Indie Basement: Most Anticipated Albums of 2022
It's always good to have things to look forward to. After spending the last month or so looking back at 2021 now it's time to shed some skin and move on. BrooklynVegan already published its list of 80 Albums We're Looking Anticipating in 2022, and now here's the Indie Basement version, which contains some of the same records but also lots more, with a deeper dive into the world of classic indie, college rock and other genres explored in my column. I picked 42 that I either know are coming or I'm very excited for them to exist, plus a few honorable mentions and pie-in-the-sky dreams.
I don't know what curveballs 2022 has in store, especially after the last two years, but knowing there are a lot of records on the way by artists I love offers a little comfort. Here's to the next 12 months of music!
Head below for my picks.
INDIE BASEMENT - MOST ANTICIPATED ALBUMS OF 2022
In alphabetical order:
Aldous Harding - Warm Chris (due 3/25 via 4AD)
It's been three years since Aldous Harding released the weird, wonderful Designer (my #2 of that year) and she's finally back with a new album. She's working with the same Designer crew, including John Parish and H. Hawkline, plus some new collaborators as well. I am interested to find out how Sleaford Mods' Jason Williamson is involved. New single "Lawn" is terrific and the video has her in more great hats.
Andy Bell - Flicker (due 2/11 via Sonic Cathedral)
For his second solo album, Ride's Andy Bell revisited his archive of unfinished songs, some of which haven't seen the light of day in a long time. "Some of these songs date back to the ’90s," Andy says, "and the cognitive dissonance of writing brand new lyrics over songs that are 20-plus years old makes it feel like it is, almost literally, me exchanging ideas with my younger self.” The first single, "Something Like Love," sounds like a parallel universe version of "Vapour Trail."
Beach House - Once Twice Melody (due 2/18 via Sub Pop)
Baltimore duo Beach House are dreaming big for their eighth studio album, which takes the ethereal, psychedelic textures of '7' even further, working with producer Alan Moulder (My Bloody Valentine, Nine Inch Nails), Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips, MGMT) and, for the first time, a live string section. We've gotten to hear a lot of it already, as the band have been releasing monthly four-song chapters -- which are also the four sides of the double album -- and it all sounds great. On just half the record it's already a contender for my Album of the Year. Pre-order in multiple formats.
Bodega - Broken Equipment (due 3/11 via What's Your Rupture)
It's been four years since NYC band Bodega railed against our technology-chained existence on their fantastic debut, Endless Scroll. Things haven't gotten a whole lot better on that front, and their second album continues to explore our second screen lives, as well as the state of their hometown that's ever-further taken over by big real estate and tech bros. All via super-catchy, danceable post-punk inspired indie rock.
The Boo Radleys - Keep on With Falling (due 3/11 via Boostr)
Honestly I'm not sure how I feel about this one. I love The Boo Radleys, especially 1993's Giant Steps, but they're making this album -- their first in 24 years -- without guitarist Martin Carr who wrote literally every song they ever did during their original run. Can they do it without him? The two songs released so far are not bad, so we'll see. Meanwhile, Martin Carr has signed with Sonic Cathedral (also home to Ride's Andy Bell and lots of other great modern shoegaze) and is working on new material too.
Built to Spill (due TBA via Sub Pop)
In many ways it's kinda amazing that Pacific Northwest indie rock greats Built to Spill weren't on Sub Pop from the start. Better late than never, though, as the band signed with the Seattle indie label last year and will release new music this year, just in time for their 30th anniversary.
Cate Le Bon - Pompeii (due February 4 via Mexican Summer)
For her sixth album, Cate Le Bon went at it almost entirely alone, recording in an "uninterrupted vacuum" and "a quagmire of unease," playing every instrument on the album herself apart from drums (Warpaint's Stella Mozgawa) and saxophone (Younghusband's Euan Hinshelwood). That vacuum was located in Gruff Rhys' house which he lent her while he was away. "The subtitle is: 'You will be forever connected to everything,'" says Cate. "Which, depending on the time of day, is as comforting as it is terrifying. The sense of finality has always been here. It seems strangely hopeful. Someone is playing with the focus lens. 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.”
Charlotte Adigery & Bolis Pupul - Topical Dancer (due 3/4 via DEEWEE)
Having released two terrific EPs via Soulwax's DEWEE label, Charlotte Adigéry made her musical and life partner, Bolis Pupul, official and they rebranded as a duo. Musically they haven't changed a thing, making socially conscious dancepop with a wide streak of tongue-in-cheek wit. They describe their debut album, which was cowritten and co-produced by Soulwax, as "a snapshot of how we view our world in the 2020s, a glimpse into the conversations we had over tea, whilst toying around with synthesizers, drum computers and what-not at the DEEWEE studio over the past 2 years."
