2021 is almost done, bringing to an end a very difficult year for the music industry. Lockdowns wreaked havoc on live music and musicians found it harder than ever to record music together.
As we happily showed, though, 2021 also contained some excellent albums given the circumstances, proving that the spirit of artists is still going strong.
And 2022 is looking like producing more of the same. A lot of exciting albums are already confirmed for next year, including several beloved pop stars returning and one particular Aussie rock group finally releasing their new album.
Take a look below at our most anticipated albums of 2022.
Earl Sweatshirt – Sick! (14/1)
The rapper’s fourth studio album is one of the first releases to get excited about in 2022. Collaborations with Armand Hammer, the Alchemist, and Zelooperz have already been confirmed. Earl called the album his “humble offering of 10 songs recorded in the wake of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic and its subsequent lockdowns.”
Mitski – Laurel Hell (4/2)
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The pop star with one of the most avid fanbases is coming back after a three-year long hiatus. Mitski released the second single from the album, ‘The Only Heartbreaker, in November. “I needed love songs about real relationships that are not power struggles to be won or lost,” Mitski said about the new album in a statement. “I needed songs that could help me forgive both others and myself. I make mistakes all the time. I don’t want to put on a front where I’m a role model, but I’m also not a bad person. I needed to create this space mostly for myself where I sat in that gray area.”
Black Country, New Road – Ants from Up There (4/2)
Having released one of the most assured and exciting debuts of recent years in 2021, the British post-punk collective are returning with its follow-up remarkably quickly. The first few singles from the new album promise much of the same, with dizzying left-field turns and rousing instrumentals.
Big Thief – Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You (11/2)
Midnight Oil – Resist (18/2)
Midnight Oil are back. The iconic Aussie rockers are following up 2020’s The Makaratta Project with a collection of songs made during the same recording sessions. The band announced that Resist will be their final album, with long-time bassist Bones Hillman having passed away in 2020.
Beach House – Once Twice Melody (18/2)
The dream pop duo have released their eight studio album in an intriguing manner: the double album of 18 songs has been presented in four chapters, with the first part already released in November. The entire thing, though, will arrive in February.
Gang of Youths – Angel in Realtime (25/2)
The hugely-anticipated third studio album from the Sydney rockers is finally on the way. After teasing it for so long, fans only have a couple of months left to wait. The album contains ‘The Angel of 8th Ave.’ and ‘Unison’, taken from their July EP Total Serene. The band said the album is “about the life and legacy of Dave [Le’aupepe]’s father, indigenous identity, death, grief and God. And also the Angel, Islington.”
Charli XCX – CRASH (18/3)
The fifth studio album by the English pop star will be her last release under her current contract with Atlantic Records. It’s stuffed with exciting collaborators, including Caroline Polachek, Christine and the Queens, Rina Swayama, and Oneohtrix Point Never.