From Jack Harlow, Harry Styles, Kendrick Lamar, Arcade Fire, Flume, and many more.
by Tyler Appleby
While 2022 has already been a hectic year for new music, these first few months were the opening act. This month brings us highly-anticipated projects from some of today’s biggest artists—think Coachella headliner big. Harry Styles is making his return to music and Jack Harlow is releasing his second studio album coming off the hype of being dubbed the internet’s boyfriend. From newcomers like Charlie Hickey, and living legends like Kendrick Lamar, Arcade Fire, and Liam Gallagher—every week is stacked. Clear your listening schedules for this month because it’s about to get crazy and we’ve detailed the releases we’re most excited for.
Jack Harlow – ‘Come Home The Kids Miss You’
- Kicking off this insane month of triple-A rap releases is the Kentucky boy himself, Jack Harlow with his second full-length album Come Home The Kids Miss You. There are not many rappers killing it as hard as Jack these days. From being touted as “Top 5” by Kanye West and slaying at the Grammys with Lil Nas X to dropping one of the biggest singles of the year in “First Class”, Jack is on top of the world. He’s already released the tracklist revealing Pharrell, Drake (we saw this coming when they went on vacation), Justin Timberlake, and Lil Wayne as the features. More catchy hooks and lively bars to come—potential rap album of the summer?
Arcade Fire – ‘WE’
- Canadian indie rock legends Arcade Fire return this week with WE, their first record since Everything Now from 2017. Arcade Fire has been one of the most exciting bands in rock music for decades, and WE promises a return to the band’s conceptual yet nostalgic roots. Produced by Nigel Godrich, the legendary producer behind Radiohead’s discography, this new record will surely be one of the biggest and most exciting rock releases of the year. If the three singles have proven anything, it’s that Win and the gang are still firing on all cylinders nearly 20 years into their career—be sure to check this one out on release day.
Ella Mai – ‘Heart On My Sleeve’
- R&B queen Ella Mai is back with Heart On My Sleeve, her first record in four years. The “Boo’d Up” singer’s return has already been quite rapturous, with lead singles “DFMU” and “Leave You Alone” being standout tracks from the year so far. With a focus on honesty and sincerity, this new record is shaping up to be the biggest artistic statement of Mai’s career. With one of the smoothest voices and some of the sharpest songwriting in R&B, this record will likely shake you in all the best ways.
Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – ‘Endless Rooms’
- Australian rockers Rolling Blackouts C.F. release Endless Rooms this week, their long-awaited follow-up to Sideways to New Italy from 2020. As one of the most unique indie rock bands on the scene today, Rolling Blackouts C.F. are looking to expand on their sunny punk-rock vibes with a higher degree of confidence and swagger. With the use of field recordings and spacier production, Endless Rooms looks to be the definitive album of the band’s young career. You can be sure to see this on many year-end “best of” lists.
Sharon Van Etten – ‘We’ve Been Going About This All Wrong’
- Indie-rock darling Sharon Van Etten drops her sixth studio album this week, and is doing so with a rare approach—she hasn’t released any singles from it. While she’s given us the indelible songs “Porta” and “Used to It” already this year, the record will feature 10 completely new tracks. At this point in her career, Sharon is an undeniable titan of indie-rock, and will surely give us the highly refreshing and inventive rock album we’ve been craving in 2022.
TOPS – ‘Empty Seats’ EP
- Montreal’s most exciting band TOPS has a new EP out this month titled Empty Seats, inspired by the overwhelming emotions of the past few years. Featuring the killer new track “Perfected Steps” about a right-wing antagonist, along with previously released singles “Waiting” and “Party Again”, Empty Seats is the vibey synth-pop record we need this month. Currently touring Europe, TOPS is a good band to get acquainted with—if you’re not already—as one of the best pop-rock groups of the last decade.
Kendrick Lamar – ‘Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers’
- It’s actually happening. Pulitzer prize-winning rap extraordinaire Kendrick Lamar is dropping his long-awaited follow-up to DAMN later this month. Already turning heads with the odd title Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers, Kendrick is poised to leave us feeling completely shook with his unmatched lyricism and prodigious flows. Perhaps the beginning of his pgLang trap phase or a continuation of the social commentary-driven narratives on his past records, the mystery behind this album is all part of the anticipation. There’s no one in rap like Kendrick Lamar, and this new album looks to prove that he’s still the best in his genre.
The Black Keys – ‘Dropout Boogie’
- The Ohio rock boys are back this month with Dropout Boogie, the eleventh studio album in the group’s illustrious career. Following up their country blues tribute album Delta Kream, the Black Keys look to return to the arena rock vibe that has made them one of the biggest rock bands of the last 15 years. Be ready for some loud new songs that are destined to be played in sports arenas around the world, and for some fiercely catchy guitar licks.
