MMM Staff Picks: Tom Williams’ Most Anticipated Releases of 2022

Black Country, New Road – Ants from Up There, to be released: February 4th

Photo Credit: Rosie Foster

With their bold, modern take on post-punk and jazz, English seven-piece Black Country, New Road built an instant – and fervent – cult following with their 2021 debut For the First Time. Barely a year out from that Mercury Prize-nominated debut, the band prepares to release their follow-up Ants From Up There. The album’s latest teaser “Concorde” suggests an LP of even more inventive and exciting results. 

Beach House – Once Twice Melody, to be released: January 19th

Photo Credit: David Belisle

Dream pop innovators Beach House already boast a largely faultless discography, yet the two chapters already released from their upcoming eighth studio album (which is being released in four separate chapters) suggests a potential career-best. Over fifteen years since their self-titled debut, it would seem the band is still bursting with new and exciting ideas.

Wet Leg – Wet Leg, to be released: April 8th

Photo Credit: Hollie Fernando

Few bands have generated as much genuine, grassroots excitement from just two songs as British Isle of Wight-based post-punk duo Wet Leg did in 2021. Making your very first album self-titled is a bold move, to say the least, but it makes sense when your debut single is as inventive, infectious, quietly confident, and downright fun as “Chaise Longue.”

Sky Ferreira – Masochism, to be released: Late March

Photo Credit: Press Photo

“Masochism” – meaning the enjoyment of experiencing pain – feels like an appropriate title for Sky Ferreira’s sophomore LP. Ferreira’s cult-classic debut Night Time, My Time was released in 2013 after being pushed back two years following her label’s disappointment with its pre-released singles commercial performance. Then mere weeks before the album’s actual release, Ferreira made international headlines after being arrested as part of a drugs bust. Originally intended for release back in 2015, Ferreira’s sophomore effort Masochism has yet to see the light of day and is now tentatively scheduled for release at some point this year. All the drama and delays around her music can make it seem as though it’s simply not worth the effort – that is until you listen to the music itself; with Ferreira’s admittedly limited musical output thus far being exemplary. Perhaps getting one’s hopes up for a new Sky Ferreira album this year is, in and of itself, an act of masochism and yet given the consistently compelling results of Night Time, My Time, it’s hard not to get excited. 

Gang of Youths – Angel In Realtime, to be released: February 25th

Photo Credit: Ed Cooke/Press

Much like the fantastic Sam Fender – who Gang of Youths spent 2021 opening for on tour – David Le’aupepe’s Sydney-via-London quintet turns deeply intimate inner turmoil into stadium-ready, anthemic rock numbers. Confronting grief, illness, depression, suicide, and addiction, the band has earned a dedicated following for their thoughtful and enthralling expressions of hardship. Angel In Realtime promises to build on the band’s strength as it confronts similar themes, with a newfound focus on the life and death of Le’aupepe’s late father.

Anais Mitchell – Anais Mitchell, to be released: January 28th

Photo Credit: Krista Schlueter

Anais Mitchell has spent much of the last decade turning her acclaimed 2010 album Hadestown into a Grammy and Tony award-winning play. Following her move to Vermont from New York, and the birth of her first child, Mitchell now prepares to return at the end of the month with her first new album in a decade. While Hadestown boasted grand narratives about Greek tragedies and economic depression, the teasers from her upcoming self-titled LP suggest a reality closer to home – as Mitchell finds joy and meaning in small moments of intimacy and the realities of everyday living. Yet, if lead single “Bright Star” is any indication, her superb songwriting talent remains undiminished. 

Avril Lavigne – Love Sux, to be released: February 25th

Photo Credit: DTA Records

Avril Lavigne’s 2019 comeback album Head Above Water was, by all accounts, a necessary excising of demons for the Canadian pop star who had beforehand survived a harrowing brush with death. However, while its results were occasionally genuinely compelling (“Head Above Water”, “It Was In Me”), the constant balladeering did Lavigne no favors. Three years on and it would seem as though Lavigne has gotten her mojo back, teasing a return to pop-punk with the electric “Bite Me.”

Father John Misty – Chloe and The Next 20th Century, to be released: April 8th

Photo Credit: Press

Across four albums released between 2012 and 2018, Josh Tillman has proven himself a discerning narrator of modern-day discontent; acting less as a critic of 21st Century society and more so as a mirror that reflects onto us its many flaws. A lot has changed in the world since his last album; climate change has dramatically worsened, Trump has been defeated, and most notably, a deadly pandemic has swept the world and upturned life as we know it. How Tillman will confront this myriad of crises remains a tantalizing mystery, yet if the cryptic title of his upcoming fifth LP is any indicator, it will involve a simultaneous look at both the past and the future.

Big Thief – Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You, to be released February 11th

Photo Credit: Michael Buisha

Following 2019’s near-perfect U.F.O.F. and Two Hands would be a daunting task for any band, yet if anyone can pull it off, it’s the consistently brilliant Big Thief – the indie-folk quartet led by Adrianne Lenker. Far from retreating from the task of following up their most beloved projects to date, the group has expanded their ambitions; with the 20 track double album Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You set for release on February 11th. Seven fantastic pre-release singles have shown the band, miraculously, continuing to operate on top form. 

Mitski – Laurell Hell, to be released: February 4th

Photo Credit: Ebru Yildiz

Since her breakthrough third album Bury Me At Makeout Creek, Mitski Miyawaki has proven herself to be one of indie rock’s most reliably excellent stars. Never one to do the same thing twice, Laurell Hell’s four pre-release singles suggest a subtle shift in the Mitski formula; her introspective lyricism continuing but now set against subtly 80s-infused arrangements and synths to make for some of the most captivating music of her career thus far.

Written by: Tom Williams

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