Let's face it: January can be a lot.
The Christmas decorations are down, the tree is just a ghost on the pavement, and those resolutions are looking trickier by the day.
All is not lost, however; we've still got each other, and we've music, too.
With live shows set to kick back into full swing in 2022, the release slate is bulging with big-hitters, as a host of iconic names return.
Clash writers picked out 11 vital releases from 2022 that you simply have to keep your eyes on.
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alt-J – The Dream
alt-J released two tunes in November and have scheduled a new album coming in February 2022. Lead cut 'Get Better' could be akin to a lullaby – whilst the second track, 'U&ME' is carefree and contagious, featuring a colourful array of instruments and vocals. Like preceding albums the trio have released, 'The Dream' is likely to house tunes that could either have you romanticising your commute to work or – fingers crossed – head-banging shoulder to shoulder with festival goers this summer. (Isabella Miller)
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FKA Twigs – Capri Sun
FKA Twigs shared in September 2021 that new music was in the works. The effortlessly cool alt-pop star drip fed fans content through 21’, kicking the year off with a melodic, beautiful single 'Don’t Judge Me', that featured rappers Headie One and Fred Again.
Twigs confirmed in the early Autumn that she was to release a mixtape in January, listing Mike Dean, who has recorded for the likes of Kanye West, Jay-Z and Madonna, as producer of the mixtape called 'Capri Sun'. The record will feature 'Tears In The Club', a track released in December 21’, featuring The Weeknd. In a press release, Twigs wrote that she was “so proud of this music.” (Isabella Miller)
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Arctic Monkeys – TBC
In January 2020, Matt Helders, drummer of Arctic Monkeys, alluded to plans that the Sheffield indie-rock band were in the process of crafting a seventh album. Since then, the band have been announced as a headliner at Reading + Leeds which leaves fans keeping their fingers crossed for new music.
In August, it was reported that the band had been recording a new album after a wedding venue in Suffolk, Butley Prior, revealed in their newsletter that the Arctic Monkeys had been staying with them in July and quote “recording a new album”. (Isabella Miller)
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Red Hot Chili Peppers – TBC
Red Hot Chili Peppers revealed in October that a new record was almost finished, with drummer Chad Smith stating that the Chili Peppers are proud of their new collection of tunes, which features the return of guitarist John Frusciante, who has been absent from the band for 10 years.
The frontman of the Chili Peppers, Anthony Kiedis, joined Melody Ehshani – who happens to be married to bassist Flea – on her podcast. Kiedis briefly announced one of the names of the tracks on the album is ‘Aquatic Mouthdance’ – a title that sounds very much like a rhythmic Chili Peppers tune. The album is set to be released before the band embark on their stadium tour next summer, with UK shows in Manchester, London and Glasgow scheduled for June and July. (Isabella Miller)
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Metronomy – Small World
Metronomy joyously announced their return with the single ‘It’s Good to Be Back’ earlier this year and we can’t wait to get our hands on their upcoming material. The English indie electronic group are releasing their newest album 'Small World' via Because Music in February.
Over six albums and an ever-developing sound since their formation in 1999, Metronomy has seldom disappointed. Therefore, their seventh album, 'Small World' has big shoes to fill. According to the band, 'Small World' promises a more pared-back style and an emphasis on nature and small pleasures, inspired by its writing during 2020.
Will Small World stand up to the rest of their discography? Will it feel like a pandemic album? We’ll find out in February. (Rebecca Sibley)
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Wet Leg – Wet Leg
It’s unusual to be this excited about a debut album, but indie rock duo Wet Leg have caused a stir of surprising proportions with just a handful of singles. Their first, ‘Chaise Longue’ amassed millions of streams after it was released earlier this year. Followed by the innuendo-filled ‘Wet Dream’, the band managed the impressive feat of selling out a US tour with just two singles.
Since then, their subsequent songs ‘Too Late Now’ and ‘Oh No’ have given us high expectations for the new self-titled album released with Domino. The band centres on Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers, who met at Isle of Wight College, but includes other performers for live sets. With their current songs all short, suggestive, and super fun, we’re excited to hear their album in April 2022. (Rebecca Sibley)
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The Cure – TBC
After years of speculation and promises of near completion, it looks like Robert Smith and Co. are finally going to drop another atmospheric delight in 2022. Ironically it's been 13 years since fans were treated to new material via 2008's '4:13 Dream,' but what's been teased has got acolytes very excited.