Destroyer - LABYRINTHITIS (due 3/25 via Merge)
Bejar's back! This time Dan cites Art of Noise is an influence and you can definitely hear that in the crazy cut and paste production of first single "Tintoretto, It's For You." It doesn't sound like anything he's done before, but yet still only sounds like Destroyer. Dan also says he and collaborator John Collins' "touchstones for the album were more true to disco" and I think he'd look great in wide lapels. Preorder the jade/ivory Peak Vinyl edition of LABYRINTHITIS.
Electrelane (due TBA via Domino?)
UK band Electrelane called it quits after 2007's fantastic No Shouts No Calls (my favorite album of that year), but stayed friends and reunited for a UK tour in 2011. Covid brought them back together, virtually, for a livestream Q&A which they enjoyed so much they started making new music. Whether that ends up being an album, an EP or just a single, I'll take it.
Folk Implosion (due TBA)
The pandemic has inspired a lot of people to revisit their past, and for Lou Barlow that included reconnecting with his old Folk Implosion partner John Davis after 21 years apart. Maybe they could get Harmony Korine to make a Kids sequel and they could do the soundtrack?
Fontaines DC - Skinty Fia (due April 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. Preorder our limited edition, exclusive translucent red vinyl edition of Skinty Fia.
Go-Kart Mozart (due TBA via Cherry Red)
Guided by Voices - Crystal Nuns Cathedral (due 3/4 via Guided by Voices Inc)
Having released three albums a year the past two years, it seems unlikely that Guided by Voices will slow down in 2022. Also showing no signs of depletion: Robert Pollard's well of big riff indie rock earworms if Crystal Nuns Cathedral's first single is any indication.
Horsegirl (due June 3 via Matador)
I may be putting the cart before the Horsegirl, as the Chicago trio are only releasing their first single for Matador in March. They are also busy beyond music, with two members in the first year of college at NYU and the other finishing up senior year of high school, but we certainly hope there's more where "Billy" is coming from and that we won't have to wait till 2023 to hear it.
The Jazz Butcher - The Highest in the Land (2/4 via Tapete)
Pat Fish, the man behind The Jazz Butcher, died suddenly in October but he made a new album, his first in a decade, before he left us. Like Bowie with Blackstar, Pat seemed to know he didn't have long on this earth: "My hair’s all wrong. My time ain’t long. Fishy go to heaven, get along, get along," he sings on "Time." Working with old friends and collaborators, including indispensable guitarist Max Eider, he clearly aimed to go out on a high.
Just Mustard (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, having released the terrific "I Am You" last year as a teaser for their second album that is still to be announced but will be their first for Partisan. Hopefully there will be news and new music by the time they tour with Fontaines DC in the spring.
Kae Tempest - The Line is a Curve (duo 4/8 via American Recordings / Republic Records)
Despite working once again with collaborator/producer Dan Carey, Kae Tempest looks to be making a record unlike their previous three this time out. Most notably there are a bunch of features here, including Fontaines DC singer Grian Chatten, Lianne De Havas, and Brockhampton's Kevin Abstract. Musically it's different too, especially compared to 2019's understated The Book of Traps and Lessons, with more immediate hooks and bigger beats. First single "More Pressure" is one of the clubbiest things Kae's ever done.
King Hannah - I'm Not Sorry, I Was Just Being Me (due 2/25 via City Slang)
King Hannah, aka Hannah Merrick and Craig Whittle, are skillful builders of mood, crafting layers of smoky atmosphere with a dark and stormy mix of blues, indie rock, post rock and a little trip hop for good measure. Their 2020 mini-LP was a great introduction, and singles "A Well Made Woman" and "All Being Fine" point to their full-length debut as being something special.
Klaus Johann Grobe (due late 2022, Trouble in Mind)
Swiss duo Klaus Johann Grobe took some time off after releasing their great third album, Du Bist So Symmetrisch, and extended their break with the pandemic, but have now started work on their fourth long-player. "We always go wherever things take us," KJG tell us, saying the new material leans "jazz meets yacht rock." If it's anything like 2019 single "Downtown," that's a great place to be.
