The 40 Albums We’re Most Excited About in 2022

Featuring Mitski, Father John Misty, Rosalia and more

Music Lists New Albums
The 40 Albums We’re Most Excited About in 2022

Though 2022 is already showing some unsettling similarities to 2020/1, these pandemic years have shown beyond all doubt that artists will find a way to keep making art, come hell, high water or yet another scary variant. They’ve also shown us how critical a role touring can play in the decision to release an album—several (seven, to be exact) of the much-anticipated 2022 albums we’ve highlighted here appeared on last year’s list, as well, which speaks to the superhuman flexibility bands have had to assume in a time where playing shows is still a risky proposition. Some have opted to hold their albums in hopes of better days ahead, while others have taken more of a “now or never” approach to their COVID-era releases, and ultimately, there’s no wrong answer. As listeners, we’re grateful for every note put to tape in these times, each one a minor miracle. A little over half of the forthcoming albums we’re especially psyched about have been formally announced, release dates and all, while the rest remain (varying degrees of) speculative. Tap into 2022’s most exciting albums below.

Earl Sweatshirt: Sick!

Jan. 14

It’s hard to believe it’s been four years since Earl Sweatshirt’s last studio album Some Rap Songs. 2022 is being rung in with Sweatshirt’s Sick!, his fourth album, arriving on Jan. 14. The morose rapper will be joined by Bruiser Brigade star Zelooperz and Haram duo Armand Hammer, with production from frequent collaborators The Alchemist, Black Noi$e and more. —Jade Gomez

FKA twigs: TBA

Jan. 14

FKA twigs announced her debut mixtape in mid-December alongside a new track titled “Tears in the Club.” A collaboration with The Weeknd produced by Cirkut, Arca and El Guincho, the lush, yet downcast dance/hip-hop track is our first (and possibly only) preview of twigs’ forthcoming MAGDALENE follow-up. The mixtape’s title has yet to be revealed, but twigs has repeatedly teased the phrase “Capri Sun” (an astrological reference), including in the statement she shared alongside “Tears in the Club”: “I’m always pushing to level up to MY best self, and I’ve pushed so hard to find my capri sun. I’m so proud of this music.” —Scott Russell [Update, Jan. 6, 3:11 p.m. ET: twigs detailed her mixtape, CAPRISONGS, on Thursday afternoon—full details here.]

Silverbacks: Archive Material

Jan. 21

Rising Dublin rockers Silverbacks announced their second album (and first for Full Time Hobby) Archive Material in October 2021, and have shared three singles from the LP to date: “Wear My Medals,” the title track and “Rolodex City.” The five-piece recorded their follow-up to 2020’s Fad at Sonic Studios in Dublin in November 2020, re-teaming with their debut’s producer Daniel Fox and citing Tom Verlaine (Television), Neil Young, Weyes Blood, and Myths 004 collaborators Bradford Cox (Deerhunter) and Cate Le Bon as influences. This is early-2022 appointment listening for indie-rock enthusiasts. —Scott Russell

Earthless: Night Parade of One Hundred Demons

Jan. 28

San Diego psych-rock trio Earthless will soon return with the release of Night Parade Of One Hundred Demons. If it sounds terrifying, it is. Featuring only two songs (one of which is 40 minutes long), the album is inspired by an ancient Japanese legend in which demons terrorize sleeping villages once a year, claiming any victim who witnesses them. Drummer Mario Rubalcaba described the album as having “a darker, almost evil kind of vibe,” and there’s no better way to kick off the year. —Jade Gomez

Animal Collective: Time Skiffs

Feb. 4

Animal Collective are returning this year with Time Skiffs, their first new album in over five years. Noted in press materials as being reminiscent of their acclaimed Strawberry Jam, the LP’s first preview came in the form of “Prester John,” a hypnotic single made up of two songs combined. Diehard fans may recognize all but one Time Skiffs track, as they have been played live before. Regardless, the band always have some interesting tricks up their sleeves. —Jade Gomez

Black Country, New Road: Ants from Up There

Feb. 4

Buzzy London-based band Black Country, New Road wasted no time in following up their debut album For the first time, one of Paste’s favorite records of 2021. They announced their second effort Ants From Up There in October, and have since shared three singles, “Chaos Space Marine,” “Bread Song” and “Concorde.” As we wrote upon that last track’s release, “Black Country, New Road’s new songs find them maturing in a hurry, leavening their crashing, jazzy post-punk with a newfound restraint.” —Scott Russell

Mitski: Laurel Hell

Feb. 4

Arguably the single most-anticipated album of 2022, Laurel Hell is Mitski’s sixth, and her first since she stepped away from touring and social media in 2019. The fervently beloved indie-rock singer/songwriter has shared three singles from her Be the Cowboy follow-up so far—”Working for the Knife,” “The Only Heartbreaker” and “Heat Lightning”—with “Working for the Knife” landing on Paste’s list of 2021’s best songs. Laurel Hell is poised to propel Mitski from indie-darling status to full-blown stardom. —Scott Russell

Big Thief: Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You

Feb. 11

With their forthcoming double album, Big Thief—Adrianne Lenker, Max Oleartchik, Buck Meek and James Krivchenia—set out to capture the many facets of their sound on one record. Their pursuit of that ambitious goal spanned four recording sessions in four different states across five months, producing 45 finished songs the band then pared down into Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You’s 20 tracks. They’ve shared seven of those songs already in the form of singles “No Reason,” “Spud Infinity,”Time Escaping,” “Little Things,” “Sparrow,”Certainty” and “Change,” revealing the stunning scope of their career-defining UFOF and Two Hands follow-up. It’s a no-brainer 2022 standout. —Scott Russell

Empath: Visitor

Feb. 11

We’ve previously hailed Philadelphia quartet Empath as guitar-rock innovators, a reputation they continue to live up to on their second record, Visitor. The album’s disparate array of inspirations includes the Nosferatu (1922) and The Wicker Man (1973) scores, David Bowie’s Low and the band’s “forever favorites” Fleetwood Mac—meanwhile, in an effort to top the range of sounds found on their 2019 debut Active Listening: Night On Earth, Empath sampled “films, Minecraft, a cassette of nature sounds from the Bayou, recordings of an air conditioner, and a church choir heard through the walls of the warehouse we rehearse in” in their new songs, per lead singer Catherine Elicson. Visitor was produced by Jake Portrait (Unknown Mortal Orchestra), making it the first release Empath have recorded in a formal studio with a producer, and as singles “Diamond Eyelids” and “Born 100 Times” have shown, that lends a new polish to their continually shifting, yet satisfying sound. —Scott Russell

Shamir: Heterosexuality

Feb. 11

Indie-rock artist Shamir is currently one of the genre’s most daring artists, and the two singles released thus far, “Cisgender” and “Gay Agenda,” bring together two different worlds, combining industrial music with bubbly pop to create a confrontation of Shamir’s sexuality on his forthcoming album Heterosexuality. In a statement, Shamir shared, “I think this album is me finally acknowledging my trauma. Everyone knows I’ve been through so much shit and I kind of just rammed through, without really acknowledging the actual trauma that I do feel on almost a daily basis.” Heterosexuality, with help from Strange Ranger’s Hollow Comet on production, reimagines the bittersweet pop and scathing rock of the ’90s for a modern interrogation of Shamir’s identity and artistry. —Jade Gomez

Spoon: Lucifer on the Sofa

Feb. 11

Lucifer on the Sofa is the long-gestating 10th album from indie-rock institution Spoon, their first since 2017’s Hot Thoughts. The band returned to their hometown of Austin, Texas, to record for the first time in over a decade, and the result is their “purest rock ’n’ roll record to date,” per a press release, with a sound frontman Britt Daniel characterizes as “classic rock as written by a guy who never did get Eric Clapton.” Lead single “The Hardest Cut,” one of Paste’s favorite October 2021 tracks, was the first tune Spoon (i.e., Daniel and keyboardist/guitarist Alex Fischel) wrote for the record, and so far, it’s the only one we’ve heard. But Spoon have never made a bad album, and we can’t imagine they’re about to start now. —Scott Russell

Beach House: Once Twice Melody

Feb. 18

Beach House’s eighth album, Once Twice Melody, was announced with theatrics. The first two chapters were released in November and December, respectively, featuring four new songs each. It may seem like a lot, but with the album’s third chapter set to premiere Jan. 19 before the fourth and final chapter completes the album on Feb. 18, all of Once Twice Melody’s pieces are meant to come together to create an overarching story. —Jade Gomez

Hurray for the Riff Raff: Life on Earth

Feb. 18

Life on Earth is Hurray for the Riff Raff’s (Alynda Segarra) first new album since 2017’s The Navigator, as well as their Nonesuch Records debut and eighth LP to date. Bronx-born, New Orleans-based singer/songwriter Segarra’s folk-rock sound has evolved with each album, and Life on Earth is described as “a departure” in its press materials, featuring 11 “nature punk” songs (including singles “Rhododendron” and “Jupiter’s Dance”) that consider the ways in which humanity can thrive amid catastrophe. Segarra cites The Clash, Beverly Glenn-Copeland, Bad Bunny and Emergent Strategy author adrienne maree brown as influences on the album, which they recorded with elite indie producer Brad Cook (Waxahatchee, Bon Iver, Kevin Morby) during the pandemic. —Scott Russell

caroline: caroline

Feb. 25

London-based band caroline are finally releasing their eponymous debut album after half a decade of being a band, with half of that time being cloaked in mystery. They finally came out of the woodwork in 2020 to announce their signing to Rough Trade, and after a handful of incredible singles, incluiding “Skydiving onto the library roof” and “IWR,” the octet will finally release an album painted with the eclectic grab bag of influences they draw from, whether it be Midwestern emo or Appalachian folk. Caroline are one to watch in 2022. —Jade Gomez

King Hannah: I’m Not Sorry, I Was Just Being Me

Feb. 25

Hannah Merrick and Craig Whittle met while waiting tables in Liverpool, forming King Hannah in 2017 and releasing their debut EP Tell Me Your Mind And I’ll Tell You Mine in 2020. Their hushed, textured sound has garnered comparisons to Mazzy Star and Sharon Van Etten, the latter of whom co-signed the band last year, sharing their Tell Me Your Mind And I’ll Tell You Mine track “Crème Brûlée” via social media. Ahead of their full-length debut I’m Not Sorry, I Was Just Being Me, due out on City Slang, the duo have shared two singles, “A Well-Made Woman” and “All Being Fine,” catching our ears with their atmospheric, subtly unnerving rock. —Scott Russell

SASAMI: Squeeze

Feb. 25

Los Angeles-based songwriter SASAMI has utilized the pandemic to create a hard-hitting follow-up to her 2019 self-titled debut. On Squeeze, SASAMI forgoes shoegaze for grunge and nu-metal influences, accompanied by some terrifying visuals. The songwriter was partially inspired by the Japanese folk spirit Nure-onna, who possesses the head of a woman and the body of a snake (which SASAMI channels in the artwork for the album). —Jade Gomez

Spiritualized: Everything Was Beautiful

Feb. 25

Announced in early November alongside lead single “Always Together with You”—a lush rework of a demo the band released in 2014—Everything Was Beautiful is the ninth album from London space-rock institution Spiritualized, following 2018’s And Nothing Hurt. Everything Was Beautiful finds the band making the best of isolation amid the ongoing global pandemic: “I felt like I’d been in training for this my whole life,” Spiritualized’s J Spaceman recalled in a statement upon the album’s announcement. Amid the “beautiful solitude” of walks through an empty London, Spaceman shaped the band’s new record in his head. He plays 16 different instruments on Everything Was Beautiful, which was recorded at 11 different studios, as well as Spaceman’s home, with more than 30 collaborators, including Spaceman’s daughter Poppy. —Scott Russell

Superchunk: Wild Loneliness

Feb. 25

Adding to the list of awesome music recorded during lockdown are indie-rock heroes Superchunk and their forthcoming album Wild Loneliness. The album was mixed by Wally Gagel, who was responsible for the band’s landmark Here’s Where the Strings Come In, and also features a wide variety of guests ranging from Norman Blake and Raymond McGinley of Teenage Fanclub to Sharon Van Etten, R.E.M.’s Mike Mills, Wye Oak’s Andy Stack and more. For fans of infectious power pop and indie rock, Superchunk are here to save the day. —Jade Gomez

Nilüfer Yanya: PAINLESS

March 4

Nilüfer Yanya was one of Paste’s best new artists of 2019, and we’ve been looking forward to her Miss Universe follow-up ever since. That anticipation only multiplied when the London art-rock singer/songwriter announced PAINLESS and shared “stabilise.” We praised the track as a sign of “great things to come on Yanya’s new record, blending the hushed, melodic atmospherics of The xx with the precise, propulsive musicianship of Bloc Party,” as well as “a mesmerizing first taste” of her second effort. —Scott Russell


March 18

Charli XCX has been pushing the boundaries of pop and set trends since 2013’s True Romance. Following how i’m feeling now, which was recorded and released while XCX was in lockdown, the singer has announced CRASH. As seen on the album’s first two singles, “Good Ones; and “New Shapes,” XCX is taking influence from ‘80s pop music and various tropes to channel a soulless character who made a deal with a dark entity for her talents, a possible nod to this album being her last of her current record deal. —Jade Gomez

Father John Misty: Chloë and the Next 20th Century

April 8

After three and a half years and a dozen Instagram teasers, we can finally say it: “Mr. Tillman, good to see you again.” Father John Misty announced his fifth album and first since 2018’s God’s Favorite Customer earlier this week, also sharing the cinematic video for lead single “Funny Girl.” A rueful and sweeping orchestral pop song, “Funny Girl” is a long way from Father John Misty’s last outing, instead landing somewhere between the piano-forward scope and sadness of Pure Comedy, and the stylistic vibrance of I Love You, Honeybear. We can’t wait to hear more. —Scott Russell

Wet Leg: Wet Leg

April 8

English duo Wet Leg exploded out of the gate in 2021, marking their signing to Domino Records with their stellar debut single “Chaise Longue,” and landing on Paste’s lists of the year’s best songs and new artists in the process. Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers show no signs of slowing down in 2022: The Isle of Wight natives’ first U.S. shows sold out at lightning speed—despite their having only released four songs—and their self-titled debut album, recorded and produced by Speedy Wunderground’s Dan Carey, Jon McMullen (“Chaise Longue”) and Josh Mobaraki (“Angelica”) in London in April 2021, is as hotly anticipated as indie-rock records get. —Scott Russell

Jack White: Fear of the Dawn & Entering Heaven Alive

April 8 & July 22

When Jack White shared his first new music since 2018’s Boarding House Reach in October 2020, we expected he may have had something bigger up his sleeve—what we didn’t expect was two somethings. Set for release via White’s own Third Man Records, Fear of the Dawn and Entering Heaven Alive will be White’s first new albums in more than four years. A Tribe Called Quest’s Q-Tip is featured on Fear of the Dawn, as its tracklist reveals, but so far, all we’ve heard from either album is Fear of the Dawn opener “Taking Me Back,” which we praised upon release as “a return to White’s sweet spot after the oddity of Boarding House Reach, with a bludgeoned backbeat and big, brash guitar riffs taking turns in the driver’s seat.” —Scott Russell

100 gecs: 10000 gecs


Polarizing electronic act 100 gecs are ramping it up with more gecs. On the aptly titled 10000 gecs, the duo comprised of Laura Les and rising superstar producer Dylan Brady don’t seem to have any desire to let up on the bubbly, chaotic sound that has marked a distinct shift in pop music. Their exciting single “mememe,” which features untouched vocals from Les, hints at an album with more pop-punk influences, less vocal manipulation and just as many gecs (whatever those may be). —Jade Gomez



We’ve been craving another album from Toronto-based outfit Alvvays for years now, after hailing their last LP, 2017’s Antisocialites, as one of the best of the decade. Updates from the band have been all too scarce in the interval, but a glimmer of hope appeared late last year, when Alvvays debuted two new songs during an Oct. 27, 2021, show at The Forum in Inglewood, California. Rumored to be titled “Many Mirrors” and “After the Earthquake,” the new tracks maintain Alvvays’ enchanting mix of surf rock and dream pop, and we can only hope the band have another sublime album up their sleeves. —Scott Russell