This year, while speaking to The Sunday Times, Smith reaffirmed that the new album would be 'very emotional' and will distill the past decade of his life, a decade sadly filled with numerous losses. He's also stated that it'll likely be the beloved icons swang song – a claim he's made many times before – but only more likely with the majority of the band now in their 60s.
With a huge European tour booked that promises new material being aired off the back of a '67 minute' (and most likely ten-track) release, 2022 should see listeners happy crying to all the trademark feels once more. (Sam Walker-Smart)
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Sky Ferreira – Masochism
We’ve now been waiting eight years for Sky Ferreira’s second album, and given the slew of promised (and abandoned) release dates, it’s a leap of faith including it in this list. That kind of gap between albums would usually be career-killing; fortunately, 2013’s ‘Night Time, My Time’ has become even better over the years, sharpening anticipation for a follow-up.
So what can we expect? If lead single ‘Downhill Lullaby’ is anything to go by, ‘Masochism’ (clue’s inthe name, people) will stray even further from Ferreira’s poppy, MySpace-era roots. The new song picks up where NTMT’s closing track left off: full of slow, brooding energy, it’s not a million miles from something Chelsea Wolfe would release.
That said, ‘Downhill Lullaby’ came out two years ago, and a lot’s happened since then that might have inspired some more upbeat songs. Hang on – no, scratch that. (Tom Kingsley)
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Phife Dawg – Forever
March will finally see the release of A Tribe Called Quest rapper Phife Dawg’s album ‘Forever’, on the sixth anniversary of his death from complications related to diabetes. Given the time manager Dion Liverpool and his team have spent completing it, it’s a safe bet that Forever won’t fall prey to the botch-and-grab, cash-in mentality that ruins a lot of posthumous albums.
The tracks heard so far confirm this: ‘Wanna Dance’ blends Phife’s trademark flirtatious rhymes with a bouncing, jazzy groove courtesy of Mike City, and ‘Nutshell’ – remixed as ‘Nutshell Pt. 2’ last year – matches Phife’s wordplay to an excellent J Dilla beat. Phife Dawg’s death was made all the more tragic by the fact it coincided with a late-career peak, with ATCQ’s stunning ‘We Got It From Here’ showing what the rapper was still capable of. Forever should serve as another reminder of just how great a talent the hip-hop world has lost. (Tom Kingsley)
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Earl Sweatshirt – Sick
Earl Sweatshirt is set to release 'Sick', on January 14th via Warner Records. The rapper has previewed the release with ‘Tabula Rasa’, a single featuring rap duo Armand Hammer. The single was accompanied with a standout music video which was filmed during the recording process in one shot.
When talking about the upcoming album Earl shared: “’Sick’ is my humble offering of 10 songs recorded in the wake of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic and its subsequent lockdowns”.
“Before the virus I had been working on an album I named after a book I used to read with my mother (The People Could Fly). Once the lockdowns hit, people couldn’t fly anymore. A wise man said art imitates life. People were sick. The People were angry and isolated and restless. I leaned into the chaos because it was apparent that it wasn’t going anywhere. These songs are what happened when I would come up for air.”
The album is set to launch in the first half of this year, it’s set to be a truly memorable one. (Josh Crowe)
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Charli XCX – CRASH
Fans of Charli XCX have been in wonderland for the past couple of years, massive benefactors of her relentless work ethic and output. Her upcoming album titled ‘CRASH’ marks her last of five albums with Warner, having added a death theme via her social media. It alludes to a departure from the hyper-pop sound that’s cemented her longstanding fan-base, she’s taken to Twiter to confirm the album will mark one last hurrah of her trademark sound that we’ve heard on her 2019 self-titled album and 2017’s ‘Pop 2’ mixtape.
Expect some pop-glittered goodness from the queen of the collaboration. We can’t wait! (Josh Crowe)
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