By Ally Rosbotham – Arts and Entertainment Editor
2021 was a massive year for music, with some highly anticipated releases from major artists right across the board. With some of my favourite projects of all time coming out in 2021, it’s hard to imagine 2022 ever being able to top it. However, it certainly seems these artists will give it a run for their money. Here are some confirmed (and some not-so-official) releases to look forward to and get excited over in the months ahead.
Skinty Fia – Fontaines D.C.
Announced only this week and backed up with new single “Jackie Down The Line”, the Dublin band will drop their 3rd studio album on 22nd April. “Skinty Fia” has much to live up to, with their debut “Dogrel” being shortlisted for the Mercury Prize and their 2nd LP “A Hero’s Death” bagging a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Album. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Frontman Grian Chatten discussed living in England as an Irishman and the attitude, mistreatment, and the unwelcome feeling that comes with being an Irish emigrant. “A lot of it is revealing itself to me to be largely informed and influenced by Irishness existing in England”. He confirmed that “a lot of the album is built upon that experience, that feeling”. Their single definitely doesn’t disappoint, with a much lighter sound than that of “A Hero’s Death”, with much more dark and ominous lyrics.
Banshee EP – NewDad
Female fronted breakout band “NewDad” hail from Galway with a distinct hazy indie rock sound that you just can’t get enough of. This week, they released their 2nd single entitled “Say It” from their upcoming EP “Banshee” out on 9th February; not long to wait! Having garnered a lot more attention of late through the festival circuits, it is most definitely deserved. If you’re a fan of shoegaze-lofi-indie-rock full of distorted guitars and chilled out vocals, NewDad are the band for you. If you’re looking for somewhere in particular to start, check out their infectiously upbeat song “I Don’t Recognise You” or the moody “Blue” ahead of their new release!
Wet Leg – Wet Leg
With a released discography of only 4 songs currently available on streaming platforms, their efforts to date are highly polished and incredibly catchy with some fantastic guitar riffs – it’s clear to see why their debut album is so highly anticipated. Hailing from the Isle of Wight, the duo have been active together as “Wet Leg” since 2019 and waited to release any singles until 2021. With their upcoming self titled LP being released on April 8th, the band have already conquered many milestones such as their own NPR Tiny Desk, with performances on Jools Holland and Seth Meyers. They are definitely ones to watch, and if I were you I’d jump on the band wagon before they blow up very soon!
TBA – SZA
Although not confirmed, how could you not keep your hopes high for a new SZA album anytime soon. With the release of “Good Days” right at the end of 2020, and “I hate U” at the start of December due to a demo of it blowing up on TikTok, SZA has left us all hoping for the best with her sophomore release. Her critically acclaimed debut “CTRL” was released back in 2017, but has since featured on various projects alongside Kendrick Lamar for the Black Panther soundtrack, Doja Cat, and Summer Walker among others. SZA’s neo-soul alternative R&B style is laid back and effortless, with god-sent vocals. If you’ve not listened to “CTRL” yet, you are severely missing out.
CRASH – Charli XCX
Coming out March 18th, Charli XCX told the press she plans on going full pop-star for her final release “CRASH” on her major label recording contract. Described by herself as “poptastic”, she has since delivered two singles, “Good Ones” and “New Shapes” ft. Christine and the Queens and Caroline Polachek. With both singles being sonically inspired by 80’s synths and radio ready pop music, it’s a change of direction from her hyperpop quarantine record “how I’m feeling now”. “New Shapes” is a current favourite of mine that I can’t stop listening to, with such punchy synths how could you resist?
TBA – Arctic Monkeys
With drummer Matt Helders quietly confirming album 7’s existence to 5 Live’s Rick Edwards back in November, he stated that the new record “makes sense when you think about it in the context of the last record…it’s kind of hard to describe. You can tell it’s the same band”. Following up “Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino”; a jazz inspired/lounge pop concept album; it will certainly be interesting to see what they have coming up next. With their announcement of summer festival headliners across Europe and more recently Reading and Leeds Festival, we can assume it’ll be ready to go any time soon. Fingers crossed!