As you shake off the pleasurable torpor of the holiday season to face yet another unpredictable year, take heart in knowing that all signs point to a great Aussie soundtrack for 2022.
From solo projects to unexpected collaborations to hyped-up debuts and comebacks, here are just 15 local artists prepping anticipated releases this year.
Lime Cordiale & Idris Elba
Moonlighting as a DJ under the moniker Big Driis, Idris Elba is no stranger to a slick beat. This unexpected friendship with Lime Cordiale – which guitarist Oli Leimbach says “has inevitably influenced [the band’s] future” – makes a striking case for his indie pivot.
It’s an undisputed candidate for release of the summer, lacquered in breezy surf-rock riffs, buoyant beats and sun-kissed melodies. Matt Doria
Out January 14 via Chugg Music/7Wallace Music.
‘What Kind Of Music Do You Like To Listen To’
Coconut Cream have the backing of Middle Kids bassist Tim Fitz (who produced this EP) and ex-Gang Of Youths guitarist Joji Malani (who’s making the EP the first release on his new label, Broth Records).
But it’s because of the band’s own energetic candour, infectious hooks and inimitable chemistry that 2022 is primed to be the year they make it big. And with lead singles ‘Your Drug On Computers’ and ‘Safety Net’, there’s no doubt their second EP will take them there. MD
Out February 18 via Broth Records.
Gang Of Youths
‘Angel In Realtime.’
Gang Of Youths knew that trying to one-up the grandiose theatricality of ‘Go Farther In Lightness’, their landmark 2017 release, would be a losing battle. So instead they’ve looked inwards for LP3, crafting a tender record about family and forgiveness.
- READ MORE: BandLab NME Awards 2022 announce nominees in Australian categories: Gang Of Youths and more
A heartfelt tribute to frontman Dave Le’aupepe’s late, troubled father, ‘Angel In Realtime.’ is almost brutally emotional. MD
Out February 25 via Mosy Recordings/Sony Music Australia.
‘Strength Of A Queen’
Fifteen years in the making, Andy Golledge’s full-length debut – which he’s described as “the road trip of [his] life so far” – has a lot of ground to cover.
Recorded live with his touring band, ‘Strength Of A Queen’ plays out like a greatest hits setlist of a storied catalogue we’ll never hear. Golledge melds hints of groove-laden classic rock and sun-kissed indie with lashings of raw, barn-stomping Australiana. MD
Out March 4 via I OH YOU.
Last year, Timony returned after some time away from the project with a pair of excellent singles – the dreamy, crystalline coldwave of ‘Shade’ and the heartbreak hyper-pop of ‘Unfazed’. Both indicate good things for Timony’s forthcoming debut album as Mossy, ‘N2KY’. Alex Gallagher
Out March 18 via I OH YOU.
‘Love Boredom Bicycles’
Landing close to a year after its announcement, and two after the band first teased it, Bakers Eddy’s full-length debut has been a painfully long time coming.
But ‘Love Boredom Bicycles’ is well worth the wait: the Melbourne-via-Wellington outfit meld pop-punk motifs with jaunty surf-rock jams (and one tastefully rebellious hardcore belter) for a record that’s bright, punchy and a whole lot of fun. MD
Out March 25 via Ivy League.
Almost seven years since his last solo record, the reclusive Daniel Johns is ready to return.
Following the release of an in-depth podcast series, the former Silverchair frontman says he’s “[made] peace” with his past and is “not anxious about what comes next” – welcome news for those who’ve been patiently awaiting a fresh chapter from one of the country’s most legendary songwriters. AG
Out April 1 via Johns’ own label and BMG.
In 2018, Confidence Man made it their mission not to take dance music too seriously, serving up ‘Confident Music for Confident People’, a gloriously fun smorgasbord of electro-pop bangers that came with tongue planted firmly in cheek.
The duo describe incoming follow-up ‘Tilt’ as “fierce, flirty and full of anthems”, with lead single ‘Holiday’ marking both a euphoric release and a distinct evolution in the pair’s songwriting and production. AG
Out April 1 via I OH YOU.
2019’s ‘Alien’ took Northlane to new heights, blending rave-primed house music with bold and brutish metalcore. Never ones to rest on their laurels, however, the Sydney band have pushed the limits even further with ‘Obsidian’.
The electronic slant is more pronounced, with richer, more intense passages of bass-inflected techno, while all the fierce riffs, punishing breakdowns and skull-rattling blastbeats that Northlane are revered for get amped up to 100. MD
Out April 1 via Believe.
2021 was a big year for Daine, whose raw lyricism and seamless bridging of emo influences and future-pop sensibilities has fuelled her rapid rise.
With a string of attention-grabbing singles, a collaboration with Bring Me The Horizon’s Oli Sykes and a powerhouse debut performance as part of Melbourne Music Week under her belt, she’s ready to solidify the hype with her debut project. AG
Out April 2022.
Sampa The Great
There have been few local debuts in recent years as singular or impressive as Sampa The Great’s ARIA- and Australian Music Prize-winning ‘The Return’. The trailblazing rapper, who says creativity has flowed since relocating to her home country of Zambia during the pandemic, recently revealed thrilling news about her plans for 2022: new music is on the way.
Expect fresh sonic forays from Sampa Tembo: She’s made at least one song that pays homage to the genre of Zamrock, Sampa having recently spent time with Emmanuel Jagari Chanda, frontman of Zamrock band WITCH. AG
Ramo’s groundbreaking ‘Black Thoughts’ was a raw, powerful debut that laid bare the realities of dispossession and systemic racism in Australia, eviscerating long-held colonial mythologies.
- READ MORE: Ziggy Ramo is the Indigenous rapper who made 2020’s most important Australian album – five years ago
The rapper and activist will continue that vital work with follow-up ‘Human’, which will arrive alongside a book of the same name to give him “the ultimate creative freedom to present [his] ideas in a way that is accessible for all”. AG
With their blood ties to Yothu Yindi, it’s no surprise to see these East Arnhem surf-rockers – who were just announced as NME 100 2022 members last week – whip the scene into a froth with each new track they release.
Slated for release this year is a whole collection of them, which will feature “some hard-hitting numbers and some that will give you goosebumps and make you want to cry”, King Stingray guitarist Roy Kellaway teased to NME last year. AG
The Lazy Eyes
After quickly building a name for themselves with a pair of kaleidoscopic, off-kilter EPs, this Sydney outfit are gearing up to release their debut album later this year.
Peep lead single ‘Fuzz Jam’ for an early indication of the deliciously warped, blissed-out psych-rock that’s set to feature on The Lazy Eyes’ debut. AG
A lot has changed in the four years separating Camp Cope from their last record, 2018’s ‘How To Socialise And Make Friends’.
If comeback single ‘Blue’ gives any indication on how that change has shaped their third LP, we’re looking at something intensely dynamic and equally impactful. Expect colourful soundscapes, harmonies and emotional wallops in abundance. MD