As one year in music ends, another year of anticipation replaces it. While music releases might not be as predictable as other mediums — and surprise releases continue to become the norm — some musicians have already hinted that they will release music this year.
Here are some of the artists most likely to dominate 2022:
One of the most commercially successful English bands ever might have another hit brewing. Arctic Monkeys, led by songwriter Alex Turner, are reliable hitmakers who debuted onto the scene in 2006. With a summer tour scheduled, including stops in the U.S. for major music festivals, the band will likely release an album soon.
One of the better things to come from 2020 was Bartees Strange’s explosion onto the indie scene. A former environmental activist in Washington D.C., Strange has a unique background with a genre blending style. After announcing a future tour with indie staple Car Seat Headrest — and releasing several remix tracks and a deluxe edition to 2020’s “Live Forever”— new material should be on the horizon.
Hitmaker turned indie-pop icon Charli XCX will release her fifth album “Crash” on March 18th. “Crash” will be Charli’s final album under her contract with Atlantic Records, something the album’s car crash aesthetic seems keenly aware of. With two singles released, Charli’s deviation from the hyperpop sound that initially got her in hot water with Atlantic could serve as one final “F.U.” to her tumultuous label deal.
The Miami native released a teaser for his upcoming album, “Melt My Eyez, See Your Future” earlier this year. While no official release date was announced, features including Thundercat, T-Pain and Rico Nasty were revealed and a single titled “Walkin” was released on Jan. 24. Following 2018’s “Ta13oo” and 2019’s “Zuu,” Curry is one of the few Soundcloud-era rappers to capitalize on his early success.
After a four year hiatus, one of the best artists of the last decade is poised to take over. Lamar returned to music in 2021 with several features for his cousin Baby Keem, including the Grammy nominated “family ties,” and an announcement that his next album would be his last with Top Dawg Records. The “Good Kid, M.A.A.D City” rapper will also perform at the Super Bowl, setting himself up for a big year.
The best of the late 2000’s pop punk acts, Paramore only continues getting better. “After Laughter,” the band’s previous album, is a synth-pop masterpiece and frontwoman Hayley Williams’ influence on young musicians is only growing. While Williams has recently dabbled in a solo career, the group has started on their sixth album, which could potentially drop in time for the controversial When We Were Young Festival in October.
Bridgers capitalized on her four 2020 Grammy nominations and became a household name in 2021. Between covers of Metallica and Bo Burnham — and appearing on Taylor Swift and Lorde releases — Bridgers kept busy in 2021. Even if she doesn’t announce an album in 2021, it’s a safe bet that Bridgers will play a role in shaping the music world this year.
With an album confirmed for 2022, all the Grammy winner needs to reveal is the date. Features from The Weeknd, Billie Eilish and even Frank Ocean signal “Motomami” being one of the year’s most star studded releases. Rosalía’s stellar songwriting will take an even bigger boost from production help from the Pharrell Williams-led Neptunes.
The followup to 2017’s “Ctrl” is among music’s most anticipated releases. After an active and acclaimed 2021, including the hits “I Hate U” and “Good Days” Grammy nominated collaboration with Doja Cat “Kiss Me More,” 2022 could bring a new album. However, issues with the singer’s lavel damper some excitement. In interviews and on Twitter, SZA has repeatedly discussed conflicts with her label, continuing a running theme of Top Dawg Records malpractice.