Get ready for a flood of blockbuster comebacks, buzzy debuts, and yet another new T. Swift album over the next two months.
This year has seen a slew of blockbuster album releases from the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Rosalía, Drake, Harry Styles, Bad Bunny, and, of course, Beyoncé. And while Renaissance will likely continue to be on repeat for the rest of the year (and beyond), this fall is giving us no shortage of new music to be excited for.
From beloved legends making their long-awaited comebacks (Yeah Yeah Yeahs, M.I.A.) to pop powerhouses continuing their hot streaks (Taylor Swift, Carly Rae Jepsen), and buzzy debuts from the next generation of stars (Noah Cyrus, Shygirl), check out our list of the 25 most hotly anticipated releases this fall.
John Legend – LEGEND (Sept. 9)
For his eighth album, LEGEND (how has it taken him this long to use that title?), everyone’s favorite smiley pianist has recruited an all-star list of collaborators. Rick Ross, Muni Long, Jazmine Sullivan, Rapsody, Jhene Aiko, and Ty Dolla $ign will all appear on the ambitious double album, along with Saweetie, who appears on the loved-up bop “All She Wanna Do,” which sounds like a slightly more mature “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” Legend co-produced the album with OneRepublic frontman and pop savant Ryan Tedder, so expect more radio-friendly earworms on the way.
Santigold – Spirituals (Sept. 9)
Judging by what we’ve heard thus far from Spirituals—including “High Priestess,” “Shake,” and “Ain’t Ready”—Santigold is thoroughly uninterested in being boxed in. Which is to say, she’s still the Santigold we’ve known and loved since her 2008 debut. For her first new album in six years, the art-pop visionary got deep during lockdown, explaining in a statement, “Recording this album was a way back to myself after being stuck in survival mode.”
Death Cab for Cutie – Asphalt Meadows (Sept. 16)
Now in their 25th year as a band, indie-rock stalwarts Death Cab for Cutie are getting ready to unleash their 10th studio album. But they’re certainly not resting on their laurels, with frontman Ben Gibbard recently telling The Daily Beast how working with producer John Congleton brought out the band’s louder, harder side. “Certainly 25 years in, who wants to make the same record over and over again? It’s pretty fucking boring to just continue to use the same palette for every album because you’re afraid of trying something new,” he said. Mission accomplished.
Blackpink – Born Pink (Sept. 16)
If you’re not already on board with Blackpink, you’re simply behind. The four-piece K-pop group’s world domination continues this fall when their sophomore album drops, followed by a massive global tour that runs through mid-2023, followed by probably more world-dominating feats after that. Born Pink is the follow-up to 2020’s The Album, which debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200, becoming the highest-charting album by an all-female group since Danity Kane in 2008. If the instant virality of Born Pink’s catchy lead single, “Pink Venom,” is any indication, they’re poised to keep outdoing themselves.
Jessie Reyez – Yessie (Sept. 16)
The Colombian-Canadian artist’s long-awaited debut album, Before Love Came to Kill Us, was released in March 2020, which, uh… obviously wasn’t a great time to drop new music. Hopefully Reyez’s sophomore record will fare better, because her killer combo of haunting vocals and razor-sharp songwriting—seen on the advance singles “Mutual Friend” and “Fraud—deserve more attention.
Marcus Mumford – Self-Titled (Sept. 16)
For his debut solo album, the Mumford and Sons frontman is “facing demons [he] danced with for a long time,” according to a handwritten note he shared in July announcing the project. We’ve gotten a taste of the introspection to come with a trio of previously-released singles—“Better Off High,” “Cannibal,” and “Grace”—and the rest of the album promises collaborations with Brandi Carlile, Phoebe Bridgers, Monica Martin, and Clairo.
Noah Cyrus – The Hardest Part (Sept. 16)
The youngest Cyrus sib has been steadily releasing solo singles and EPs since 2016, so it’s wild to think she hasn’t released a proper album yet. That’ll change when The Hardest Part, her official debut, arrives to remind us that her distinctively husky voice is one of the most intriguing ones in pop right now. She’s already dropped “I Burned LA Down,” “Mr. Percocet,” “Ready to Go,” and, most recently, the tender acoustic duet “Every Beginning Ends” with Death Cab for Cutie frontman Ben Gibbard.
Michelle Branch – The Trouble With Fever (Sept. 16)
Unfortunately for Branch, the narrative surrounding her upcoming fourth album is bound to be a tricky one, considering she made it with her now ex-husband, Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney. (The couple ended their three-year marriage last month after Branch publicly accused him of cheating on her.) The good news? The singer-songwriter proved with her 2017 comeback album Hopeless Romantic that she still knows how to craft a solid pop-rock record, leaving us eager to hear what she has to say now. If lead single “I’m a Man”—a militant, bluesy protest song that tackles toxic masculinity—is any indication, she’s not holding back.
