As yet another year comes to an end, it’s safe to say this time that no one is sorry to see 2021 go. With sights set on the new year and hopes high for what will be, there is a great amount of entertainment releasing over the course of 2022. To celebrate all of the incredible art coming out this year, here is the annual Teenplicity Team “Things We’re Excited for in the New Year” list filled with music, books, video games, television, movies, and more expected to drop in 2022.
Note: These lists are ordered by scheduled release date given at the time of the post being made and are not completed lists (for in case we get some Beyoncé drops from someone, who knows…). Some dates may be subject to change.
You can view Part I of our list featuring television shows and movies coming out in 2022 here!
Shamir – Heterosexuality (February 11)
The eighth studio album by the artist, Shamir released the first single from the album in November, titled “Cisgender”. Heterosexuality is scheduled to release on February 11th.
“I haven’t heard all of Shamir’s music but every song I have heard, I’ve really liked. Shamir’s music is a budding example of what it means to create with intention. It feels natural and honest, but Shamir also knows exactly what Shamir is doing. The latest single from the album, ‘Cisgender’ is a synth-heavy rock track with a build that grows as the indie artist denounces any identifying labels that other may attempt to give. When talking about the upcoming album, Shamir said the album is about acknowledging trauma and what it’s like to constantly go through traumatic experiences to the point of normalcy without pausing to acknowledge it. I still need to go back and listen to all the rest of the Shamir catalogue that I’ve missed, but I can’t wait to see what the future holds for this artist.” – Brie
Over the past two years, Hayley Williams has released two solo albums. In a newsletter addressing fans at the end of 2021, she thanked her Paramore bandmates for their help and support, and after a five-year hiatus, hinted at the band’s return.
“It’s no secret that Paramore is one of, if not my favorite band. Even without them releasing any new music in a few years, they still manage to be one of my most listed to artists when streaming apps do recaps. They’re constantly reinventing themselves and growing with their listeners so it’s safe to say, I can’t wait to meet the newest evolution of Paramore. After Laughter was/is one of my favorite albums of all time and it came at maybe exactly the right time for me mentally and emotionally. The album has basically carried me since it dropped and even moreso, I’ve been revisiting (not that I ever stopped) other albums of theirs, especially Brand New Eyes within the past year so I’m especially ready to add some new stuff into my rotation. One can only imagine what they’ll be exploring in this new body of work, especially after the amazing work that was put into Hayley’s solo album from them. They tend to knock both the production and lyrics out the park and do such a strong job of capturing the exact emotion they’re trying to convey in catchy but relatable honesty. I’m hoping I get to dance on this album, but also that I get to cry, maybe even rage. But I wouldn’t be mad if it was just one or the other or the other, other.” – Brie
“It’s been five years since the band went on hiatus and I am so excited for what it means that they’re coming back together. They’ve had so many great songs over the years, so much of it ruling my middle school years, and I am so excited for what this new album could sound like after their own individual journeys.” – Mary
During an interview with Harper’s Bazaar in August, Beyoncé shared that music is coming.