Loop - Sonancy (due 3/25 via Cooking Vinyl)
Robert Hamson reactivated his psych band Loop in 2013 but is only just now putting out a new album, which will be their first since 1990's A Gilded Eternity. “My motto has always been ‘Forward’ and I always try to do something new with each record," says Hampson. "With ‘Sonancy’ I also wanted to take a post-punk sound, spin it on its head and mix it with a psych influence. A total gumbo. Which has always been Loop, this mash-up of spicy rhythms.” First single "Halo" is terrific, so this album looks to be worth the wait.
Metronomy - Small World (due 2/18 via Because Music)
Not that Metronomy have ever been a maximalist band, but they say their seventh album marks a return to "simple pleasures, nature, and an embracing in part of more pared-down, songwriterly sonics." At nine songs and 35 minutes, it's definitely much more compact than 2019's Metronomy Forever, and effervescent first single "It's Good to Be Back" bodes well.
Midlake - For the Sake of Bethel Woods (due 3/22 via ATO/Bella Union)
Midlake reconvened to make their first new album in nearly a decade after flautist/keyboardist Jesse Chandler had a dream where his late father told him to get the band back together. In tribute to that, the album art is an illustration based on a photo of his dad at the original Woodstock festival which also inspired the album's title. Using an outside producer (John Congleton) for the first time, Midlake still sound like Midlake -- lush, '70s-inspired -- on terrific first single "Meanwhile..." Welcome back.
Midnight Oil - Resist (due 2/18 via Sony Music)
Strident, fiercely political Australian band Midnight Oil reformed in 2016, toured the world and released The Makarrata Project, their first album in nearly two decades, in 2020. They've since announced that Resist, their 13th album, will also be their last. First single "Rising Seas" is classic Oils and looks to having them go out with a bang.
My Bloody Valentine (due TBA via Domino)
My Bloody Valentine's Kevin Shields has been saying we'd hear new music "this year" for a few years now, never with any actual fruit to bear. (Quite often, though, he's said it in foreign interviews we've had to use Google Translate to read.) Most recently he did this in May, 2021. We have even less hope of hearing something this year than The Cure, but one thing that keeps this in the "maybe" column is that MBV signed to Domino Records worldwide last year. With some infrastructure in place, and label people to apply some gentle pressure, we'll hopefully get some good news. Or, like last time, the album will just appear on the band's website with no warning. Either way is ok by us.
Night Crickets - A Free Society (due 2/14 via Omnivore Recordings)
Night Crickets are a new trio whose members you may have heard of: David J of Bauhaus and Love & Rockets, and Victor DeLorenzo of Violent Femmes. The third member is multi-instrumentalist Darwin Meiners, who is also David J's manager, and whose 2014 album, Souvenir, features both David and Victor. The group and the album came to be out of pandemic boredom but the songs released from A Free Society so far, including the title track, are inspired.
A Place to Bury Strangers - See Through You (due 2/4 via Dedstrange)
The more things change, the more things stay the same for Oliver Ackermann. Death by Audio, the effects pedal company he founded, no longer runs out of the DBA venue/living space (it shut down in 2014 to make way for Vice's HQ which is also now leaving the building) and he's got an all-new lineup of A Place to Bury Strangers, but he's still exploring the furthest reaches of noisy psych with both. See Through You also marks APTBS' first album for Ackermann's own Dedstrange label.
Porridge Radio (due TBA via Secretly Canadian)
Porridge Radio seemed primed for indie world domination with the release of their amazing second album, Every Bad -- it dominated my Best of 2020 list -- but then the coronavirus really took the wind and momentum out of their sails. I'm ready to be knocked out again...and to hopefully finally get to see them play live.
The Reds, Pinks and Purples - Summer at Land's End (2/4 via Slumberland)
Glenn Donaldson (Skygreen Leopards, The Art Museums) has been on a hot streak with his new indiepop project The Reds, Pinks & Purples, having released three albums and an EP already in less than two years. This will make a fourth. Fans of Felt, Television Personalities, and Sarah Records take note if you aren't already on board.
Sally Shapiro - Sad Cities (2/18 via Italians Do it Better)
Enigmatic Swedish duo Sally Shapiro, who set the internet alight with their 2006 bloghouse classic "I'll Be By Your Side," haven't made an album since 2013's Somewhere Else but, after nearly a decade away, are back with Sad Cities. This will be their first album for Italians Do it Better which seems like a good fit for their nostalgic sound.
Sea Power - Everything Was Forever (2/11, Cooking Vinyl)
Following Brexit, long-running UK indie band British Sea Power dropped the "British" from their name, and it also seems to have reignited the creative embers, too, as the songs released from Everything Was Forever have all been excellent.
