoubtedly the first blockbuster release of 2022 and expectations are high with good reason.
Will we get sad Abel's darkly atmospheric R&B a la Trilogy or the cocaine fueled 80s synth bangers of Starboy? Hopefully plenty of both as with the outstanding After Hours, which placed 18th on E/O's Top 25 Albums of 2020.
Sick! - Earl Sweatshirt
Release Date: 14th January
Singles: '2010', 'Tabula Rasa'
The fourth album from one of the most naturally gifted rappers in the game arrives this month, and Sick! looks set to continue the experimental hip-hop that Earl has embraced in recent years on projects like Some Rap Songs and Feet Of Clay.
Earl has stated that he was initially writing a different album prior to the COVID pandemic but decided to "lean into the chaos" of people's anger, isolation and restlessness as a result of lockdown.
Sure to be one of the most captivating rap records of 2022, Sick! hits shelves next Friday.
Capri Sun - FKA twigs
Release Date: 14th January
Singles: 'Tears In The Club'
Now this one is not exactly a sure thing, but twigs has been heavily hinting at the the upcoming release of a new mixtape presumably entitled Capri Sun dropping next Friday, and I want to believe.
The hotly anticipated follow up to 2019's Magdalene is seemingly being timed to coincide with the end of the Capricorn season and also twigs birthday on January 16th. 'Tears In The Club' featuring The Weeknd dropped mid December and twigs has promised a "deep, emotional and honest" tape to match the vibes of its lead single.
Ants From Up There - Black Country, New Road
Release Date: 4th February
Singles: 'Chaos Space Marine', 'Bread Song', 'Concorde'
"As satisfying as this debut is, one of the most pleasing things about its teasing length and short structure is the space it leaves for Black Country to continue developing their wildly enigmatic style... If the results are as electrifying as this then Black Country will be a force to reckon with - judging by the gleeful anarchy and bold thirst for invention that defines this debut, For the first time could be a mere tune up for what’s to come."
Let's hope that these words, taken from my February 2021 review of BCNR's thrilling debut, prove to be prophetic as the unique jazz-punk collective return just one year later with their sophomore album Ants From Up Here.
It promises to be another wild ride judging by the sound of lead single 'Chaos Space Marine', but there's a good deal of introspection to be found in recent singles 'Bread Song' and 'Concorde', which strike a similarly graceful note to low key highlight 'Track X' from the bands first record.
If all goes well, Black Country could find themselves doing the double and re-appearing on the 2022 album list after placing 6th this past December in The Top 25 Albums of 2021.
Laurel Hell- Mitski
Release Date: 4th February
Singles: 'Working For The Knife', 'The Only Heartbreaker', 'Heat Lightning'
Perhaps the most exciting album of early 2022 for many is Laurel Hell, which marks the return of the iconic Mitski after four years away.
The Japanese-American songwriter released some of the definitive works of alternative music throughout the 2010s on Puberty 2 and Be The Cowboy, and Mitski looks set to continue her phenomenal run of records with Laurel Hell, if the trio of excellent singles released in late 2020 are anything to go by.
Despite its relatively late release in the year 'Working For The Knife' was a comfortable addition to E/O's Top 50 Songs of 2021, and I would be shocked if Laurel Hell doesn't find its way into plenty of 2022 album lists including my own come December.
Once Twice Melody - Beach House
Release Date: 18th February
Singles: Chapters 1 & 2
Beach House have been dropping their eighth studio album in a series of "Chapters" since November, with a four track set arriving each month until the conclusion of the series on February 18th which will leave us with a complete album.
It's an unusual structure but it's very hard to argue with the results so far - the psychedelic dream pop bliss that Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally have conjured up on Chapter 1 and 2 of Once Twice Melody has set the bar incredibly high.
So much so that if the second half of the record can live up to the same standard, we could be looking at one of the standout albums of 2022 as early as February.
