Although it’s already been a fairly robust year for pop releases, with Harry Styles, FKA Twigs, and even Charli XCX all blessing their fans with new albums, there’s still plenty more coming down the docket in 2022. Here’s our picks for some of the best pop records that are heading our way this summer.
Release date: June 24
SILK. CHIFFON. Ever since Muna got dropped by their old label and scooped up by Phoebe Bridgers and her Saddest Factory, things have finally been going right for the queer female trio. Their collaboration with Bridgers, “Silk Chiffon,” included a star-studded video featuring internet sweetheart Caleb Hearon, and the song itself was instantly beloved. They followed that initial lowkey hit up with a return to glitchy form, “Anything But Me,” and the slow burner “Kind Of Girl.” With both a fourth single, “Home By Now,” and yet another new song, “Sometimes” — a Britney Spears cover, no less — appearing in the queer film, Fire Island, their third album is shaping up to be a major one.
Conan Gray, Superache
Release date: June 24
Like plenty of artists who slated a big album drop for 2020, Conan Gray was robbed of the fanfare that should’ve surrounded his debut, Kid Krow — even if his fans still made it a massive success anyway. Now, the rising king of pop is gearing up to release his sophomore album, coming off a huge performance at Coachella 2022, and he’s shared quite a few tracks leading up to the record’s release. Criminally, “Overdrive” doesn’t show up on the tracklist, but other, slower favorites like “Yours,” “People Watching,” and “Astronomy” are all included.
Burna Boy, Love, Damini
Release date: July 2
One of the best things about pop and hip-hop during the last few years is the prevalence of Caribbean and African styles of music making its way into the mainstream. Whether you give credit to Drake or not for bringing in the sounds of the diaspora, the success of afrobeats with American audiences is pretty compelling — and Nigerian artist Burna Boy is one of those at the forefront. In 2021, Burna Boy even took home the Best Global Music Album Grammy (!), for his 2020 release, Twice As Tall, so there’s big expectations on his next project. Unfazed, Burna went on to sell out Madison Square Garden and announce the follow-up, Love, Damini, will be out on July 2, the musician’s 31st birthday.
Release date: July 15
Uproxx cover star Beabadoobee is one of the most prolific new artists in the game. Though she’s technically more on the indie rock side of things — and writes, plays, and performs all her own music — these songs are so catchy that she slots comfortably alongside plenty of fellow pop stars. After collaborating with The 1975 on Our Extended Play in 2021, Bea is now gearing up to release a follow-up to her own debut, Fake It Flowers, which dropped in 2020. Early singles like “Talk,” “See You Soon,” and “Lovesong” indicate that the UK artist is doubling down on her grunge-bubblegum sound, with plenty of room for softer moments alongside the heavier stuff.
Release date: July 15
Even though it’s only been three years since Cuz I Love You dropped, the fact that there’s been a whole damn pandemic in between Lizzo albums almost sounds like a Lizzo lyric. “About Damn Time” does the honors instead, a disco throwback that sums up how everyone is feeling about hitting the dance floor after two years or more indoors. Lizzo performed her new hit, along with the album’s title track, “Special,” on Saturday Night Live earlier this year, cementing her status in the upper echelon of musicians doing it right now. Though she’s yet to release the studio version of “Special,” or share the full tracklist for Special, her record is still the one plenty of people are looking forward to the most this summer.
Noah Cyrus, The Hardest Part
Release date: July 15
If you haven’t been keeping up with Noah Cyrus, now might be the time to start. She’s so much more than just the younger sister of Miley Cyrus, and has been proving that by slowly but surely building a stack of bluesy, pop-country tracks that veer much more left field than the early work of her superstar sister. But Noah has a distinct vision of who she wants to be, so much so that Miley even joined her to live duet on a 2020 release, “I Got So High That I Saw Jesus.” That kind of big sister cosign is only coming when both siblings are sure their own artistic identities are firmly established. Noah recently announced her debut album, The Hardest Part, would be out in July, and preceding singles “I Burned LA Down” and “Mr. Percocet” are even more promising than her earlier work.
Maggie Rogers, Surrender
Release date: July 29
Maggie Rogers is back! After the success of her debut album, Heard It In A Past Life, which came complete with the Pharrell co-signed hit, “Alaska,” Rogers made it clear to fans that she wouldn’t be rushing whatever came next. In that same vein, a record titled Surrender is very fitting. Apparently, Rogers moved back to Maine and holed up somewhere on the remote coast to write this one during the pandemic. The first new music we’ve heard, “That’s Where I Am” is a tense departure from her earlier sound, so this project might be a bit heavier than her past work. For an artist still at the start of her career, mixing things up is the right move.
Lauv, All 4 Nothing
Release date: August 5
Yet another artist who had their debut record scheduled for release in 2020, Lauv is a totally independent pop star who still has his finger on the pulse of what makes a huge mainstream hit. Whether you know him from “I Like Me Better” fame, his insanely catchy Anne-Marie collab, “Fuck, I’m Lonely,” or streaming the entirety of ~How I’m Feeling~, a follow-up from this hittmaker is always welcome. Slated for release on August 5, early singles like “All 4 Nothing (I’m So In Love)” and “26” prove he hasn’t lost this edge.
Julia Jacklin, Pre Pleasure
Release date: August 26
More on the indie side of the spectrum, Australian artist Julia Jacklin’s mesmerizing voice kicks her over into pop territory via sheer listenability. Pre Pleasure is slated for release in late August, and marks the third album Jacklin has released so far. Jacklin described the lead-off single, “Lydia Wears A Cross,” as “about a lot of things but mainly being a seven-year-old old Jesus Christ superstar fanatic attending catholic school trying to figure out which way is up.” If that doesn’t sell you on it immediately, I don’t know what will.
Rina Sawayama, Hold The Girl
Release date: September
Rina Sawayama has been cropping up on songs with other artists recently, like her “Beg For You” collab with Charli XCX, and the dramatic “Follow Me” with Pabllo Vittar, but now she’s readying her own release. Hold The Girl is Rina’s second album, the follow-up to her stunning debut record, Sawayama, and to call it highly anticipated is an understatement. The album’s lead single, “This Hell,” directly confronts the religious backlash against queer folks, unleashing a retaliation banger that skewers right wing protestors and paparazzi alike. If the rest of Hold The Girl keeps the faith like “This Hell,” it’s on track to be one of the best pop albums of the entire year.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.