From Big Thief, Alt-J, Beach House, Jazmine Sullivan, and more.
by Tyler Appleby
2022 has already been a wild year for new music. In January alone, The Weeknd took us on a sonic adventure through time on Dawn FM, FKA twigs took us to the club on Caprisongs, and Pinegrove took us back to our emo phase on 11:11. Not to mention other stellar releases from The Wombats, Saweetie, Earl Sweatshirt, The Lumineers, and AURORA among others. While January was unexpectedly amazing for new music, February is shaping up to be one of the most exciting months for new music in recent years. Here are some of the new releases we’re looking forward to:
Mitski – ‘Laurel Hell’
- The queen of indie-pop returns after a three-year hiatus this week with Laurel Hell, her anticipated follow-up to the incomparable Be the Cowboy. With four singles out so far, Mitski is embracing the synthy sounds of the 80’s while returning to her enchantingly unique lyricism. There’s no one in music like Mitski, and Laurel Hell is poised to be the emotional gut-punch we didn’t know we needed.
Cate Le Bon – ‘Pompeii’
- Throw out your preconceptions about guitar music, because Cate Le Bon is here to shatter them once again. The eccentric art-pop artist from Wales is dropping Pompeii this week, which features some of the best singles of the year so far. Following her last record Reward is a tall order, but if the singles indicate anything, it’s that Le Bon isn’t messing around.
Animal Collective – ‘Time Skiffs’
- The iconic experimental group returns with Time Skiffs this week, marking the first time the entire original lineup came together since 2012. Their reunion isn’t the only reason to be excited though—their new singles have all been exceptional and wildly inventive. Animal Collective is one of the most influential bands of the past 20 years, and it’ll be super exciting to see whether they can revive that level of influence with this new record.
Black Country, New Road – ‘Ants From Up There’
- Black Country, New Road is one of the most interesting bands releasing music right now. With puzzling lyrics and innovative chord progressions, the band is innovating rock music at a light-speed pace. Ants From Up There follows up 2021’s For the First Time, one of the best records of last year, and somehow the band keeps getting better and better. Every single drop has felt monumental, and this new record looks to cement their status as one of the best bands in the world.
Big Thief – ‘Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You’
- There are not many groups as prolific as Big Thief. Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You is a 20-track double album full of comfort and splendor, as displayed on each of the 8(!) singles released so far. There’s nothing quite like getting cozy and listening to the soothing sounds of Big Thief, and this extensive album looks to be the cure for this exhaustingly cold winter.
Spoon – ‘Lucifer On The Sofa’
- The world’s most consistently great rock-band is back with more scratchy consistency. Lucifer On The Sofa is the band’s tenth album, and it’s looking like they’re about to go ten-for-ten. The two singles released so far have been some of the year’s best, and mark the return to their trademark unrestrained rocking style. These guys have never failed to put out a good record, and I don’t expect their steak to end anytime soon.
Alt-J – ‘The Dream’
- English rockers Alt-J took some time off after 2017’s RELAXER to reinvent themselves, and re-establish themselves as one of the quirkiest and distinct bands out there. On The Dream, Alt-J sounds more expansive than ever with a whole new range of sonic influences and lyrical approaches. Whether The Dream proves to be the reinvention that the group claims it is will be an exciting answer to experience, and if it’s anything like their single “Hard Drive Gold,” the answer might be a good one.
Jazmine Sullivan – ‘Heaux Tales, Mo’ Tales: The Deluxe’
- After releasing one of the most acclaimed records of the year in 2021, Jazmine Sullivan returns next week with Heaux Tales, Mo’ Tales: The Deluxe, which is an extended version of her Grammy-nominated EP. While no details regarding the size of this release have been stated, the idea of Sullivan building on her brutally honest portrayal of womanhood on Heaux Tales is endlessly intriguing. Whatever these Mo’ Tales are, they surely will be spectacular.
Beach House – ‘Once Twice Melody’
- The dream-pop legends return with Once Twice Melody—an 18-track album split up into four chapters with completely new and experimental sounds for the duo. Taking a new approach in their release, each chapter has been released separately as single-installments—meaning that most of the record has already been released. This is the most ambitious Beach House project yet, and it’ll be hard to find an album experience as transcendent as Once Twice Melody.
Khruangbin & Leon Bridges – ‘Texas Moon’ EP
- It’s hard to believe that Texas Sun, the first collaboration between the smooth soul-singing Leon Bridges and psychedelic trio Khruangbin, came out two years ago. Texas Sun is some of the best music of both of their careers, so why not follow it up with another EP? Texas Moon is another concise collection of tracks and sees the two going in a more funky direction. What’s more fun than jamming out to funky tunes from Leon and Khruangbin?
Oliver Tree – ‘Cowboy Tears’
- Self-proclaimed oddball Oliver Tree is dropping Cowboy Tears this month, which surely will be one of the wildest records we’ve ever heard. Following up the success of his viral hit “Life Goes On,” Cowboy Tears is Oliver embracing his eccentricity on a whole new level. If the album experience is anything like his recent performance on Jimmy Kimmel, it’ll be one of the craziest releases of the year.
Kanye West – ‘Donda 2’
- Let’s be real—we’ll believe it when we hear it. After being constantly stood up during the exhausting Donda album rollout, it’s hard to trust Ye when he announces an album release date. Nonetheless, the fact that this sequel is real is wildly interesting. Who knows what direction Ye will go with this, but he’s definitely got a ton of new inspiration for material!
Like what you saw? Here’s more:
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