Amen Dunes


Rock singer/songwriter Damon McMahon, aka Amen Dunes, returned last summer, signing to Sub Pop and sharing Sleaford Mods collaboration “Feel Nothing,” his first new material in three years. We previously hailed his breakthrough 2018 album Freedom as one of that year’s best. Recorded in Los Angeles with co-producer Ariel Rechtshaid (HAIM, Vampire Weekend, many more), “Feel Nothing” suggests a bold new direction for the artist, and though Amen Dunes has yet to formally announce his sixth album, we’re excited for it just the same. —Scott Russell

Arctic Monkeys


Arctic Monkeys drummer Matt Helders confirmed that the iconic band’s follow-up to 2018’s Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino is “pretty much” finished in an interview with 5 Live Breakfast. The band reportedly began recording around January of 2021, with Helders confirming that they were working on new material while dealing with the pandemic. Butley Priory, a venue located in Suffolk, confirmed the rumors after thanking the band for recording with them on their website. As expected, fan craziness ensued. We can only imagine there will be more of the same if/when the album is released. —Jade Gomez

Benny the Butcher


Griselda is explosive, and the rap collective is credited as bringing back the scrappy New York underground sound in the same vein as the Wu-Tang Clan. All of its members are workhorses, and Benny the Butcher is no exception. 2021 saw the release of The Plugs I Met 2 with Harry Fraud, Trust the Sopranos with .38 Spesh, and Pyrex Picasso, so it’s fair to say we will get more material in 2022. Snoop Dogg signed Benny to Def Jam in November of 2021, and the rapper is gearing up to release Long Live DJ Shay, a compilation tape in memory of the late Griselda producer. With such a big record deal under his belt, his next album will definitely be one for the books. —Jade Gomez



BROCKHAMPTON originally intended to release another album after 2021’s ROADRUNNER: NEW LIGHT, NEW MACHINE, but ultimately decided to push it back to 2022 after trying out new members. The forthcoming album is expected to be the revolutionary hip-hop group’s last. While not much has been said about it, this is not the end for the collective’s individual members, with Kevin Abstract telling Vulture in an April 2021 interview, “Everyone wants to do other stuff. It’s gonna be cool.” —Jade Gomez

Built to Spill


Two institutions of Pacific Northwest indie rock came together in October 2021, with Boise, Idaho-based trio Built to Spill signing to Seattle’s Sub Pop. In addition to a 2022 U.S. tour, the announcement revealed that Doug Martsch and members of Brazilian band Oruã had started work on the first new Built to Spill album since 2015’s Untethered Moon, set for release this year. Entering their fourth decade as a band, Martsch and company are coming off a career-long gap between studio LPs, and we’re thrilled to hear what more they have in the tank. —Scott Russell

Caroline Polachek


Caroline Polachek’s infectious single “Bunny Is a Rider” dropped in July 2021, and the songwriter has been quiet since, aside from a headlining North American tour. In 2022, we are manifesting more material as a follow-up to 2019’s Pang. If a “48-hour manic spree of writing” she did with collaborator Danny L Harle or her unreleased 2020 collaborations with OPN, Beck, SOPHIE and Grimes weren’t enough indication of a new record on the way, Polachek confirmed that “Bunny Is a Rider” is part of a longer project in a July 2021 interview with Crack Magazine. —Jade Gomez

Danny Brown


Whether you realize it or not, 2021 was Danny Brown’s year. When he wasn’t executive producing the slew of albums from his label Bruiser Brigade, he was streaming on Twitch. Fans were treated to previews of Quaranta, which is 40 in Italian, in between riveting Persona playthroughs. The bleak, confessional album is a spiritual successor to 2011’s XXX, written to mark Brown turning 30. The Detroit icon is 40 now, and Quaranta documents his highs and lows with production from The Alchemist, Knxwledge, Samiyam and more. Brown confirmed the album was being mixed in September 2021, and if he intends to stay true to the title, we should see a new Brown album before his 41st birthday in March. —Jade Gomez