Rina Sawayama – Hold the Girl (Sept. 16)
After initially being delayed due to some vague “production issues,” the second album from British-Japanese singer Rina Sawayama is almost here. She’s certainly kept us on our toes with four ambitious, maximalist, genre-busting singles released thus far—“This Hell,” “Catch Me in the Air,” “Phantom,” and the sweeping title track—piquing our curiosity for what else she has in store for her loyal Pixels.
Kelsea Ballerini – Subject to Change (Sept. 23)
Listening to the country darling’s fourth album may prove to be a bittersweet experience, considering last week’s news that she’s filed for divorce from Morgan Evans after nearly five years of marriage. Indeed, Ballerini has already released a pair of songs from the album all about the intense rush of love: the bubbly “Heartfelt” and the wild-hearted ballad “Love Is a Cowboy.” She’s said that the rest of the record will be influenced by ’90s female country artists, so here’s hoping she’s got a Shania-inspired bop or two on deck to dance through the heartache.
Willow – CopingMechanism (Sept. 23)
It’s only been a year since Willow released Lately I Feel Everything, her explosive contribution to the mainstream pop-punk revival. Since then, the 21-year-old has kept busy by collaborating with everyone from Camila Cabello and PinkPantheress to Yungblud and Machine Gun Kelly, and now she’s continuing her hot streak with another new album, CopingMechanism. This one promises to be a deeper, more adventurous dive into rock, previewed by the single “Hover Like a Goddess.”
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Cool It Down (Sept. 30)
Just when we thought we’d never see another Yeah Yeah Yeahs album, the legendary trio of Karen O, Nick Zinner, and Brian Chase generously decided to end their nine-year hiatus. Cool It Down is described in a press release as “an expert distillation of the band’s best gifts that impel you to move, cry, and listen closely,” which sounds about right judging by the singles we’ve heard so far. First there was the galvanizing, Perfume Genius-featuring power ballad “Spitting Off the Edge of the World,” and then “Burning,” which takes Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons’ “Beggin” and awesomely flips it into a soulful disco banger. Cool it down, you say? Nah, not happening.
YG – I Got Issues (Sept. 30)
This fall is looking relatively light on new rap releases, which makes YG’s third album all the more exciting. Following the release of 2020’s My Life 4Hunnid and 2021’s Kommunity Service, the Compton-born rapper is readying a new record with slated guest appearances from J. Cole, 21 Savage, BIA, and more. He’s already given fans a glimpse of the artwork: a striking image of YG holding a Solo cup and wearing a black turtleneck and thick layer of chains, while a red glow encircles his head. Earlier this year, he hinted to Power 106 that the new album will be more introspective, explaining, “I think the whole COVID pandemic shit, I hated it, but I also look at it as this shit kinda helped me get to where I’m at mentally… The music is just gonna be my truth.”
Shygirl – Nymph (Sept. 30)
The wait for Shygirl’s debut full-length album is finally almost over. After winning over fans of basically every genre with her blend of garage, dancehall, hip-hop, and more, the South London artist will, according to her website, “bring us on the journey of what intimacy is like for a woman who’s seen as ‘too hot to handle,’ someone sought after and overlooked at the same time.” Nymph follows her collaboration with FKA twigs and a standout track on Lady Gaga’s remixd Chromatica, and includes “Come For Me,” “Coochie (A Bedtime Story),” the Mura Masa-produced “Nike,” and the absolutely addictive “Firefly.”
M.I.A. – MATA (TBD)
Anticipation for MATA was already high (like planes)—after all, it’s been six years since M.I.A.’s last release, 2016’s AIM. But then the English-Sri Lankan rapper teased in an Instagram Story that she’s nabbed verses from Doja Cat and Nicki Minaj for the new record, which made everyone’s excitement boil over. Unfortunately, it appears that things may not be so smooth behind the scenes—she recently said that if the album doesn’t drop in September, she’ll “leak it myself.” Island Records, your move.
Charlie Puth – Charlie (Oct. 7)
Charlie Puth tends to be a divisive artist, but no matter your personal feelings about him, you simply can’t deny he’s a musical wunderkind (did you know he has perfect pitch? DID YOU?!). His third album, Charlie, has already given us the TikTok-masterminded earworm “Light Switch,” as well as “Left and Right,” “That’s Hilarious,” and most recently, “Smells Like Me,” on which he channels ’80s synth-pop while ruminating on an ex.
