41 albums we’re anticipating for spring 2022
When the year began, we listed 80 albums that we're anticipating in 2022, many of which have already come out -- check out our list of 30 great albums from the first quarter of 2022 and catch up on Notable Releases and Bill's Indie Basement for all of our recent album reviews -- many of which are still to come, and some of which still haven't properly been announced. (Kendrick Lamar? Arctic Monkeys? Cardi B? SZA? Rihanna?) Also, many more albums we're looking forward to have been announced since then, so now that the first quarter of 2021 is a wrap and spring is here, we've put together a list of 41 albums that we're looking forward to from now until the end of June. Some of these appeared on the list we did back in January, but most of them didn't. Read on for the list (in alphabetical order) and let us know what albums you're looking forward to this spring...
Alexisonfire - Otherness
due 6/24 via Dine Alone
Canadian post-hardcore vets Alexisonfire are set to return with their first album in 13 years, and rather than recreating their early days, they appear to be taking a clear step forward. "We’ve been given the opportunity where people are actually listening, but what are we going to do with that?," co-vocalist Wade MacNeil recently told told SPIN. "I’m going to make something that’s odd and try and work with artists and people on the record that can help elevate that and push it in a different direction. The fact that someone’s listening is an opportunity to do something bizarre and cool. And any band that uses an opportunity to go middle of the road? I just don’t know why they’re a band."
Angel Olsen - Big Time
due 6/3 via Jagjaguwar
According to the bio for Big Time, Angel Olsen's new album came to fruition after she finally came out to her parents as queer, and tragically lost both her mother and father shortly afterwards. Speaking about the stunning lead single "All the Good Times," Angel said she wanted to "embrace just a minimal feeling, and to just be straight up about stuff," and you can definitely hear that coming through in this plaintive, earthy song that hearkens back to her folkier days in fresh and exciting ways.
Pick up the new Angel Olsen album on pink vinyl.
Arcade Fire - WE
due 5/6 via Columbia
Arcade Fire disappointed a lot of fans with 2017's Everything Now (us included), but after hearing their excellent new single "The Lightning I, II," we're staying cautiously optimistic about their upcoming album WE. The two-part, six-minute song feels like the Arcade Fire we know and love, and they sound totally reinvigorated. Adding to the excitement, Radiohead collaborator Nigel Godrich co-produced this LP with the band, and Peter Gabriel appears on a song.
Pick up the new Arcade Fire album on white vinyl.
billy woods - Aethiopes
due 4/8 via Backwoodz Studioz
After releasing two albums with Armand Hammer in 2020 and 2021, and a collaborative album with Moor Mother in 2020, NYC rapper billy woods is now set to return with his first solo album in three years, Aethiopes. It was entirely produced by the great Preservation, and it features appearances by El-P, Boldy James, Despot, Quelle Chris, Denmark Vessey, Fatboi Sharif, billy's Armand Hammer partner ELUCID, and more. Based on that cast, and the hot streak woods has been on, our hopes are very high.
Cave In - Heavy Pendulum
due 5/20 via Relapse
2019's Final Transmission was Cave In's final album with their late bassist/backing vocalist Caleb Scofield, but the band recently told Decibel that Caleb's presence is all over this album. Lead single "New Reality" is about him, and features a riff he wrote before his passing, and most of the lyrics to "Amaranthine" were written by Caleb too. Heavy Pendulum is also Cave In's first with new bassist/backing vocalist Nate Newton (of Converge, Doomriders, and Old Man Gloom), and was produced Nate's Converge bandmate Kurt Ballou, and Nate's presence is immediately felt too. It's no surprise that Nate fits right in with Cave In, and judging by the two singles, this new version of Cave In sounds locked and loaded.
Dehd - Blue Skies
due 5/27 via Fat Possum
Chicago trio Dehd follow up 2020's well-regarded Flower of Devotion with their most considered work to date. Emily Kempf, Eric McGrady and Jason Balla made it at the same studio as Flower of Devotion, but tripling their studio time allowed them to flesh out their songs with synthesizers, drum machines and other new sounds. Don't worry, they haven't abandoned their DIY roots: singles "Bad Love" and "Stars" still sound raw and visceral.
