New Year, New Vibes

By Taylor “Uʻi” Barongan
Graphics by Naomi Lemieux

Since the pandemic, many artists have taken these past two years to grow, write, and experiment with new sounds for their albums. With the release of The Lumineers’s new album “Brightside'' and The Weeknd’s “Dawn FM,” many students may be wondering what other albums are coming out in 2022, what their vibe is, and what the new albums are all about.

On this page:

New Albums for 2022

Mitski “Laurel Hell” (February 4th)

With the release of her latest singles including “Love Me More,” fans can anticipate Mitski’s usual calming and spacey sound with the possible addition of more synth-based hooks. Listeners can also expect to hear more angsty lyrics accompanied with low-fi looks as the majority of her released singles appear to center around heartbreak and melancholy.



Alt-J “The Dream” (February 11th)

With songs such as “Left Hand Free,” “Tessellate,” and “Breezeblocks,” fans have been patiently waiting for the release of the band’s next album. Alt-J’s last album in 2018 had many features and shared a more pop sound; however, with the release of their single “Hard Drive Gold,” the latest album The Dream it is likely that the band will return to their traditional sound and express more thoughts on today’s political and social climate post-pandemic.

Jack White “Fear of the Dawn” (April 8th) and “Entering Heaven Alive” (July 22nd)

Since White’s more iconic days in The White Stripes band, he has since moved onto grittier and stranger sounds. With his latest single release “Love is Selfish,” it is possible that White may try to harken back to his White Stripes days of lighter acoustic-based sounds to feature on his two new albums.

Jack White

Kid Cudi

Kid Cudi’s “Intergalactic” (TBA)

Most people know Kid Cudi from the 2009 song “Day ‘N’ Nite” and likely haven’t heard much else from him aside from the song “Don’t Look Up” with Ariana Grande in the 2021 movie Don’t Look Up. It is possible with Cudi’s next album that he may continue to integrate more ethereal sounds that were heavily featured in his last album “Man On The Moon III: The Chosen.” His last album aligned with the retro-intergalactic songs that many artists such as The Weeknd, Miley Cyrus, Dua Lipa, and are continuing to adopt for their latest albums.

Arctic Monkeys (TBA)

Many long time fans of Arctic Monkeys will be in for a treat in 2022 after the band’s three year hiatus. If you were a fan of their psychedelic-70’s-chic album released in 2018, get ready for more piano, more dad vibes, and perhaps even longer hair for lead singer Alex Turner. Those listeners who are picturing the 50’s bad boy biker band look with the iconic leather conifer jacket - a.k.a. listeners who were only fans of their 2014 “AM” album - prepare to be disappointed. While the band’s 2014 sound went mainstream, it is unlikely to continue as the band has since redirected back to psychedelic rock, this time with spacey synths, piano, and abstract lyrics. Listeners missing that 2014 era can always re-listen to Tame Impala’s 2021 album “The Slow Rush.” For fans still finding they don’t quite like the continuation of the band's “new sound” and miss the old 2000s garage rock band that has been long since replaced by leather jackets and then hotel and casino vibes, they can re-revisit The Black Keys’s 2021 release “Delta Kream”. This new album is unlikely to appear back on the charts, but for listeners who liked the new “Abbey Road” like direction, there is hope for greater experimentation as the band has been on break since before the pandemic. I personally feel that with this hiatus, the band will settle into their new era of sound with this new album and will make open-minded listeners happy with the new release.

Arctic Monkeys

Kanye West

Kanye West “Jeen-Yuhs” (TBA)

After Kanye West dropped his “Donda” album, much has happened in the artist’s life that will likely play more into his latest album release. West’s previous album carried a dark pop vibe that showcased the artist’s talent in creating iconic beats and motifs likely to appear in other artist’s work. Even if you aren’t a major fan of Kanye, this next album may give some more insight into Kanye’s life and serve as a testament to what it is like to go through heartbreak, family separations, and a descent into a different kind of fame after everything stable in the artist’s life has changed.

Finneas (TBA)

Though unable to tour for his last album, Finneas has since said that he plans to release new music this upcoming year - possibly with the help of Billie Eillish. While no singles have yet to be released, fans are likely to continue to hear more of his post-pandemic content that was featured on his last album. However, with the heavy criticism of his last album lacking creativity (i.e. not making sounds from objects such as an Easy-Bake oven), it is possible that Finneas may try to improve upon his latest sound by utilizing past methods to create new and unique hits. Alternatively, it may be that Finneas will again choose to release an album composed of songs with basic beats, snappy and shallow lyrics, and forgettable hooks. Personally, while listening through his last album “The Optimist,” I enjoyed the fitting lyrics for a pandemic-ridden world with songs that made the listener reflect on the events of the past two years; however, I was disappointed that the lyrics and beats did not contain anything hard hitting. After Finneas co-wrote Eillish’s “Happier Than Ever” album that showcased his musical talents and clever writing, his “Optimist” album seemed to be more of an afterthought than an iconic piece for listeners to appreciate.



Bastille “Give me the Future” (TBA)

Many listeners may know this band from their 2014 hit “Pompeii” as well as their With the single “Shut Off The Lights”, listeners may be able to expect a more optimistic album than their previous album Doom Days released pre-pandemic.

Megan Thee Stallion (TBA)

Since her last album Something for Thee Hotties featuring Megan freestyling, Megan has since commented that her newest album will be featuring songs written for her last album that didn’t quite fit the vibe. Listeners can expect to hear songs that have been in production for over a year as Megan has also commented that she has been taking her time and that she has “been sitting on these songs” for a while. This new album will be Megan’s second studio album and I hope that with this new content, the artist decides to integrate more complex lines, more 90s-sequel sounds, and more freestyles that showcase her ability as an artist. Since Megan has since graduated with a degree in health administration from Texas Southern University, it is possible that her sound may be more refined than what was previously seen on her “Something for Thee Hotties” EP.

Megan Thee Stallion

Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar (TBA)

Listeners of Kendrick Lamar have likely been wondering when his latest album would make its appearance as his last album DAMN was released over four years ago. As the first rapper to ever win a Pulitzer Prize, it is likely that the artist will continue to create with the intention of showcasing African American struggles, the balance of fame and inner peace, and personal growth occurring in a pandemic world. It is also likely that Lamar will keep the pop-oriented sound seen on the Black Panther soundtrack. His latest works have all been collaborations with other artists which may point to a collaboration on one or two songs on his new album. Earlier this year, Lamar released a post teasing that “new sounds are on the way” after a year off of his musical endeavors. The release date is still unknown, however, it is postulated that Lamar may try to time the release of his latest album with the 2022 Super Bowl as he, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Bilge, Dr. Dre, and Eminem are set to perform at the halftime show. Given that Lamar has yet to release any singles, listeners are speculating over what the newest sound will be like and what they should expect.

Other artists that students may be excited to hear are making a comeback in the new year include artists such as Drake, Cardi B, Jack Harlow, Franz Ferdinand in their expected album “Hits to the Head”, Soft Cell, and Tears for Fears. Some artists many students may be anticipating to drop singles include Billie Eillish, Olivia Rodrigo, Taylor Swift, and Hoizier. As the year continues, students can also expect more teasers for aforementioned albums as well as new announcements from other artists.