10 Best Summer Albums 2022

by:

Fashion


Courtesy/Design by Leah Romero

With warmer days quickly approaching, it’s time to get our playlists in order. What tunes will soundtrack those backyard cookouts, breezy dinner parties, poolside hangs, and steamy date nights? While you can’t go wrong with classics and old favorites, there are plenty of upcoming releases to consider adding into the mix. Perhaps it’s an electric party anthem from Lizzo’s new album, or a vulnerable Angel Olsen track to get you into your feelings. Here, we’ve rounded up 10 new albums to keep on your radar in the coming months. We’re also expecting new music from favorites like SZA and Normani, but those release dates are still murky. In the meantime, there’s plenty of new music to hold us over.

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Harry’s House by Harry Styles

Harry Styles is a music superstar, a fashion icon, and perhaps even Hollywood’s next leading man; yet as his career reaches new heights, his next album is expected to take us to new depths. Harry’s House is said to be an intimate, introspective record that the singer wrote during the early days of the pandemic, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun. His addictive leading single, “As It Was,” with its pensive lyrics and effervescent sound, is a great example. —Erica Gonzales, senior culture editor

Out May 20.

After captivating us with her stellar 2018 EP Crush, with groove-led tracks like “Sticky” and “4 Leaf Clover,” Chicago’s Ravyn Lenae is ready to deliver her debut album, Hypnos. That’s a fitting title given entrancing lead singles like “Skin Tight” and “Light Me Up,” which feature Lenae’s signature silky vocals for a dreamy feel. She also links up with Mereba, Smino, Foushée, and her frequent collaborator, Steve Lacy of The Internet. —EG

Out May 20.

An immersive audiovisual album, Eyeye pairs shimmering synthpop with woozy visual loops to tell a cyclical story of love, addiction, relapse, and obsession. Lykke Li has said that she wants the record to have “the intimacy of listening to a voice memo on a macro dose of LSD,” which, according to the album preview, fully tracks. —Melissa Giannini, features director

Out May 20.

i used to think I could fly by Tate McRae

We’ve seen Billie Eilish and Olivia Rodrigo rise to teen musical stardom in recent years; is Tate McRae next? The 18-year-old singer, songwriter, and dancer already landed a Top 40 hit with “You Broke Me First,” and now she’s following up with her debut album. With punk-inspired jams and Sad Girl pop ballads, the record fits right in with the current zeitgeist, but McRae’s skill for songwriting and potential for star power is no passing fad. —EG

Out May 27.

Equal parts hazy and twangy, Angel Olsen’s latest songs hit like a breathtaking sunrise near the end of a long road trip and linger in the air long after they’re over. Olsen recorded Big Time with Jonathan Wilson in his Topanga Canyon studio last spring shortly after coming out as queer and announcing her relationship with the writer Adele Thibodeaux, and then losing both of her parents within the course of two months. Fresh love and raw grief combine in an album that sounds simultaneously epic and personal and manifestly authentic. —MG

Out June 3.

BTS is releasing an anthology album to celebrate nine years since their debut (if you can believe it’s already been that long). The celebratory compilation takes a look back at the group’s incredible musical journey, from “Born Singer” to “Butter”—but it’s not just a nostalgia trip. The release also looks ahead to the next decade of BTS with two new tracks, “Young Love” and “Quotation Mark.” —EG

Out June 10.

Ugly Season by Perfume Genius

After 2020’s sublime Set My Heart on Fire Immediately, Mike Hadreas (aka Perfume Genius) returns with Ugly Season, which he created for his and choreographer Kate Wallich’s dance performance piece that toured the country in 2019. Based on singles “Pop Song” and “Eye in the Wall,” you can tell that these songs are inspired by and inspire movement; there’s an innate energy to them even in their quietness, the hushed harmonies, and longing sighs. —EG

Out June 17.

Back in 2017, when MUNA were releasing their debut album About U, ELLE declared the alternative-pop trio was on the brink of stardom. And it was true; they’d continue to rise and go on to release a beloved sophomore LP, Saves the World, in 2019. But this really feels like their moment now. After signing to Phoebe Bridgers’ Saddest Factory Records, the band dropped the viral hit “Silk Chiffon” in September, a queer love anthem that feels so good it’s almost euphoric. That turned out to be the lead single to MUNA’s self-titled third album, which we expect to be their best work yet. —EG

Out June 24.

The world could use some new Lizzo right now–and she knows it. After her Grammy-winning album Cuz I Love You in 2018, the singer, rapper, and flautist returns with more feel-good music for our dark times. She teases what’s to come with her disco-inspired party-starting single “About Damn Time,” which is brimming with joy, self-love, and a message we all need to hear: Things are going to be okay. —EG

Out July 15.

Surrender by Maggie Rogers

Shortly after beginning work on her follow-up to 2019’s Heard It In a Past Life, Maggie Rogers, like the rest of us, was thrust into a global pandemic. She retreated to the coast of Maine and eventually enrolled in Harvard Divinity School to study “the spirituality of public gatherings and the ethics of power in pop culture.” Amid the stark solitude of COVID quarantine, Rogers found herself missing New York City and longing for “someone to sweat on me, spill their beer on my shoes.” “That’s Where I Am,” the first single off her upcoming album, Surrender, exudes this energy, equal parts claustrophobia and the sky opening up. —MG

Out July 29.

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