Ethel Cain - Preacher's Daughter
due 5/12 via Daughters of Cain
Alabama alt-pop artist Ethel Cain released a promising debut EP, Inbred, last year, and she's amped up our anticipation for her new full length with the first single, "Gibson Girl," whose vocals recall the middle ground between Lana Del Rey and Billie Eilish.
Florence + The Machine - Dance Fever
due 5/13 via Polydor
Florence Welch worked with Jack Antonoff and Glass Animals' Dave Bayley on her fifth album, which was inspired by "clubs, dancing at festivals, being in the whirl of movement and togetherness" -- things that she missed during Covid lockdown. The propulsive, percussive singles she's shared, "My Love," "Heaven Is Here," and "King," are bursting with energy and should sound even larger than life at the shows she's playing this fall.
Pick up the new Florence + The Machine album on double vinyl.
Fontaines DC - Skinty Fia
due 4/22 via Partisan
There's a deer inside a house on the cover of Fontaines DC's third album and the title, Skinty Fia, is an Irish expletive that translates to “the damnation of the deer," whose meaning has been Anglicized and diluted over the years. The band are examining their own Irishness, as represented by the now extinct Irish Giant Deer, on this album which is the first they've made since moving out of their home country.
Gospel - The Loser
due 5/13 via Dog Knights
Yes really. NYC prog-screamo legends Gospel are finally putting out a followup to their sole album, 2005's classic The Moon Is A Cold Dead World, and it's coming courtesy of the great current screamo/post-hardcore label Dog Knights. Like their debut, Converge's Kurt Ballou produced, and he also plays sax on the one song that's out so far, "SRO."
Hollie Cook - Happy Hour
due 6/24 via Merge
Happy Hour is Hollie Cook's fourth album (second for Merge) and it's the first one she made with her live band, General Roots, who co-produced the record with her. (Youth, who produced her 2018 album Vessel of Love, serves as executive producer.) The album features dub and reggae icon Dennis Bovell, as well as Jamaican singer Jah9 and British soul songwriter Maverick Sabre, but as usual Hollie's honeyed vocals and harmonies, and the smooth Lovers Rock style, are the stars of the show. For those who missed the strings that were elemental to Hollie's first two albums, they're back for this one.
Horsegirl - Versions of a Modern Performance
due 6/3 via Matador
Chicago's Horsegirl signed to Matador when members Gigi Reece, Nora Cheng, Penelope Lowenstein were all still in high school and hadn't played very many live shows. But their songs, indebted to Sonic Youth, Galaxie 500, Flying Nun bands and The Raincoats, already feel like those of a seasoned band. Adding to their indie rock bona-fides: they made the album at their hometown's famed Electric Audio studio with producer John Agnello (Dinosaur Jr., The Breeders). “It’s our debut bare-bones album in a Chicago institution with a producer who we feel like really respected what we were trying to do,” the band say.
Ibeyi - Spell 31
due 5/6 via XL
Ibeyi, aka Afro-Cuban, French twins Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi Díaz, will finally follow 2017's highly praised Ash this year. It was made with longtime producer Richard Russell, and it boasts guest appearances from Jorja Smith, Pa Salieu, and BERWYN, the latter of whom appears on a re-imagining of Black Flag's "Rise Above." Judging by the songs we've heard so far, the wait's been worth it.
JER - Bothered / Unbothered
due 5/27 via Bad Time Records
You can't talk about the renewed interest in ska without talking Jeremy Hunter, who's done more to bridge the gap between the ska and non-ska scenes than almost anyone. In addition to doing their beloved ska covers project Skatune Network, playing as a member of We Are The Union, playing in Jeff Rosenstock's Ska Dream band, and guesting on tons of other records, Jeremy is now set to release their debut solo album of original music as JER. Lead single "Clout Chasers" proves that JER's original material breaks down barriers between ska's various eras, as well as between ska and other genres of music, and it's full of purpose, and just as fun and effective as their covers. The album was produced, engineered, and mixed by JER's We Are The Union bandmate Reade Wolcott, who also contributed guitar and backing vocals, and it also features Jeff Rosenstock (bari sax, keys), Oceanator's Elise Okusami (vocals), Esteban Flores (keys), and more.
Pick up JER's new album on limited yellow vinyl.
Joyce Manor - 40 oz. to Fresno
due 6/10 via Epitaph
It's been four years since a new Joyce Manor album, their longest gap yet, and in fact, the band almost considered taking a break from music, but instead they wrote 40 oz. to Fresno, which was produced by Rob Schnapf (who also helmed 2016's Cody) and which is shaping up to be a return to the lean, no-frills sound of Joyce Manor's early days. Frontman Barry John says, "This album makes me think of our early tours, drinking a 40 in the van on a night drive blasting Guided By Voices and smoking cigarettes the whole way to Fresno." Sounds great.
Pre-order Joyce Manor's new album on opaque pink vinyl.
Just Mustard - Heart Under
(due 5/27 via Partisan Records)
It's been a long four years since Irish band Just Mustard released their debut album, Wednesday, that featured an alluring mix of shoegaze, trip hop and post-rock. The band are finally back, with their first album for Partisan which they produced themself. (David Wrench of audiobooks, who's worked with everyone from Hot Chip to FKA twigs, mixed it.) First single "Still" sounds great and before the album's out North America will get to hear more of the album live when they tour with Fontaines DC.
Kevin Morby - This is a Photograph
due 5/13 via Dead Oceans
Kevin Morby wrote his seventh album in Memphis and reflects the impermanence of life, as the ghosts of Jeff Buckley, Jay Reatard and others flow through these songs. He once again worked with Sam Cohen, recording at Sam's Upstate NY studio and at Memphis's Sam Phillips Recording Co. and special guests this time include Eric Johnson (Fruit Bats), Makaya McCraven and Cassandra Jenkins. “It’s about the battle every family faces," Kevin says of This Is A Photograph's title track, "that of chasing the clock, to live our lives and hold onto one another for as long as possible."
Kurt Vile - (watch my moves)
due 4/15 via Verve
(watch my moves) is Kurt Vile's major label debut, but that doesn't mean he holed up in some fancy studio with a big-name producer or anything. He made it with longtime collaborator Rob Schnapf at his own home studio, OKV Central, and said he's "getting back to [his] home-recording roots." The songs we've heard so far have those classic, breezy KV vibes, and the record features appearances from Cate Le Bon, Chastity Belt, and members of Warpaint, Sun Ra Arkestra, and more.
Leikeli47 - Shape Up
due 4/15 via Hardcover/RCA
Brooklyn rapper Leikeli47 established herself as a truly original with her 2017 debut album Wash & Set and its 2018 followup Acrylic, and after a four-year wait, she's finally ready to complete the trilogy that she began on those albums with Shape Up. Judging by the songs we've heard so far, she's only gotten sharper and more unique in the years since.
The Linda Lindas - Growing Up
due 4/8 via Epitaph
LA punk up and comers The Linda Lindas caught the world's attention with their viral performance of their song "Racist, Sexist Boy," but there's a lot more to them than just that one (great) song, and this album is about to prove it.
Lykke Li - EYEYE
due 5/20 via Play It Again Sam/Crush
Lykke Li reunites with longtime collaborator Björn Yttling for the first time since 2014's great I Never Learn for her new audiovisual album EYEYE, and lead single "No Hotel" is the most somber, melancholic music she's released since I Never Learn too.
Michaela Anne - Oh To Be That Free
due 6/10 via Yep Roc
Nashville folk/country singer Michaela Anne had a crossover breakthrough with her 2019 Yep Roc debut Desert Dove, and now she's set to release her second album for the label, Oh To Be That Free, which is made up of songs that came to Michaela as she was working her way through sobriety, pregnancy, the pandemic, and her mother's near-fatal hemorrhagic stroke. "It’s kind of surreal the way this record turned out to be exactly what I needed to hear when I was at my lowest," she says. "These songs became healers, almost as if I’d written them as letters to my future self."
Obongjayar - Some Nights I Dream of Doors
due 5/13 via September Recordings
Having spent the past six years blurring Afrobeat, soul, art pop, and more over the course of multiple EPs, singles, and collaborations, Nigerian-born artist Obongjayar is finally set to release his debut full-length album. It features jazz great Nubya Garcia on a song, and judging by the songs we've heard so far, it makes good on the promise of his early EPs and then some.
Oceanator - Nothing's Ever Fine
due 4/8 via Polyvinyl
Oceanator's (Elise Okusami) sophomore album and first since signing to Polyvinyl, Nothing's Ever Fine, was co-produced with Bartees Strange, and early singles have it looking like the best thing she's ever done. She effortlessly toes the line between punk and indie rock, and she's written some of her most addictive songs yet.
Porcupine Tree - CLOSURE/CONTINUATION
due 6/24 via Music For Nations/Megaforce
Prog veterans Porcupine Tree haven't released an album in 13 years, but that finally changes this June, and judging by the songs we've heard so far, it already seems like they've made an album truly worth coming back for.
Porridge Radio - Waterslide, Diving Board, Ladder To The Sky
due 5/20 via Secretly Canadian
Porridge Radio seemed primed for indie world domination with the release of their amazing second album, Every Bad, but then the coronavirus really took the wind and momentum out of their sails. Maybe this will be the year, though, and they also seem to have set their sights beyond just indie. “I kept saying that I wanted everything to be 'stadium-epic' - like Coldplay," singer and songwriter Dana Margolin says.
The Range - Mercury
due 6/10 via Domino
It's been a long six years since electronic musician James Hinton released his great Domino debut as The Range, Potential, and now he'll finally follow it with Mercury in June. Going by the singles, his soundscapes are as gorgeous and hypnotic as ever.
Regina Spektor - Home, before and after
due 6/24 via Warner Brothers
It's been six years since Regina Spektor released her last studio LP, 2016's Remember Us to Life, and judging by the sweeping, orchestral opening track, "Becoming All Alone," its follow-up, which she co-produced with John Congleton, should be a good one.
Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever - Endless Rooms
due 5/6 via Sub Pop
Melbourne's Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, which includes three singer/songwriter/guitarists, produced themselves for the first time for their third album. They call it, "Doing what we do best: chasing down songs in a room together." Judging by the two songs released from it so far, that sounds about right.
700 Bliss - Nothing to Declare
due 5/27 via Hyperdub
Moor Mother (aka Camae Ayewa) continues to be as prolific and multi-faceted as ever. Having released her most straight-up rap album yet and a new album with her free jazz group Irreversible Entanglements last year, she's now gearing up for the debut album by 700 Bliss, her experimental/electronic/hip hop collaboration with DJ Haram. They put out their debut EP Spa 700 in 2018 and the standalone track "Passionfuit" in 2021, and now they've finally got a full-length, which features Lafawndah, Orion Sun, Ase Manual, Palestinian producer Muqata'a, Special Interest vocalist Alli Logout, and writer M Téllez.
Sharon Van Etten - We've Been Going About This All Wrong
due 5/6 via Jagjaguwar
Sharon Van Etten's work keeps getting better and better; following 2019's amazing, career-high Remind Me Tomorrow, We've Been Going About This All Wrong could be her best album yet. She's going about its release a little differently this time and not sharing any advance singles, saying, "These ten songs are designed to be listened to in order, at once, so that a much larger story of hope, loss, longing and resilience can be told." There is a trailer, though, and its swelling, cinematic soundtrack feels epic in scope, and has really cranked our anticipation into high gear.
Pick up We've Been Going About This All Wrong on marbled smoke vinyl.
Slang - Cockroach in a Ghost Town
due 5/27 via Kill Rock Stars
Slang, the Portland group that includes Janet Weiss (Sleater-Kinney, Quasi), Drew Grow (Modern Kin, Pastors’ Wives), Kathy Foster (The Thermals), and Anita Lee Elliot (Viva Voce), started in the mid-2010s, but between Janet getting in a car accident and the pandemic, they've been a little slow out of the gate. That's about to change with the release of their debut album that also features appearances from Sam Coomes (Quasi), Stephen Malkmus, Mary Timony (Helium, Ex Hex, Wild Flag) and more. The songs released from it so far ooze grit and drama , and we can't wait to hear the rest.
Soccer Mommy - Sometimes, Forever
due 6/24 via Loma Vista
Sophie Allison worked with producer Daniel Lopatin, aka Oneohtrix Point Never, who was fresh off working with The Weeknd, for her third LP as Soccer Mommy. First single "Shotgun" is evidence that their collaboration was fruitful indeed - it's a dreamily widescreen, instantly addictive indie rock track, and it has us very excited to hear what else Allison and Lopatin cooked up.
Pick up the new Soccer Mommy album on milky clear vinyl, limited to 1000 copies.
Spiritualized - Everything Was Beautiful
due 4/22 via Fat Possum
Jason Pierce not only spent the pandemic reissuing the first four Spiritualized albums, he also made a new Spiritualized record. There are lots of parallels to 1997's Ladies and gentlemen we are floating in space, from the pillbox cover art to the use of many studios all over the world and an army of musicians, to the way opening song "Always Together with You" begins with a woman announcing the album's title in a cool, dry English accent. That song and "The Mainline Song" sound pretty fantastic, swooning and widescreen like the best Spiritualized music, so hopefully the album's parallels to Ladies and gentlemen will continue.
Syd - Broken Hearts Club
due 4/8 via Columbia
After putting out a string of enduring singles, R&B singer (and The Internet member and former Odd Future member) Syd is finally set to put out her much-anticipated sophomore solo album, five years after her debut. The singles have all been excellent, and we have a good feeling that the rest of the album will follow suit.
Tomberlin - i don't know who needs to hear this...
due 4/29 via Saddle Creek
Tomberlin's new album features an all-star cast of guest contributors, including Stuart Bogie, Shahzad Ismaily, Cass McCombs, Gyða Valtýsdóttir, Felix Walworth, and Doug Wieselman, and the stirring folk songs she's shared from it, "idkwntht," happy accident," and "tap," really stick with you long after hearing them. All of that means i don't know who needs to hear this... is shaping up to be a nice step up from her debut LP, 2018's At Weddings.
Undeath - It's Time... to Rise From the Grave
due 4/22 via Prosthetic
The wave of hardcore-adjacent death metal bands continues to expand, and with their sophomore album It's Time... to Rise From the Grave, Rochester's Undeath just might be setting a new bar for the subgenre. The singles sound even nastier than their debut, but somehow more accessible too.
Vince Staples - Ramona Park Broke My Heart
due 4/8 via Blacksmith/Motown
Vince Staples took a more stripped-back, plainspoken approach than ever on his 2021 self-titled LP, which he created at the same time as his upcoming Ramona Park Broke My Heart. Vince says there's a "direct correlation" between the two albums, but the singles suggest there are also some clear differences. Unlike the self-titled LP, these songs find Vince embracing his more immediate, pop-friendly side, but still in that uniquely Vince Staples kind of way.
Wet Leg - S/T
(due 4/8 via Domino)
It's been a while since a UK band rode a wave of hype off a single song the way Isle of Wight band Wet Leg did with "Chaise Longue," one of those instantly catchy, highly quotable earworms that also came with a great video. The songs they've released since, about half of the album is out now, have all been terrific too. Having heard most of the album live, we can say the rest of Wet Leg does not disappoint.
Yaya Bey - Remember Your North Star
due 6/17 via Big Dada
Brooklyn R&B singer Yaya Bey is gearing up for a new album which she co-produced with Phony Ppl’s Aja Grant and DJ Nativesun, and lead single "Keisha" is a bold, soaring, totally fresh R&B song. Speaking about the album, Yaya said, "I saw a tweet that said, ‘Black women have never seen healthy love or have been loved in a healthy way.’ That's a deep wound for us. Then I started to think about our responses to that as Black women. So this album is kind of my thesis. Even though we need to be all these different types of women, ultimately we do want love: love of self and love from our community. The album is a reminder of that goal."
Zola Jesus - Arkhon
due 5/20 via Sacred Bones
Zola Jesus has been making some of the best electronic goth pop around for over a decade, but she hasn't put out a new album in five years. That finally changes this May with Arkhon, which was made with Randall Dunn (Sunn O))), Marissa Nadler, etc) and drummer Matt Chamberlain (Fiona Apple, Bob Dylan, etc). Lead single "Lost" is a widescreen number full of pounding drums and a soaring chorus of voices that finds Zola in fine form.