MMM Staff Picks: Douglas Dahlström’s Most Anticipated Releases of 2022
Charli XCX – CRASH, to be released: March 18th
Photo Credit: Emily Lipson
So, how is Charli XCX feeling now that her record deal is on its last leg and she’s out of quarantine (at least for now, as far as I’m concerned)? Pretty cool, pretty reflective, and pretty hungry it seems, considering the vibe I get from her pre-released single “Good Ones”, which I enjoy more than anything on her last album, 2020’s how i’m feeling now.
Guns N’ Roses – Hard Skool, to be released: February 25th
Photo Credit: Katarina Benzova
“There’s new Guns material coming out as we speak, and we’ll probably keep putting it out until the entire record’s worth of stuff is done and then put it out solid,” legendary Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash told Classic Rock while discussing his new solo project together with long-time collaborator Myles Kennedy. While it may be unlikely that they will give us another Appetite for Destruction, fans of classic hard rock should be excited, nevertheless.
Big Thief – Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You, to be released: February 11th
Photo Credit: Michael Buisha
Considering that Big Thief has already released seven of the new album’s seven tracks as singles, one could question how “new” the album will feel when it’s released in February. The decision is understandable, though. The only Big Thief song to catch my attention immediately is “Not”, otherwise, it usually takes some well-spent time before the delicate vulnerability and pure rawness of Adrianne Lenker’s songwriting really captures you. I am personally using my artistic license as a writer and stubbornly waiting for the entire album to be released until I listen to the songs to get the cohesive experience but considering how great U.F.O.F. and Two Hands – the group’s last two albums – were, and with both Lenker’s fantastic solo project songs, as well as guitarist Buck Meek’s 2021 solid Two Saviors were, I’m finding it unlikely to be disappointed.
Jack White – Fear of the Dawn, to be released: April 8th & Entering Heaven Alive, to be released: July 22nd
Photo Credit: David James Swanson
The White Stripes’ badass guitarist and vocalist Jack White released one of 2012’s best albums with the inventive, dark, and personal Blunderbuss. “Taking Me Back” has already been released as a single from one of the records, reminding me quite a bit about the White Stripes’ bashing, anthemic, legendary, and incredibly influential alternative hard rock of the 2000s. If one of his upcoming albums is only half as good as Elephant (2003) or White Blood Cells (2001), I’m buying it.
Black Country, New Road – Ants from Up There, to be released: February 4th
Photo Credit: Rosie Foster
Regarding how ground-breaking and manically strange their debut album was, this British experimental rock band will hopefully continue to impress us on their second album, but I still can’t get over the fact that it’s not titled For the Second Time. Well, they went for Ants from Up There instead, which is a quite weird title, and it’s a little worrying that frontman Isaac Wood in an interview stated that “the making of it was a really fast, whimsical approach,” since I asked for a bit more stability and structure in my review of their debut. Time will tell, I guess.
Fontaines D.C. – Skinty Fia, to be released: April 22nd
Photo Credit: Filmawi
I loved this Irish post-punk rocker’s debut album Dogrel from 2019, fronted by their breakthrough single “Boys in the Better Land”, but their follow-up, A Hero’s Death, lacked the catchy singles and sweaty vibe of its predecessor, instead offering a gloomier and darker side of the group which, in my opinion, suit them less well. Judging by bassist Conor Deegan III’s interview with NME, it’s hard to tell which approach they have gone for this time around. “We thought we’d got this sound that was finally the sound that we wanted to get across the songs, which we thought was quite poppy. We showed them to our manager, and he said, ‘Lads, this is the darkest shit you’ve ever written!’.” By the time this text is published, we might have already tasted the first flavors of their third album. Interesting.
Lizzo – Yet to be titled, release: TBA
Photo Credit: Theo Wargo/Getty Images
The Cardi B featured first single “Rumors”, to appear from Lizzo’s upcoming album, was called “the best song I ever heard in my life” by SZA, but to be honest, I’m looking more forward to an eventual Tiny Desk Concert performance than the studio recording itself, thinking about how naturally brilliant she was during her exhilarating and crowd-pleasing performance of “Truth Hurts”, “Juice”, and “Cuz I Love You” back in July 2019.
Arcade Fire – *Wishlist*
Photo Credit: Mary Ellen Matthews
Arcade Fire taught us how indie rock should sound when they debuted with the blood-pumping Funeral in 2004. Following that essential masterpiece with another two great albums, 2007’s Neon Bible and 2010’s The Suburbs, their last two records have been a disappointment, especially 2007’s Everything Now, which felt manufactured and boring. But the Strokes showed us with 2020’s The New Abnormal that even the most declined rockers can return to glory, and I’m excited to see if Arcade Fire is capable of doing it as well.
Weyes Blood – Yet to be titled, release: TBA
Photo Credit: Kathryn Vetter Miller
The imaginative psych-folk of Titanic Rising was one of my favorite records of 2019, and I can’t wait to hear what the incredibly talented 33-year-old Natalie Mering will bring us this time. According to The Line of Best Fit, the talented woman started working on her new album already in 2020, expecting it to be released in 2021. Obviously, plans were changed, and it is likely to drop in 2022 instead. Appearing on Lana Del Rey’s cover of Joni Mitchell’s (fun fact: Mering’s father dated Mitchell back in the day) “For Free” on last year’s Chemtrails Over the Country Club, as well as all over Tim Heidecker’s Fear of Death from 2020, not much indicates a radical change of style, but there’s certainly no need for that!
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