With the plethora of amazing new music being released at such a consistent clip these days, it’s shocking that we can’t just be happy with what we have. With so much teased music on the horizon though, it’s hard not to be super excited about what is to come.
We’ve had our fair share of delays the last couple years as artists and bands pivot to releasing music in this new climate and with the new year just nipping at our heels, we thought it would be fun to dig into some of the albums we here at Northern Transmissions are most anticipating. There’s always going to be surprises but for now let’s take a peek into the already announced, teased and theoretical new releases that we can’t wait for in 2022.
Bonobo – Fragments – January 14, 2022
Multi-Hyphenate Simon Green has been teasing his new Bonobo album for some time now. We’ve so far been treated to four great singles that incorporate that sweet, chill, downtempo electronic music the Los Angeles based producer excels in. Boasting a cavalcade of guest appearances including Jordan Rakei, Jamila Woods and many more, the January release date for Fragments, out on the 14th via Ninja Tune, is going to be perfect to help keep us toasty on those chilly winter nights.
Mitski – Laurel Hell – February 4th, 2022
As if right when she knew we needed her, Mitski is back! The wonderful, engaging and infinitely talented singer/songwriter will release her sixth album, Laurel Hell, on February 4th via Dead Oceans. Based on the first couple singles, the beautifully orchestral “Heat Lightning” and the rocking “The Only Heartbreaker”, written with Dan Wilson of Semisonic, Laurel Hell promises to be another great addition to Mitski’s already great repertoire.
Cate Le Bon – Pompeii – February 4th, 2022
When Cate Le Bon was forced into a period of downtime as a result of the pandemic, she locked herself away and wrote and recorded her latest album Pompeii “in a quagmire of unease”. The Welsh artist describes her new work and the inspiration behind it as, “The world is on fire but the bins must go out on a Tuesday night. Political dissonance meets beauty regimes. I put a groove behind it for something to hold on to. The grief is in the saxophones.” That would be enough to have us firmly on board but after hearing singles “Moderation” and “Running Away”, the anticipation to dive into this world is extreme.
Animal Collective – Time Skiffs – February 4th, 2022
There’s a nice, comfortable ease in which certain bands continue to consistently release great music. One of these acts that immediately springs to mind is the always interesting and esoteric pop songsmiths Animal Collective. Besides a ton of EPs, live albums and assorted delights, Baltimore’s finest are set to release their eleventh studio album Time Skiffs on February 4th via Domino Records. Judging from the first two singles released, “Prester John” and “Walker” the group has remained as charming and riveting as they were introduced to us all those years ago.
alt-j – The Dream – February 11, 2022
With the lack of concerts the last couple years, it seems fitting that a lot of new music being released these days has been inspired by the communal feeling of being with your friends at a show. “It’s about being at a festival with your best friends, having a good time, togetherness, and the feeling in life that nothing could be any better than it is right now,” explains Alt-J about their single “U&Me” from their upcoming album The Dream. The British trio says their new album is their most honest and personal to date while also featuring, “true-crime inspired stories and tales of Hollywood and the Chateau Marmont”. Intriguing.
Big Thief – Dragon New Warm I Believe In You – February 11th, 2022
After Adrianne Lenker’s wonderful solo albums of 2020, Songs and Instrumentals as well as her band Big Thief’s already stunning body of work, it’s hard not to get excited about anything they have coming up. The upcoming twenty song release entitled, deep breath, Dragon New Warm I Believe In You, was recorded in four distinct sessions in four distinct locations. The band traveled from upstate New York to Topanga County into the Rocky Mountains and, finally finished off things in Tucson, Arizona and judging by the handful of singles already released, the music feels as fresh and free as anything the band has put out yet.
Spoon – Lucifer On The Sofa – February 11th, 2022
Late last year veteran indie poppers Spoon announced the release of their tenth, and first in five years, album Lucifer on The Sofa. The band actually started recording the album in late 2018 but had to stop because of the limitations of what you could do at the start of the pandemic. In the downtime between sessions, frontman Britt Daniel, recaptured his love of classic rock and wrote a handful of new songs that feel like a perfect distillation of Spoon meets ZZ Top. While that sounds jarring, one listen to the album’s debut single “The Hardest Cut” shows that those two things aren’t as disparate as one would think.
Wet Leg – Wet Leg – April 8th, 2022
One of the best surprises of 2021 was British band Wet Leg. Their debut single “Chaise Longue” was one of those irresistible songs that you couldn’t quite shake. The band, made up of Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers, followed that up with three more just as wonderful songs and jumped to the top of list of most exciting groups to come out in some time. Their debut self titled album will be out April 8th via Domino Records and will contain all their previously released singles, which alone makes it one of the hottest releases we can see dropping in 2022.
Father John Misty – Chloe And The Next 20 Century – April 8th, 2022
Over the last couple of years, Father John Misty has become one of the more divisive figures in the music world. Whether you love or hate him, though, his music is one of those things, outside of whatever issues any may have with his image, that is pretty undeniable. His fifth studio album, Chloe And The Next 20th Century, was teased out after a series of Flexi-discs were sent out to members of FJM’s mailing list and one lucky fan uploaded his on to Reddit. Until the album arrives on April 8th, via Sub Pop/Bella Union, prepare yourself for a few months of Father John related shenanigans leading up to its release.
Kendrick Lamar – ???
Last summer Kendrick Lamar posted a short missive entitled “nu thoughts” which detailed that he was producing his final album for Top Dawg Entertainment, the label that has put out all of his previously released music. While Lamar didn’t say when the album was going to be released, he did end his note with a simple “See you soon enough” and immediately his collective fanbase began to hold their breath. The Pulitzer Prize winning artist’s last studio album was 2017’s great DAMN and, besides his work on the Black Panther soundtrack and the 2021 single “family ties” with his cousin Baby Keem, has kept relatively quiet. After all this time, here’s hoping that 2022 is the year of a new Kendrick Lamar album.
Written by Adam Fink