Florence + the Machine – ‘Dance Fever’
- One of the most compelling voices in pop music returns this month with Dance Fever, Florence’s first record in four years. Anchored by two incredible lead singles “King” and “My Love”, the album’s production is helmed by pop maestro Jack Antonoff and it’s shaping up to be the best Florence + the Machine record yet. If you’re looking for some Fleetwood Mac or “Nick Cave at the club” vibes, look no further than this new record from Florence Welch and company.
The Chainsmokers – ‘So Far So Good’
- It’s hard to believe that top-40 mainstays The Chainsmokers haven’t released an album since 2019 considering their songs have been inescapable from the radio for many years. So Far So Good is the duo’s first record since 2019’s feature-filled World War Joy, and will surely have many more earworm dance-radio hits that’ll be played at every EDM festival this summer. Get ready to have these songs stuck in your head until further notice, whether you like it or not.
The Smile – ‘A Light For Attracting Attention’
- Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood have been two of the busiest artists in music over the last few years. From scoring films like Suspiria and Spencer to hosting radio shows, working with Four Tet and Burial, and touring with Radiohead, these two have been as prolific as musicians can get. Now to add to their endless resume: The Smile, a new band featuring drummer Tom Skinner of Sons of Kemet. Every single the trio has released thus far is giving us the Radiohead vibes we’ve desperately been craving, and their album will be a welcomed gift among rock fans everywhere. If you’ve been dying to hear new music from Radiohead, this is the best you’ll get—and it’s as amazing as you’d imagine.
Harry Styles – ‘Harry’s House’
- Has anyone else owned music in 2022 as hard as Harry Styles? From Love on Tour and Harrychella to dropping the frontrunner for the song of summer ‘22, this has been the year of Harry Styles. Harry’s House is the third offering of Harry’s solo career and is looking like his biggest throwback album yet. He’s been very upfront about the Laurel Canyon influence within his music, and the album’s title is a tribute to a Joni Mitchell proving it will transport us back to the ’70s. Harry’s House is easily the biggest pop album of the year, and we’re all invited.
Flume – ‘Palaces’
- Legendary electronic artist Flume is back with Palaces, his first album in six years. It’s hard to believe it’s been so long since Flume has given us a full-length album, especially since his 2019 mixtape essentially changed the game for production, but Palaces marks his long-awaited return. With features from Caroline Polachek and Damon Albarn, and writing from Lennon Stella, this album should be Flume’s trademark random assortment of electronic beats and hooks that we’ve been missing. The soundtrack to your clubbing adventures this year arrives with Palaces, and the vibes should be nothing short of intoxicating.
Charlie Hickey – ‘Nervous At Night’
- Charlie Hickey is one of the brightest singer-songwriters of this generation, and his debut album Nervous At Night marks his arrival. Signed to Phoebe Bridgers’ imprint Saddest Factory Records, Hickey is the perfect blend of emo and nostalgia with some of the sharpest songwriting in music. Destined to blow up, Hickey announces himself with this debut record featuring the exceptional singles “Dandelions” and “Hangar”. Prepare to be enchanted by his charm, and to have his songs stuck in your head for days.
Lykke Li – ‘EYEYE’
- If there’s anyone in pop who can deliver a completely new experience, it’s Lykke Li. The Swedish singer-songwriter phenom returns with EYEYE, her first record in four years. Lykke Li has been changing the game for pop music for over a decade now, and EYEYE proves how ambitious she truly is. Described as a “complete audio-visual experience” EYEYE has a film accompanying its release that aims to “deliver the full impact of a movie in sixty seconds.” We’re hyped for this audio-visual adventure, and to hear some of her most potent songwriting to date.
Wilco – ‘Cruel Country’
- Jeff Tweedy and the gang are back at the end of the month with Cruel Country, a whopping 21-track double album made entirely with live takes. As one of the most prolific artists of the last 20 years, Tweedy’s take on country will undoubtedly be some of the most interesting music to come from the genre in years. There are not many bands as tight as Wilco, and this extensive record should be nothing short of exceptional. Cruel Country will be the perfect album for your road trips, hikes, and campfires this summer, and we’re quite excited to hear it.
Liam Gallagher – ‘C’MON YOU KNOW’
- The snarkiest man in music unveils his latest project C’MON YOU KNOW this month, featuring the rock radio hit “Everything’s Electric”. After tweeting the phrase “C’mon You Know” for years, Gallagher finally can show us what he’s been talking about with this new record. Liam’s solo career has been quite exciting thus far, and this next record seems to be an electrifying new chapter for him and his band. Surely filled with his trademark sarcastic yet pointed lyricism, C’MON YOU KNOW should be jam-packed with the catchy and emotional Beatles-inspired rock tracks that we love Liam for.
Alfie Templeman – ‘Mellow Moon’
- The UK’s vibrant new pop artist, Alfie Templeman, unveils his debut record Mellow Moon this month, following his two previous killer EPs. Inspired by the current conditions and situations of young people in England, Mellow Moon is the climax of everything Alfie has done up until now. The 19-year-old singer is a bright young star in pop music, and this debut album looks to cement his place within the landscape worldwide. Check out his single “Broken” from the record—it’s one of the most fun tracks of the year so far.