Dragon New Warm Mountain, I Believe In You - Big Thief
Release Date: 11th February
Singles: 'Sparrow', 'Little Things', 'Certainty', 'Change', 'Time Escaping', 'Spud Infinity', 'No Reason'
You may have already begun sketching an idea of Big Thief's 20 track double album thanks to the steady stream of singles released over the course of 2021 from Brooklyn's psychedelic folk rockers.
The seven singles released in total make for a spectacular collection of woodland folk ditties which indicate some of the best songwriting to date from Adrianne Lenker, Buck Meek & company.
If the remainder of Dragon New Warm Mountain is as magical and enchanting as 'Change', 'Little Things' and 'Certainty', then we are in for something truly special on Big Thief's fifth record.
Crash - Charli XCX
Release Date: 18th March
Singles: 'Good Ones', 'New Shapes'
2022 looks set to be a massive year for one Charlotte Aitchison, as Charli XCX bids farewell to major label status on her final album for Atlantic in March with Crash.
Where Charli goes from here is a truly fascinating prospect - she will be free to push the sonic boundaries of pop music to breaking point without answering to anyone but herself, but that's all down the road for now.
In the meantime, get set to enjoy plenty more undeniable chart topping bangers such as 'Good Ones' and 'New Shapes' as Charli embraces the mainstream like never before, getting all of the floor fillers out of her system before the inevitable chaos that will ensue post 2022.
Before all that, it's time to party.
Chloë and the Next 20th Century - Father John Misty
Release Date: 8th April
Singles: 'Funny Girl'
As if you weren't already depressed enough, the world's favourite prophet of doom returns on Chloe and the Next 20th Century in April.
Announced just yesterday, Joshua Tillman's fifth album is certain to be a scathing address of all that's occurred in the world since the famously miserable songwriter was last seen on God's Favourite Customer in 2018, but you can be just as sure there's a tremendous level of beauty, profound songcraft and absurdist humor to be found throughout another set of Tillman's dour existential anthems.
Two Ribbons- Let's Eat Grandma
Release Date: 8th April
Singles: 'Hall Of Mirrors', 'Two Ribbons', 'Happy New Year'
The prodigious duo of childhood friends Rosa Walton and Jenny Hollingworth stole the show for many back in 2018 with the experimental pop of I'm All Ears and I very much count myself among those who were transfixed by the pair's second album, with 11 minute opus 'Donnie Darko' standing as quite possibly my overall favourite track from that year in hindsight.
I couldn't be more hyped to hear where Let's Eat Grandma go next, and title track 'Two Ribbons' has strongly suggested a more introspective direction for the duo with a beautiful ode that Hollingworth says "touches on the isolating experience of grieving, our powerlessness in the face of death, and the visceral emotions of grief."
Don't fear if you're looking for more synth-tastic beats though, 'Hall Of Mirrors' and this week's single 'Happy New Year' promise to provide just that.
But wait, there's more!
With star names including the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Grimes, Kendrick Lamar and many more set to drop in 2022, there's no sign of major album releases slowing down in the coming months.
While there may not be release dates just yet for all of the below, there's so much more good stuff on the way that I've compiled a handy list of the biggest and best names expected to have big albums beyond April and through the year.
As always, if you're looking for reviews of the below, you know where to find them - right here on Either/Or all year long.
100 gecs - 10,000 gecs (TBA)
Alice Glass - Prey//IV (28/01)
Animal Collective - Time Skiffs (04/02)
Arctic Monkeys - TBA
Bloc Party - Alpha Games (29/04)
Danny Brown - Quaranta (TBA)
Grimes - Book 1 (TBA)
Jack White - Fear Of The Dawn (08/04), Entering Heaven Alive (22/07)
Kendrick Lamar - TBA
Placebo - Never Let Me Go (25/03)
Rosalía - Motomami (TBA)
Sky Ferreria - Masochism (TBA)
The Smile - TBA
SZA - TBA
Wet Leg - Wet Leg (08/04)
Years & Years - Night Call (21/01)
Keep an eye out over the coming months for reviews of all of the above on Either/Or.
But if you can't wait that long, you can get your fix with this handy playlist containing all the tracks so far from these hotly anticipated albums: