From Djo, Jessie Reyez, Maya Hawke, Rina Sawayama, Alex G and many more.
by Tyler Appleby
Two Door Cinema Club – ‘Keep On Smiling’
- The Irish synth-pop band is back with Keep On Smiling, their first record since 2019’s False Alarm. The band behind some of the biggest pop anthems of the decade (see: “What You Know” and “Undercover Martyn”) are back with two of the best singles of their career. “Wonderful Life” and “Lucky” are astounding dance bops that are sure to take the band to heights they haven’t seen since 2010’s Tourist History, and I’m totally here for it.
Ari Lennox – ‘age/sex/location’
- Dreamville’s Ari Lennox is ready to release her next studio album age/sex/location, the first release following her 2019 project Shea Butter Baby. To give us a taste of what’s on the horizon, she released a single featuring Summer Walker titled “Queen Space” that has major replay factors. According to a text shared by J. Cole—who brought Ari Lennox into Dreamville as the first female signed to his label—we are in for a more intimate look into Ari Lennox with this album. In this exchange, Ari Lennox shared that she is providing grace and compassion to herself, blocking the resistance to heal, and how this marks the end of her searching for anything other than self-love, and family. Cue happy tears and hearts melting everywhere. Can’t wait.
Jockstrap – ‘I Love You Jennifer B’
- London indie-rock duo Jockstrap is set to release their debut record after four years of releasing EPs. I Love You Jennifer B is a collection of tracks the band has been working on over the last three years, each offering something completely different. “Glasgow” is a beautiful ode to past relationships in the Northern UK city, while “Concrete Over Water” is a breathtaking example of the band’s unmatched frenetic instrumentation and production. Lead singer Georgia Ellery, known as the violinist in Black Country New Road, has a voice that’ll leave you stunned. If you’re a fan of James Blake’s earlier records, definitely check this one out.
Sampa The Great – ‘As Above, As Below’
- One of the most unique voices in music is set to release her third studio album, As Above, As Below. Full of gorgeous production and instrumentation inspired by afrobeat and jazz, this record proves that Sampa is on a totally different level. Lead singles “Lane” (featuring Denzel Curry) and “Never Forget” perfectly blend her unique soundscapes with striking bars and indelible hooks. From Zambia, Sampa the Great is an artist that should be on everyone’s radar, and As Above, As Below should be the record that properly puts her on the map.
Rachel Angel – ‘Midnite Heart Attack’
- Voted the best songwriter of 2021 by Miami New Times, Rachel Angel’s music straddles the elusive line between alternative country, folk, and rock. Midnite Heart Attack is Rachel’s debut record, and features the endlessly catchy “Closer to Myself”. Produced by Brian McTear (Sharon Van Etten, Kurt Vile, Waxahatchee) and featuring instrumentation from members of The War on Drugs, this record is set to be the perfect blend of alternative country vibes. If you’re a fan of Angel Olsen, Wilco, or Stevie Nicks, this is an artist you need to listen to.
Djo – ‘Decide’
- Joe Keery can do no wrong in 2022. From being one of the best parts of the latest season of Stranger Things, to his remarkable performance at Lollapalooza, Joe is having a major moment. Known as “Djo” to the music world, Keery releases his sophomore record Decide this month. Featuring the dazzling bops “Gloom”, “Change”, and “Figure You Out”, Decide should be the record that turns Keery into a superstar.
Death Cab For Cutie – ‘Asphalt Meadows’
- Celebrated lowkey indie-rockers Death Cab for Cutie return with Asphalt Meadows, their first full-length record since 2018’s Thank You For Today. As one of the most prolific songwriters of this generation, Ben Gibbard never ceases to give us amazing new material that rivals his best work. “Here to Forever” and “Roman Candles” are lively bursts of energy with some of Ben’s catchiest hooks to date. If you were a fan of the upbeat direction that Thank You For Today took, then Asphalt Meadows is sure to be up your alley.
Jessie Reyez – ‘Yessie’
- Toronto R&B singer-songwriter Jessie Reyez is releasing Yessie, her follow-up to 2020’s Before Love Came To Kill Us this September. Jessie announced her return with “Mutual Friend”, her latest single that tears down a destructive person in her life. With one of the most distinct and breathtaking voices in music, along with her exceptional songwriting abilities, Jessie is always an artist to look out for. Yessie should be the perfect showcase of her talents.
Mura Masa – ‘Demon Time’
- We’re all on Demon Time with British rap and electronic pop producer Mura Masa’s release of his third studio record. Full of collaborations with artists like Lil Uzi Vert, Pink Pantheress, slowthai, and Lil Yachty, the record is the experimental record we all need. Mura Masa’s slick yet inventive production compliments featured artists perfectly, and Demon Time should be the perfect showcase of his unmatched talent.
Noah Cyrus – ‘The Hardest Part’
- Pop icon Noah Cyrus releases her sophomore record The Hardest Part this month, featuring songs “Ready to Go”, “Mr. Percocet”, and “I Burned LA Down”. With a more country-influenced approach, this record sees Noah utilizing the influences of her upbringing—superstar dad Billy Ray, sister Miley, and family friend Dolly Parton—and adding her own melancholy tendencies to create some of the most bittersweet songs of her career.
