Staff of US songwriters look at new release trends for 2022
Well it’s officially 2022. We made it last year and if you’re like us you’re ready for a new calendar and 12 months of great music – music to help you celebrate, music to help you celebrate, music to help you celebrate. help you remember those important moments in your life, and even music to share with family and friends near and far.
As you’ll see below, there are a number of new releases, tours, and trends that American Songwriter is excited about that will kick off the year. And to explore them, we thought a “panel discussion” of American songwriters would be useful to help sift through what’s to come in January and beyond. So, without further ado, let’s dive in.
Jacob Utti: Tina, are there a couple of releases that you specifically have an eye for this month and into 2022?
Tina Eves: Absoutely! It’s hard to pick one or two, so I’m going to pick three. There’s really no shortage of new music in January with Elvis Costello’s 32nd album The boy named if (Jan 14), Band of horses with Things are going well (released January 21), and Urge Overkill is back (finally!) with Yes (January 28), but February can’t come sooner for Johnny Marr’s next film Dreams of fever, Pts. 1-4. Recorded at his Crazy Face Factory in Manchester, England, the former Smiths guitarist released four sets of the 16-track double album ahead of its official release on February 28, his first new music since his third solo album. Call the comet in 2018. Somehow, Marr still knows how to capture the sounds I gravitated to as a teenager and meet me where I am now.
“There’s a set of influences and a really broad sound that I’ve developed, really since I left the Smiths until now, and I hear it in this album,” Marr said of the song. ‘album. “There are so many pieces of music in it. We didn’t do it consciously, but I think I have a sound vocabulary. And I am very satisfied to have been able to exploit it.
And there is more… Marr. Check out his recent performance of The Smiths’ “How Soon Is Now”, straight from his “Factory”.
Jack White didn’t back down from a double album either. He just decided to split his in half. (Question: Where does the man find the time?) Not only has he started a multimedia art and design business — Jack White Art & Design in 2020, showcasing his 20+ years work and talent across multiple disciplines, including furniture and upholstery design — he opened Third Man Upholstery in Detroit in 1996 — as well as graphic design, sculpture, interior and industrial design, sculpture, instruments and hardware, film and, of course, vinyl concepts, but he found the time to write and record two new albums. His first album in four years since Scope of the pension, White is set to release the first part Fear of dawn April 8 and continue with Enter living paradise July 22. If his debut single “Taking Me Back” – of course White also plays all of the instruments in the video – is any indication of the music to come on those albums, we’re expecting classic rock White ahead.
We already have so many locked release dates from Spring to Summer 2022, including the upcoming Tears For Fears. The tipping point (released February 22), the first album by the duo (Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith) in 17 years. Their second single “No Small Thing” is one of the most moving musical and visual pieces – watch the video, inspired by Koyaanisqatsi, the 1982 non-narrative experimental film by Godfrey Reggio that examines the separation between humanity and nature – I have seen and heard for some time. Lose yourself in “No Small Thing”.
Catherine, what are you looking forward to in 2022? Are there any releases or trends that you notice that you see developing as we move into the New Year?
Catherine Walthall: You know, I knew this question was going to come up, and it’s still hard to pick just a few!
But I’ve always been a fan of The Lumineers, so I’m looking forward to their next album Bright side, which is slated for release on January 14. Indie rock band Alt-J also has an upcoming release, and from that point on, this record will be released in February. The two groups are set to release their fourth studio album, so it will be interesting to see where they take their respective sounds after seeing the proverbial rodeo a few times before.
Rihanna is also thought of, although she hasn’t officially announced a record-breaking release date. She told the paparazzi that new music is coming “soon,” and after a six-year hiatus, I’m excited to see what Rihanna looks like in the 2020s.
Coming to the second part of your question Tina, which is really interesting to consider, I have a few trends that I think are going to take over the music industry in 2022.
First of all, I can’t help but think about the huge influence short videos have on the music world. Last year, TikTok proved to be another of the social media giants with enough cultural appeal to influence the entire music ecosystem. On a more granular level, TikTok’s audio trends are also changing artists’ careers (just check out GAYLE’s “abcedfu” for an example).
Now YouTube has joined the shortcut video movement with “YouTube Shorts” (that’s how Ed Sheeran presented his latest album, =). In 2022, I think this style of video will only grow in size and maybe force streaming platforms to respond.
Another trend that looks likely to spread in 2022 is the popularity of the K-Pop genre. After seven-member boy band BTS swept the American Music Awards, their international popularity officially solidified. (Although the release of “Butter” and the “My Universe” collaboration with Coldplay has already propelled them to stardom.) The music industry seems to be only slightly behind the cinematic universe with this release. trending – the South Korean movie of 2019 Parasite won four Oscars in 2020 and the increasingly popular TV series Squid game is currently Netflix’s most watched series.
Now I’m curious to hear what Jake thinks about this New Year.
Jake, what are you looking forward to the most this year in the music business? What do you think will happen this year that didn’t happen last year?
Jake Utti: Wow, what a list all of you! Good work. I am also looking forward to the Lumineers, Band of Horses and alt-J. For those reading here, there may be some interviews going on, so watch out for those hitting AmericanSongwriter.com.
As for your questions Catherine, I can’t wait to discover new songs that are just super moving. The artists I loved last year were Natalie Bergman, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, Allison Russell, Valerie June, Rhiannon Giddens, Sufjan Stevens. The list goes on. And I had no idea I’d fall in love with any of them until I got to know them in real time. What a joy it is. So somehow I don’t even know what I’m looking forward to.
Catherine, I think you’re right to keep an eye on BTS. What will these seven artists bring next and how will the world react? I’m also thinking of a potential new Missy Elliott album that she’s teasing. Jack White too, Tina, that’s a great call. And maybe even a personal favorite, Fishbone. I can’t wait for these. I wonder how his sound will continue to evolve.
I’m also curious if the livestream will return to our lives. Starting with more COVID variants and people canceling shows with “an abundance of caution”, will we find ourselves diving into more prerecorded sets like Billy Strings or even giant bands like Pearl Jam and others? I liked the livestreams, but I’m a hermit!
And we didn’t even talk about the elephant in the room: the NFTs.
But let’s continue this conversation. Tina, is there a tour in 2022 that you would love to do if you could wave your magic wand?
Tina Eves: The treatment. The last time I saw them was in 2018 when I flew to London for their 40th anniversary show in Hyde Park. Of course, Robert Smith et co. took to the stage as the sun (a rarity in these regions) was setting. It was a magical evening. Fortunately, I don’t have to wave a wand to see them again. The band just revealed their European tour dates, starting in fall 2022, and a few North American gigs (hopefully) will follow soon.
I’m also set to see The Afghan Whigs and Placebo, both of which have new music on their way to ’22. By spring, I hope to ignite my post-punk heart at the Cruel World Fest, May 14-15, in Los Angeles.
If the current state of COVID is under control and all tours / shows are going as planned (and rescheduled), I would also like to see the following in 2022, which do not have a particular rank:
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss
Johnny Marr with the killers
lie to protect
Craving for exaggeration
Tears for fears
Well I can easily continue here, but you get the idea …
More live music (and fewer postponements and cancellations) in 2022.
You both love The Lumineers, and it looks like they already have tour dates starting February 2022. Are there any shows, or one tour in particular, that you are excited about in 2022?
Catherine: I have my eye on a few tours for this year including Elton John and Adele, good choices, Tina! Especially after watching Adele Only one night performance and TV special, I am more certain that she is one of the best artists in the business today.
I would also like to see Kacey Musgraves, Coldplay and the Foo Fighters in concert. Also, The Weeknd recently rescheduled their tour dates, so I’d love to see where they are touring this year once that is announced. Looks like we’re going to be pretty busy this year. Maybe we should all meet up at the Lumineers concert and compare the tour notes.
Jake, what are we forgetting to discuss regarding the music industry in 2022?
Jacques: I think we got a good amount. Congratulations to everybody !
I’m also interested in seeing how the Grammys go. My fingers are crossed for Valerie June, Allison Russell, and a number of other people. Oh, and COVID must be bothering Jupiter or Mars or something. Get out of the ground. Other than that, I’m grateful for what we heard in 2021 and pretty excited about the offers in 2022.
Let’s all come back in a few months and start over! Until there!
Photo: David James Swanson / Big Hassle