“I have her listed as a potentially (just tradition at this point) but allegedly a CEO at Sony has pretty much confirmed that she’s dropping a new album within the first quarter of this year. Now, is it plausible that Beyoncé has an album ready to go at this exact moment? Honestly, yes. I wouldn’t put it past her. And she’s given us subtle clues that she’s been working on something outside of Ivy Park. But, I’m also not gonna get my hopes up, I’ll merely be ready and waiting patiently. Now that’s out of the way, I wonder what this new album will bring to the Beyoncé canon. She’s done such an amazing job at constantly reinventing not only herself but what it means to be an artist and produce art. She’s played a vital role in not only converting us back to prioritizing albums over singles, but also recognizing the relevancy of music videos. I think for many, it sounds almost weird to give her this credit, but when you think back to both music right before Self-Titled dropped and music around the time Lemonade dropped, you realize there’s truth to it. Even though there’s been artists who have been deliberate in their album making process and artists who have always made interesting and creative music videos, the music industry is also known for focusing more on profit and less on creativity. And profit means they want their stuff fast and easily consumable. Self-Titled and Lemonade both took their time. It’s why many artists have credited Beyoncé and those bodies of work as inspiration, because she gave a blueprint to artists to state their case for why they shouldn’t have to sacrifice quality for commercial success. I genuinely cannot wait to see what this next era of Beyoncé consists of, I am however very worried for Adele who I think would be in the same Grammy contenders window with her if this is true because I genuinely believe her heart will break into pieces if she wins over Beyoncé again or in general just has to go toe to toe with her.” – Brie
“Beyoncé told Harper’s Bazaar in August, ‘Yes, the music is coming!’ So, it’s coming. Now it’s just a matter of when. I wouldn’t be surprised if she decided to randomly release it one day but as long as we get it, I won’t be complaining. She seems to have been doing a lot of reflecting and really taking her time with this process so I’m hopeful that it was be her best yet when she does finally release it.” – Mary
Matt Helders, drummer for the band, confirmed that the next Arctic Monkeys album is “pretty much” finished and ready for a 2022 release.
“If you, like me, were on Tumblr during the AM era, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Now I know that Arctic Monkeys were around before then, but that was my first introduction to them and as such, I’ll always hold that album dear to my heart. (I even own it on vinyl.) Supposedly, they’re dropping something this year too but when I tried to look up any hints or info about what to expect, I didn’t really find anything. So I’ll just wait and see but I’m interested in know what the sound will be most of all.”
After releasing her debut album YOU and a number of singles, the new year is looking bright for Laura as she already teases more music for fans.
“Guys. You should know by now that Laura is a staple of this list mainly because I waited years for her music to drop. And now she still hasn’t released her 2016 bangers so I will continue to put her name on this list every year, even if she has no music coming out, until she drops those songs. So yeah, here’s hoping. Do one for ya girl, Laura.” – Mary
Kid Cudi – Entergalactic
The next album by the rapper is anticipated by a 2022 release and will be accompanying a Netflix animated series of the same name.
“Yes, I had this on here for I believe at this point two years in a row? But in Cudi’s defense, he DID drop a project at the end of 2020! It was The Man on the Moon III and it was very good. Tracks from that album, especially Lovin’ Me with Phoebe Bridgers still play heavy in my rotation. I’m not sure if Entergalactic keeps getting postponed because it’s not ready or if it just becomes other things and we just don’t know it yet, but regardless, I can’t wait to see what new thing, if any at all, Kid Cudi gives us this year.” – Brie
“Listen I know Rihanna is most likely dropping nothing this year except some new non-music Fenty items. BUT, like Beyoncé, it’s simply tradition at this point to manifest in the hopes that she finally gives in.” – Brie
“Rihanna told a paparazzi that her music will be coming ‘soon soon soon’. So while that probably means it’ll happen in 2040, I’m hedging my bets on a hopeful 2022 release. Please.” – Mary
Little Mix Solo Careers
After recording music and touring together for ten years, the three remaining members of Little Mix are taking a hiatus to focus on themselves, their families, and their other career paths, including solo music.
“Let me be clear in stating that I’m only interested in watching the growth of rise of the solo careers of Jade Thirlwall, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, and Perrie Edwards. Not only are these ladies absolute showstopping performers and have continually brought their all in every performance and album, but they’ve all handled such negative situations with complete class and respect. It’s so apparent that their personal bond that the three of them have forged over ten years is still strong as each member is incredibly supportive of each other’s endeavors. I look forward to see the women of Little Mix forge their own paths and find their individual sounds, and hear what that will be like. I’m so excited for each of them and cannot wait to see what they will create.” – Mary
Collaborating with Charli XCX on some music, Rina also has her sights set on releasing her sophomore album in 2022. According to a Twitter Q&A, fans can expect new music by the artist in the summer.
“Sawayama was one of favorite albums of 2020. It was just straight up bangers and coping with the way identity and family influences your outlook on life. Rina has confirmed that she’s been working on her second album and I *think* also said that it was finished or close enough to finished that it would come out this year. Rina’s been killing the game since the release of her debut album. After being robbed of a Mercury Award nomination over a problematic technicality, the overwhelming support led to a rewrite of the rules and while Sawayama was still unfortunately snubbed as far as the award cycle it was eligible went, there’s no doubt that Rina has cemented herself as a worthy and deserving pop star capable of bending genre to her will.” – Brie
Taking a break from her studies as a PhD and JD student, Bridgit came onto Twitter to drop the audio of an unreleased song in 2021.
“I mean, I’m not saying that Brie and I completely predicted and manifested Bridgit Mendler dropping new music but… we totally did. The song audio she released was INCREDIBLE and I am in desperate need of more. So here’s my plea to Bridgit that when she is not too busy kicking educational butt, if she could just casually drop another tune or 12, I’d greatly appreciate that. Please.” – Mary
KAINA – Anybody Can Be In Love
Taylor Swift Re-Records**
Hozier – Unreal Unearth
Black Panther soundtrack
The 1975 *potentially*
Fiona and Jane – Jean Chen Ho (January 4)
Told in alternating voices, Jean Chen Ho’s debut novel follows the connection of two young Taiwanese American woman as they navigate, friendship, sexuality, identity, and heartbreak over two decades. Fiona and Jane is set to release January 4th.
“I stumbled upon this book while I was simply browsing for 2022 book releases a couple minutes ago and the reason I added it immediately was because I was intrigued immediately. (FYI, this isn’t to say none of the other books I saw that aren’t on this list didn’t interest me, this list is unfortunately short partially for time sake.) I’ve been really interested in wanting to see how other writers go about taking on more than one perspective in their writing and also playing around with the passage of time and this book seems to do just that. So not only am I excited to meet these two girls, but I’m also excited to see HOW we get to meet them and know them.” – Brie
One True Loves – Elise Bryant (January 4th)
Over the course of a Mediterranean cruise, Lenore Bennett finds herself on a journey of self-discovery and love for herself as a Black woman in this Young Adult romantic comedy. One True Loves is scheduled to release January 4th.
“Happily Ever Afters was one of the first books I read in 2021 and it was just such a cute book that I practically breezed through every time I had a free moment or just wanted to unwind. I can’t wait to come back to this universe and get a love story from Lenore and even better, it seems to be not only a rom com where they meet on a trip, but also a rom com where they originally don’t like each other and then grow to fall for each other! (One of our very best tropes!!!) Lenore was such a standout character in Happily Ever Afters and I’m so glad Elise is now giving her a chance to shine here as she comes into her own preparing for college and being the badass artist/fashionista she is and also finding a cute guy to fall in love with. Love that for her.” – Brie
What the Fireflies Knew – Kai Harris (February 1st)
The novel follows KB over the course of a summer as she and her sister are sent to live with her grandfather following her father’s death and his debts causing them to lose their home, making her come to terms with the way her world has turned on its head. What the Fireflies Knew is scheduled to release February 1st.
“The cover and title to this book is what first caught my attention. And then I read the description and felt like there was something very special here. As I mentioned in my blurbs from the TV/Movies ‘Things I’m Excited For’, I love coming of age stories and this one feels very much up on my alley as it has the protagonist KB deal with the hardships of growing up and finding her place while also learning her family is flawed and a ‘perfect family’ is arbitrary.” – Brie
Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head – Warsan Shire (March 1st)
A book of poems about migration, womanhood, trauma, and resilience. Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head is scheduled to release March 1st.
“I’ll be honest in admitting I most know Warsan from her work on Lemonade, but that’s partially why I’m excited for debut full length poetry collection to come out—so I can get to know her more. I know she’s published a few other things previously, some of which I’ve read excerpts and others I keep meaning to get my hands on and just never got around to it, but already if the title is any indication, this collection just might ruin me and I’m here for it.” – Brie
The Memory Librarian – Janelle Monae (April 19th)
A book that dives into the world Janelle Monae created through her critically-acclaimed 2018 album, Dirty Computer. The Memory Librarian is scheduled to release April 19th.
“It’s quite simple actually, I see Janelle Monae and Eve Ewing and I say yes. That’s it, that’s the blurb. I’m ridiculously excited for this book and all Janelle is doing to further the work of Afro-Futurism.” – Brie
The Candy House – Jennifer Egan (April 5th)
The book explores the lives of multiple characters with their interlocking narratives spanning decades, taking a look at the human desire for love, family, privacy, and a connection. The Candy House is scheduled to release April 5th.
“I think I’ve talked about Jennifer Shan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad before on here but I can’t remember. It’s a book I’ve been considering revisiting which is why I thought it was kind of funny when I saw that she was releasing a new book this year that apparently features some of those characters. The Candy House apparently keeps with that same rock and roll, music driven narrative as Goon Squad but with an added technological and sci-fi element (or so I’ve read). Honestly, my plan is to try and go into this book knowing as little as I can and seeing what comes of it.” – Brie
You Truly Assumed – Laila Sabreen
Ophelia After All – Racquel Marie
Nothing Burns As Bright As You – Ashley Woodfolk
Zyla & Kai – Kristina Forest
The Expanse: A Telltale Series (Potentially)
Taking on the role of XO Camina Drummer, you must determine the fate of the ship through the choice you make after a bloody mutiny breaks out. There is currently no release date scheduled yet.
“My favorite television show getting a game? Sign me up! On top of that, players will take on the role of XO Camina Drummer, one of the most complex and incredible characters on the show. I literally don’t even need to know anything more because this has me. For those who do, the game will apparently act as a prequel to the series, and little else is known at the moment. Regardless, my hype is through the roof just to see this exists. Bless.” – Mary
LEGO Star Wars**
For the first time ever, you will be able to play through all nine of the Skywalker Saga films in this complete LEGO game. Following the plots of the movies, with some liberty taken here and hilarity dropped in there, you can relive your favorite cinematic moments as you play. LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga was delayed from its original expected date of Spring 2021 and its rescheduled release of Winter 2021 and is expected to release in Spring 2022.
“So, fun fact – I actually included this on my list for 2020 and 2021 and, much like everything else on it, this didn’t go as planned. As the current release was delayed twice in 2021, I felt compelled to include it on the list again, especially because of how much we need good Star Wars film content after whatever happened with the last two films of the sequel trilogy. Anyway, my hype is still high because while this is my fourth console game for Star Wars (Battlefront 1 & 2 for PS4 and the game for The Phantom Menace on PS1 being only a couple levels completed are my only other experiences), it is my first LEGO game. I’ve always heard positive things about LEGO games, that they’re really fun, and I can’t wait for the chance to finally play it as well. I can’t wait. Also, maybe this will turn my feelings a bit to the positive side about the last two films of the sequel trilogy. We will see!” – Mary**
After the supposed-death of Bruce Wayne, AKA Batman, his cast of sidekicks – former and current – are now tasked with keeping Gotham safe. Play alone or have a partner tag along as you patrol the streets of Gotham to stop criminal activity in its tracks. Delayed from it’s 2021 release, the game is now expected to arrive in 2022.
“You can read my original anticipation post here but note that I am even more excited after all the new trailer releases and teases in October. With the game being given the extra time to develop, especially during the pandemic, I’m excited for when it will finally arrive. I have hope that it will live up to its expectations, and that it won’t get delayed, but time will only tell.” – Mary
Disclaimer: We do not own any of the pictures used for this post.