Rina Sawayama – ‘Hold The Girl’
- The coolest queen of UK art-pop is back with her new record, Hold the Girl. Rina is one of pop music’s most intriguing and innovative artists, as her prior record SAWAYAMA reinvented what pop music can mean in this era. Featuring the pop hoedown lead single “This Hell”, the windows-down singalong “Catch Me In The Air”, and the cathartic ballad “Phantom”, Hold The Girl is set to be Rina’s most eclectic record yet. If you’re a fan of nostalgic ’90s pop with a fresh flare, definitely check this record out.
Alex G – ‘God Save The Animals’
- There’s no one in music like Alex G. From making an album purely on GarageBand, to collaborating with some of the biggest artists in music (see: Frank Ocean’s Blonde and Endless), to releasing some of the best alternative records of the decade, Alex G is a modern legend. God Save The Animals is his latest offering and it’s him at his wildest. “Blessing” is one of the craziest and jarring tracks of the year, while “Runner” and “Cross The Sea” prove he’s still at the top of his songwriting game. Alex G is the definition of cool, and his upcoming record should inspire an entire generation of aspiring musicians like his past records have.
Christine and the Queens – ‘Redcar les adorables etoiles’
- French singer-songwriter and synth-pop artist Christine and the Queens is back with his third studio album, Redcar les adorables etoiles. It’s already been a big year for Christine, as he’s featured on Charli XCX’s “New Shapes” and OVO Shake’s “Body”, and Redcar is another step forward for one of music’s forward-thinking artists. This is his first record since 2018’s Chris, and is mostly self-produced like Christine’s prior projects. The lead single “Je te vois enfin” is another punchy synth-pop offering reminiscent of Christine’s biggest tracks and is the perfect sampling from this vibrant new record.
Maya Hawke – ‘MOSS’
- Indie-darling Maya Hawke has been busy. From starring alongside Joe Keery (aka Djo) in Season Four of Stranger Things to shooting the latest films from Wes Anderson and Bradley Cooper, Maya has been grinding. MOSS, her sophomore record, is an elegant display of her nostalgically bittersweet songwriting matched with her delicate voice. “Thérèse” is a soft acoustic track about being stuck in someone else’s idea of yourself, while “Sweet Tooth” is a beautiful dreamy ode to her mother Uma Thurman. MOSS proves yet again that Maya is one of the most creative people alive, and is a record that’ll leave a lasting mark.
Arkells – ‘Blink Twice’
- Canada’s biggest rock band is back with Blink Twice, their seventh studio record and follow-up to last year’s Blink Once. What makes this record unique and exciting is the number of collaborations it has, including features from Lights, The Lumineers, Aly & AJ, Cold War Kids, and Tegan and Sara. “Reckoning” is the record’s lead single, and harkens back to the band’s Rally Cry days as lead singer Max Kerman leads a chorus fit for the world’s biggest arenas. The record seems to take its collaborations in stride, as the band experiments with new sounds and directions. If you’re a longtime Arkells fan or are just discovering them for the first time, this record should be satiating.
WILLOW – ‘COPINGMECHANISM’
- The resurgence of pop-punk would look much different without Willow Smith, and her upcoming record COPINGMECHANISM is another contribution to the genre’s revival. After collaborating with MGK, Yungblud, PinkPantheress, and her hero Avril Lavigne, Willow’s return is poised to be a more refined version of her previous record Lately I Feel Everything. Featuring the already loved singles “<maybe> it’s my fault” and “hover like a GODDESS”, COPINGMECHANISM should be the record that takes Willow to the next level of her music career.
Pixies – ‘Doggerel’
- Rock legends Pixies are back with their fourth record since their 2004 reunion, titled Doggerel. As one of the most revolutionary rock bands of the 80s and 90s, there’s not much that the Pixies have to prove in 2022. With this eighth studio album, the band goes bigger and bolder than they have in the past. Lead singer Black Francis emphasized this record as being more “orchestrated” than their recent releases, with fewer short songs and a matured sound. The lead single “There’s A Moon On” is an excellent taste of this evolved sound, and hints at the band’s best record in decades.
Slipknot – ‘The End, So Far’
- Legendary hardcore metal band Slipknot returns at the end of the month with The End, So Far, featuring the hit singles “The Chapeltown Rag” and “The Dying Song (Time To Sing)”. Slipknot’s trajectory over the last five years has been wild. Over 25 years into their career, the band is bigger and better than they’ve ever been. They consistently sell out arenas around the world and are not slowing down. If this record is as good as their experimental last record We Are Not Your Kind, Slipknot fans should be in for a treat. Be ready for Corey Taylor to scream his head off.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – ‘Cool It Down’
- Karen O and the squad are back. After signing to Secretly Canadian and announcing some shows in the UK, the band is finally back with their first record since 2013. Cool It Down is the title of the record, which Karen took from an obscure Velvet Underground track, and is the band’s most existential record yet. The lead single “Spitting Off the Edge of the World” is a dreamy yet cathartic ballad featuring Perfume Genius, which perfectly sets the tone for the record while showcasing the band’s evolved sound. Cool It Down is Karen O unleashing all of her feelings from the last nine years, and should be the perfect record to carry us into the fall.