Kendrick Lamar


Kendrick Lamar has been very quiet since 2017’s DAMN., and he only broke that silence by announcing that his next album would be his last with Top Dawg Entertainment last August. Lamar gave fans a taste of new music when he was featured on “Range Brothers” and “Family Ties” off his (rumored) cousin Baby Keem’s The Melodic Blue in 2021. As recently as Jan. 3, TDE producer Sounwave (responsible for “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe”) shared that there’s “new creations on the way.” All signs are pointing to a very exciting 2022. —Jade Gomez



M83’s Anthony Gonzalez recently marked the 10th anniversary of his Grammy-nominated 2011 double album Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming with a limited 10th anniversary vinyl edition, with an arguably far more interesting nugget buried in that announcement: “Gonzalez is hard at work in the studio and looks forward to seeing his fans very soon … ” M83 has only released two proper studio albums in the decade-plus since Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, 2016’s Junk and 2019’s DSVII, but with Gonzalez “hard at work in the studio,” there’s clearly hope for this year yet. —Scott Russell



Five years after bottoming out with their 2013 self-titled, MGMT returned reinvigorated with the acclaimed Little Dark Age, proving their longterm staying power after a rollercoaster ride of a first three albums. Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser went independent in 2019, releasing their own and other artists’ music (including Cola Boyy’s 2021 debut Prosthetic Boombox) via MGMT Records. But they’ve also found the time to “makey muzyq,” as they put it in a social media tease last summer, and we sure would love to hear it! There’s no official word on MGMT 5 yet, let alone a release window, but 2022 strikes us as a safe bet. —Scott Russell

Rina Sawayama


At least Rina Sawayama gives people a timeframe for their hype. The London-based multi-genre artist replied “next year late summer” to an eager fan asking about the follow-up to 2020’s Sawayama. The singer has been busy since the release of her debut, collaborating with Elton John for a new version of “Chosen Family; and being featured on Metallica’s The Metallica Blacklist, as well as Lady Gaga’s Dawn of Chromatica. Oh yeah, she’s also starring in John Wick 4. Sawayama opened up about her second album in a November interview with Music Week, revealing that she’s working with producers in addition to her frequent collaborator Clarence Clarity: “All these newcomers have been incredible. So much of it was written during lockdown on Zoom sessions, which I hated. But somehow they yielded good songs.” —Jade Gomez

Rosalia: Motomami


We’ve been anticipating Rosalia’s follow-up to 2018’s Grammy-winning El Mal Querer for quite some time, but sadly (and obviously), its rumored early-2021 release didn’t come to pass, with precious few updates since. That changed in early November, when the Spanish pop star shared a teaser revealing her album’s title, Motomami, and confirming a 2022 release. Soon after, she shared “La Fama,” a collaboration with The Weeknd that will reportedly appear on the album. —Scott Russell

Sky Ferreira


Elusive pop figure Sky Ferreira has been promising a new album ever since 2013’s incredible Night Time, My Time, and after almost a decade of waiting, fans may soon be treated to its follow-up, Masochism. Ferreira confirmed on Instagram that “it’s actually coming out this time,” and its release may coincide with her performance at Spain’s Primavera Sound. Rihanna fans, the Sky Ferreira fans understand your pain. —Jade Gomez

The Smile


After forming last spring, rock supergroup The Smile—i.e., Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood, and Sons of Kemet’s Tom Skinner—released their debut single this week, the nervy, Nigel Godrich-produced rocker “You Will Never Work In Television Again.” The band teased a full-length album that same day, tweeting, “The Smile album is at the track-listing stage (6227020800 possible song orders)”—better mathematicians than us deduced that means 13 tracks. Side projects tend to function more as loose creative outlets than essential creative conduits, but given all the talent involved in The Smile, as well as the taut, The Bends-esque energy of the group’s first track, we’re plenty game to hear what else they’ve cooked up. —Scott Russell



SZA’s 2017 album CTRL was inescapable, and fans are rightfully impatient as they wait for the Top Dawg Entertainment queen to soundtrack their pandemic loneliness. That’s not to say she’s been silent—the singer has collaborated with Doja Cat and Kali Uchis in 2021. She also formally released the previously SoundCloud-exclusive “I Hate U” after it went viral on TikTok. 2022 might be the year of Top Dawg Entertainment if her label-mates Kendrick Lamar and Schoolboy Q also choose to drop this year. —Jade Gomez

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share Tweet Submit Pin