7 Early 2022 Albums I’m Looking Forward To

We’re through the holidays and 2022 has officially begun, which means new music will soon be dropping on the regular again. In fact, we’ve already had our first major album release announcement of the year with The Weeknd set to release “Dawn FM” on Friday.

But plenty of artists announced albums way in advance of the new year, and there are quite a few new releases scheduled to come out soon. With the world – for better or worse – continuing to return to normalcy, 2022 might be at least close to a typical year of new music un-stunted by pandemic related postponement. Or artists will keep sitting on their new material to make sure they’ll be able to tour.

Either way, here are 7 announced albums I’m looking forward to in the first few months of 2022.  There are artists I hope drop that have at least hinted at new LPs: Kendrick Lamar, SZA, Banks, Kevin Abstract, Benee, Alexandra Savior, & The Voidz just to name a few off the top of my head – but I’m sticking to albums with titles and release dates for this list.

Cordae – “From A Bird’s Eye View” January 14th

Every old head’s favorite new school rapper, Naomi Osaka’s boyfriend, the only member of the now defunct YBN crew anyone actually knows, Cordae is dropping his much anticipated sophomore LP in just under 2 weeks.

I enjoyed but didn’t love his debut from 2019 “The Lost Boy” and feel the same about most everything that’s come since, including the teaser EP for this record “Just Until…”. Still, his ability as a rapper is undeniable and if he finds a way to make himself stand out from the pack a bit more, “From A Bird’s Eye View” could be great.

Earl Sweatshirt – “SICK” January 14th

If you’d said back in 2011 that 3 members of ODD FUTURE would be widely regarded as important figures in music in 2022, I don’t think many people over 14 would’ve believed you. I was 12 and probably wouldn’t have believed you.

But Tyler, the Creator is more popular & critically acclaimed than ever, people still hang on every word Frank Ocean says publicly, and Earl Sweatshirt is the heir apparent to the late MF DOOM.

I’ve said before I wasn’t a fan of “Some Rap Songs” (please don’t kill me) but Earl’s recent single “2010” sounded more like a return to his older sound. I definitely don’t want a re-hash, but I do think what he was doing in 2016 was a lot more interesting than what’s come since “I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside”.

Amber Mark – “Three Dimensions Deep” January 28th

I’m not that familiar with Amber Mark’s music – I’ve pretty much only heard the singles that (I assume) have been released to promote this latest record “Three Dimensions Deep”. Both “Foreign Things” and “What It Is” were close to being my favorite tracks of the week they came out in, and I’m hoping the full LP dives deeper into the neo-soul adjacent sound those singles dabbled with.

The Mysterines – “Reeling” March 11th

I first heard the Mysterines in a vegan café playing the strangest UK radio station I’ve ever heard a couple months ago (somehow despite going back here several times with the same station on, I still don’t know the name, I’ll get back to you on that one).

“Hung Up” – a heavy, fast-paced piece of post-punk – had been out for months by then, so I made a point to keep an eye out for their next single. “The Bad Thing” made it to the final FN&OTOW of the year, and in between that time the band announced their debut album “Reeling”.

I don’t really know what to expect from The Mysterines, but I like what I’ve heard so far. Who knows, “Reeling” could be one of the better rock records of 2022.

Wet Leg – “Wet Leg” April 8th

With several stand-out singles released recently, there aren’t many bands I wrote about more last year than Wet Leg. They had me hooked with their debut “Chaise Longue”, and have yet to disappoint since with their irreverently charming style of indie rock.

While I’m hoping most of their self-titled debut doesn’t take itself very seriously in the same way, it would be good if the whole record isn’t one-dimensional. Their latest single “Too Late Now” showed that the band could write songs that were more than just cheeky and fun, so I’m optimistic that the Isle of Wight duo can deliver a satisfying full-length album.

Let’s Eat Grandma – “Two Ribbons” April 8th

Let’s Eat Grandma is another English duo dropping on April 8th I’m looking forward to. Most of their 2018 record “I’m All Ears” was catchy and well performed, but outside of the SOPHIE assisted “Hot Pink” the more ambitious tracks like the 9+ minute “Cool & Collected” fell flat.

Their newest single “Happy New Year” is a fun piece of synth pop, but plays things pretty safe. I’m hoping Let’s Eat Grandma’s songwriting chops have caught up to their production ability in the years between major releases, and that the rest of “Two Ribbons” is a bit more interesting.

Jack White – “Fear of the Dawn” April 8th

Prior to 2018’s “Boarding House Reach” Jack White’s solo career had been pretty uneven to me. “Blunderbuss” was much stronger than “Lazaretto” in my opinion, though the latter’s title track might be the best song White has done on his own. Neither record was great front to back, and it seemed like Jack was content catering to a very specific hipster blues-rock audience who ate up his pseudo-vintage sound rather than pushing his music forward any further.

“Boarding House Reach” is far from perfect, but it’s easily the most interesting music White released in the 2010’s. So even though lead single “Taking Me Back” doesn’t offer much in the way of new ideas and my opinion has dropped with subsequent listens, I’m excited to hear what “Fear of the Dawn” has to offer.

It’s the first of 2 albums White has announced he’ll be releasing in 2021, with “Entering Heaven Alive” set to follow in July. If nothing else, it’ll be worth listening to see how White connects the two albums outside of the 2 versions of “Taking Me Back” that are listed on the track lists.

This is far from an exhaustive list of every album coming out before April, and there are plenty of others coming out that I plan on listening to (put the pitchforks down Mitski & Charli XCX stans). So let me know if there’s something you think should be more on my radar, or if you’re excited for any of these albums.

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