Sloan (due TBA via murderrecords / Yep Roc)
Canadian alt-rock greats Sloan have one of the most consistently solid discographies of the last 30 years so there's not much chance they'll be unlucky on their 13th album, which is in the mixing stages as of this writing. There might be "luck" in the title, though, if pun-loving bassist Chris Murphy has any say in it.
Slowdive (due TBA via Dead Oceans)
Shoegaze icons Slowdive have been working on the follow-up to 2017's great self-titled comeback since at least fall 2020 and when we checked in with singer/guitarist Rachel Goswell in September 2021, she said "I can tell you that we are still working on it but that's all at the moment," but that there should be real news this year.
The Soundcarriers - Wilds (1/21 via Phosphonic)
UK baroque psych group The Soundcarriers had been in deep hibernation when they were woken by AMC TV series Lodge 49, whose creator, Jim Gavin, was a big fan and wanted them to write the theme song for the show. That ended up not happening, but they did write a handful of songs for the series which in turn reignited the band, resulting in their first new album in eight years. If you like Broadcast and don't already know The Soundcarriers' you're due for a crash course.
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 sounds pretty fantastic, swooning and widescreen like the best Spiritualized music, so hopefully the album will measure up to Pierce's finest work. Preorder Everything Was Beautiful on black or pink vinyl.
Spoon - Lucifer on the Sofa (due February 11 via Matador)
Having been together for nearly 30 years, Spoon are getting back to their roots with their 10th album (and first in five years). Lucifer on the Sofa is the first they've made in their Austin hometown in a decade, and they call it their most rock n' roll record yet. Elaborating, frontman Britt Daniel describes the album as, "the sound of classic rock as written by a guy who never did get Eric Clapton." They've definitely heard fellow Texans ZZ-Top, though, judging by first single "The Hardest Cut."
Superchunk - Wild Loneliness (due 2/25 via Merge)
North Carolina indie rock icons Superchunk recorded their 12th album at home during lockdown, but they phoned a few friends for long-distance help, including Sharon Van Etten, R.E.M.’s Mike Mills, Teenage Fanclub's Norman Blake and Raymond McGinley, Wye Oak’s Andy Stack, Camera Obscura's Tracyanne Campbell, Owen Pallett, Kelly Pratt, and Franklin Bruno. Described as stripped-down and lush, Wild Loneliness captures the band in a contemplative mood during difficult times.
Sweeping Promises (due TBA via Feel it Records / Sub Pop)
One of the best surprises and debuts of 2020 was Sweeping Promises' Hunger for a Way Out, an album that wrapped a whole bunch of post-punk, punk and indie rock influences around some massively catchy songs. It's a record that's stayed in my rotation ever since. Now based out of Oklahoma City and signed to Sub Pop (except in North America), they've been hard at work on its follow-up. Their new single is very...promising.
Urge Overkill - Oui (due 2/11 via Omnivore Recordings)
Urge Overkill didn't get enough credit for their 2011 comeback, Rock&Roll Submarine, which found them still masters of over-the-top '70s-style riff rock. (For that matter they don't get enough credit for 1993's awesome Saturation.) A decade away, Nash Kato and Blackie Onassis are back with more cheeky swagger...and a Wham! cover? They make it work.
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. Six months later, "Chaise Longue," still sounds great but thankfully there's a few more to listen to now, with more on the way when their debut drops in April. Having heard most of the album live when Wet Leg played NYC in December, I can say there are more single-worthy songs still to come. Pre-order Wet Leg on yellow vinyl.
Weyes Blood (due TBA via Sub Pop)
We were hoping Weyes Blood was going to release her follow-up to Titanic Rising (our #1 of 2019) last year -- there was talk -- but we sorta figured we wouldn't get it till 2022. After being off social media for most of last year, Natalie finally got back on Instagram to... post some pics with a very cute dog. We'll take it and hope for real news and new music soon.
Yard Act - The Overload (1/21 via Island)
I'm a sucker for anything that can even vaguely be compared to The Fall and Leeds group Yard Act definitely have a little of that, between frontman James Smith's sardonic sprechgesang and the group's scratchy, catchy post-punk sound. They've also got a little of that mid-'00s indie energy -- think The Rakes or Art Brut -- that Wet Leg have as well, and both bands made the BBC's Sound of 2022 shortlist. All the singles released from their debut album so far have been great. We'll hopefully get to see them live soon, too.
Artists that are due for a new album but no official word:
Thee Oh Sees
Working Men's Club
Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever
We can dream:
The Radio Dept
you could put My Bloody Valentine here too