While 2022 is coming to a close, there are still a number of highly-anticipated album releases that are set to come out before the end of the year. Sure, Taylor Swift, Arctic Monkeys, and Kid Cudi just put their stamp on this year with their new albums, but there’s a really strong crop of imminent releases and especially some really juicy speculative drops on the horizon. These are our most anticipated albums for the rest of 2022.
Smino – Luv 4 Rent
Now signed to Motown records, the third album from Smino comes when the St. Louis rapper’s star is soaring higher than ever. Luv 4 Rent will feature a number of high-profile guest vocalists including Doechii, Lil Uzi Vert, Lucky Daye, and even J. Cole on the already released “90 Proof.” Smino will also be taking the album out on the road in a co-headlining tour with JID early next year.
Fred Again.. – Actual Life 3 (January 1 – September 9 2022)
Few dance music producers are blowing up in the way Fred Again.. is right now and the Brit is keeping his foot on the gas. Along with Charli XCX, Fred Again.. brought in easily the biggest crowds of the elite EDM-focused Portola Music Festival in San Francisco this past September. The third installment in his Actual Life series is sure to see him shining the light on emotive vocalists, like 070 Shake on “Danielle (Smile On My Face).”
Hermanos Gutiérrez – El Bueno Y El Malo
Swiss-Ecuadorian brothers Estevan and Alejandro Gutiérrez’s newest album is coming out on Dan Auerbach’s (of The Black Keys) Easy Eye Sounds label. Hermanos Gutiêrrez make instrumental music that feels like it belongs in an Ennio Morricone score for a movie starring Danny Trejo or Antonio Banderas. And each song is a journey into a different corner of a mystical desert offering enlightenment to all who wander its paths.
Drake & 21 Savage – Her Loss
After Honestly, Nevermind album closer “Jimmy Cooks” saw Drake and 21 Savage top the Billboard Hot 100 earlier this year, the pair decided to make an entire album together. Her Loss drops on November 4th (following a one-week delay after producer Noah ’40’ Shebib got COVID) and the rappers made the announcement midway through the new “Jimmy Cooks” video. Expect more of 21 Savage’s monotone storytelling mic savagery and Drake’s undeniable ability to keep making hits.
Phoenix – Shaka Zulu
For their first album in over five years, Phoenix have already done something they’d never done before: On “Tonight,” they featured another artist on one of their songs for the first time ever in Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig. The album was recorded in an empty Parisian Art museum in the thick of the pandemic, and “Winter Solstice” captures the rhythmic serenity that singer Thomas Mars and company were going for in recording Shaka Zulu.
Tenci – A Swollen River, A Well Overflowing
Chicago indie band Tenci was named one of our On The Up emerging artists to know in September on the strength of the delightful bucolic folk of “Two Cups.” Out on Keeled Scales, A Swollen River, A Well Overflowing now presents itself as one of the most compelling indie releases of the rest of 2022. Singer Jess Shoman’s impassioned vibrato is sure to draw comparisons to Big Thief, while the sweeping multiple movements of “Sour Cherries” show that Tenci is just as ambitious.
Joji – Smithereens
As Asian music powerhouse 88rising is getting ready to take its Head In The Clouds festival to Jakarta and Manila in December, Joji continues to rise into one of the collective’s alpha artists. He’ll be at both new Asia editions of the music fest, in the midst of his global tour to support the release of Smithereens, which sees him straddling from the fusion two-step of “Yukon (Interlude)” to the sheer balladry of the viral TikTok hit, “Glimpse Of Us.”
Christine And The Queens – Redcar Les Adorables Étoiles
Delayed nearly two months after singer Chris suffered an injury during tour rehearsals, Redcar Les Adorables Étoiles marks the first Christine & The Queens album since Chris transitioned. On the new album, Chris performs as the “Redcar” character on another crop of upper-echelon French pop songs. This promises to be a multidisciplinary project, with the gripping performer making new art while seeking to dismantle gender-assigning norms.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Soundtrack
November 11 (movie release)
Considering the success of executive producer Kendrick Lamar’s 2019 Black Panther Soundtrack (including two Grammy wins), the stakes are high for what Wakanda Forever has in store musically. Never fear, Rihanna is here to deliver the goods. A series of billboards in New York City first began teasing her appearance on the soundtrack album, which also already includes Tems’ take on Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry.”
Brockhampton – The Family
While Brockhampton announced in January that the group is breaking up, a final album has been teased since a message popped up on the video screen at their goodbye performance at Coachella. Then in early October, Kevin Abstract tweeted out that the album is due out “before the year is over” and a gag album cover for an album called No Cap. All jokes aside, the clock is effectively ticking on The Family, the final farewell from the group.
Weyes Blood – And In The Darkness, Hearts Aglow
In November, elegant indie singer Weyes Blood will return with the second album in a trilogy that began with 2019’s breakthrough Titanic Rising. Natalie Mehring’s voice gorgeously flows over a piano and hushed drum beat on the riveting “It’s Not Just Me, It’s Everybody,” a song she explains is about finding a collective consciousness as we search for meaning in a cruel world. Deeply philosophical indie epics have hardly sounded this beautiful.
Roddy Ricch – Feed The Streets 3
When Roddy Ricch followed up last month’s release of the introspective “Stop Breathing” with the straight-up flex of “Aston Martin Truck” last week, speculation spiked that the diamond-certified rapper’s next album was on the horizon. Now with the impending release of the third installment in the Feed The Series mixtape series, Ricch has said that he wants “to be closer to my fans and show all the sides no one ever sees.” He’s been wildly successful since debuting in 2017 and it’ll be interesting to see how he puts a bow on the trilogy that gave him his start.
Stormzy – This Is What I Mean
Few British rap stars have grown to international acclaim quite like Stormzy. Now signed to Def Jam, Stormzy recorded his album on the tide-locked Osea Island, saying that the process “felt beautifully free.” While “Hide & Seek” is a tongue-in-cheek love song, Stormzy went all out on hard-spitting “Mel Made Me Do It,” getting cameos in the song’s music video from globally recognized personalities like Usain Bolt, Jose Mourinho, and Dave.
It’s been five years since Ctrl dropped and we’ve been on the edge of our seats waiting for SZA’s follow-up album since then. The anticipation finally started to feel real this year when SZA said that “the album’s finally ready to go — more than I’ve ever felt before.” Never mind that she said we were gonna have a “SZA summer” because she said in mid-October that the album is coming “any day now.” And in the ultimate tease, her long-awaited new single, “Shirt,” hit Spotify last week, only to be pulled shortly thereafter because it was added to the service too early by mistake. It’s gotta be coming, right?
Ever since the August release of “Super Freaky Girl,” the Barbs have been counting on a new Nicki Minaj album. The single came after the UK’s Wireless Festival hyped Minaj’s appearance by touting an impending album. The rapper has since promised “a return to mixtape Nicki” — which hopefully comes after she’s buried the hatchet with Latto.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.