Alvvays – Blue Rev (Oct. 7)
Well well well, if it isn’t the elusive Canadian indie-rockers who dropped the brilliant Antisocialites in 2017 and then rudely disappeared from our lives. It’s been a quiet few years for Molly Rankin and Co., but that’s apparently because life just… got in the way. According to Spin, the band’s third album was beset by the pandemic, border closures, a basement flood that destroyed much of their gear, and a thief who stole a bunch of demos from Rankin’s apartment. Yeesh! Thankfully they weathered the storm and are now gearing up for Blue Rev, featuring lead single “Pharmacist.” Better late than never.
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Return of the Dream Canteen (Oct. 14)
The California rock legends are keeping 2022 spicy with their second album of the year, due out in October. While on tour for their platinum-selling comeback record Unlimited Love, released in April, the band (including O.G. guitarist John Frusciante, who’s back in the lineup) announced Return of the Dream Canteen. The new album will be produced by Rick Rubin, who also produced Unlimited Love as well as past classic RHCP albums like Blood Sugar Sex Magik and Californication. The band has already shared the psychedelic artwork and a tracklist, which includes the very intriguingly titled “La La La La La La La La.”
The 1975 – Being Funny in a Foreign Language (Oct. 14)
For their fifth album, Matty Healy and Co. recruited omnipresent super-producer Jack Antonoff, who’s recently been sharing a slew of behind-the-scenes pics and videos from their recording sessions on his Instagram Story. For all intents and purposes, it looks like it was a blast to make, and we’ll hear the fruits of their labor in October when the boundary-busting English rock band drops the full album, including the dance-friendly “Happiness,” the melancholy “Part of the Band,” and “I’m In Love With You,” which arrived last week alongside a whimsical black-and-white video featuring a Phoebe Bridgers cameo and lots of clown makeup.
Tove Lo – Dirt Femme (Oct. 14)
Here’s a personal anecdote: Tove Lo’s L.A. show on Feb. 28, 2020, was the last pre-pandemic concert I saw, and unfortunately for her, she had to perform with a big, boxy boot on her leg after breaking her foot. Now, she’s finally free to dance her ass off, which is exactly what she seems to be aiming for on her fifth album. It’s her first one away from the major-label system—she’s releasing it on her own Pretty Swede Records—and it includes the tears-on-the-dancefloor bops “True Romance,” “No One Dies From Love,” “2 Die 4,” and “How Long,” which debuted on last season of Euphoria.
Taylor Swift – Midnights (Oct. 21)
While most of the world assumed Swift would be releasing another Taylor’s Version album this year, she was waiting in the wings, devilishly cackling at our collective oblivion while she waited until VMA night to instead announce her 10th studio album. Midnights is, according to Tay, “the stories of 13 sleepless nights scattered throughout my life,” and theories are already piling up about this possibly being her ’70s- and Stevie Nicks-inspired era. It’ll also be Swift’s fifth release in just over two years, which begs the question: Of course she’s up at midnight—does she even sleep at all?
Arctic Monkeys – The Car (Oct. 21)
The Alex Turner-led band went full glam-rock for 2018’s Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino, but for their impending seventh album, Turner has vowed, “On this record, sci-fi is off the table. We are back to earth.” The album’s first single, “There’d Better Be A Mirrorball,” delivers on that promise—it’s a relatively simple, straightforward, string-heavy breakup song that’s as earnest as it is emotional.
Tegan and Sara – Crybaby (Oct. 21)
Tegan and Sara have kept plenty busy in the past few years with a brilliant memoir, High School, and an upcoming TV show made with Clea DuVall based on that memoir. And yet, the Quin sisters always leave us wanting more, which is why news of their impending 10th (!) studio album is reason to celebrate. Produced by John Congleton, the Canadian duo’s latest record includes “Yellow,” which pays homage to Coldplay’s seminal song of the same name, and “Fucking Up What Matters,” another twee pop delight.
Carly Rae Jepsen – The Loneliest Time (Oct. 21)
True to its title, CRJ’s fifth studio album is being described as her “most introspective work to date.” Lead single “Western Wind” found her venturing into folk-pop territory, while “Beach House” was a cheeky, playful bop about dodging boys’ red flags. With song titles like “Joshua Tree,” cover art that resembles a Baroque painting, and a collaboration with Rufus Wainwright on deck, it looks like Carly Rae’s fully leaning into Sad Girl Autumn.
Babyface – Girls Night Out (Oct. 28)
The veteran producer and 12-time Grammy winner assembled some of the best women in R&B and hip-hop for the aptly titled Girls Night Out, including Ari Lennox, Ella Mai, Kehlani, Doechii, and Queen Naija. He’s also said that making the album “reminded me of when I did Waiting to Exhale,” referring to the soundtrack he wrote and produced for the 1995 movie, which featured Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, TLC, and Toni Braxton. Considering that kind of stellar track record, consider us on board.
The Biggest Albums of Fall 2022: Taylor Swift, Arctic Monkeys … – The Daily Beast