Source Photos (Clockwise, L-R): Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Acne Studios; Cliff Lipson/CBS via Getty Images; Shirlaine Forrest/WireImage; Momodu Mansaray/WireImage; Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic; Taylor Hill/Getty Images for Governors Ball
10 Must-Hear New Albums In July 2022: Beyoncé, J-Hope & More
Here are the can't-miss releases and massive new albums dropping this month from Burna Boy, Lizzo, Cuco, $uicideboy$, ODESZA, Maggie Rogers, and many others.
What a dizzying year it's been for music — and summer just began.
Kendrick Lamar took inventory of his deepest vulnerabilities on Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers. BTS crystallized their entire first epoch with Proof — and then took a hiatus immediately after. Rosalía twisted disparate genres to her will on Motomami. Harry Styles invited us into Harry's House, his glittering abode. Drake got sparse on the dance floor with Honestly, Nevermind. And that's to say nothing of releases by Post Malone, Mitski, Angel Olsen, Charli XCX, and so many more.
As this already-stacked year reaches its midpoint — and festivals and tours fire up worldwide — we still have so much to look forward to in July 2022. True to the MO of this year so far, it'll probably be more than we can all handle.
That said, GRAMMY.com is here to home in on 10 albums that will have the world's ears in no time — and are likely to continue resonating as summer gives way to fall, winter, and the dawn of 2023.
Burna Boy — Love, Damini
Release Date: Friday, July 8
On his birthday, GRAMMY-winning, international Afrobeats star Burna Boy will be the one giving a gift: his sixth album, Love, Damini. The record is "a personal body of work," the artist tweeted. "It's about the ups and downs, the growth, the L's and W's. I'm excited to share this journey and roll out with you all." Burna Boy has shared two tracks from Love, Damini – which will be released through his own Spaceship Records, in conjunction with Atlantic and Warner Music Group – including the exciting, braggadocious "Kilometre" and the Chopstix-produced "Last Last," the latter of which samples Toni Braxton's GRAMMY-winning "He Wasn't Man Enough." Though thematically varied, Love, Damini is expected to be an ecstatic offering from Nigeria's fastest-rising star. —Jessica Lipsky
Doris Anahi — Aprendiendo por las Malas
Release Date: Friday, July 15
All those mariachi and bolero records that Doris Anahí grew up listening to as a kid left an imprint on her aesthetic DNA. A devastating neo-balada that sublimates romantic sadness into solemn ritual, "It Wasn't You" teases the singer's forthcoming debut EP, Aprendiendo por las Malas. With its self-assured, Afro-Caribbean groove, orchestral synth patches, and a hint of R&B, the tune delivers a perfect encapsulation of what being Latin American and driving through the streets of Los Angeles actually feels — and sounds — like. The song is accompanied by an elegant video that underscores Doris Anahí's concept of this EP: a love letter to her hometown. Doris is also the subject of a new Disney Original documentary, MIJA, directed by four-time Emmy nominee Isabel Castro; the film focuses on her and Jacks Haupt, both daughters of undocumented immigrants, and their respective musical careers. Doris has only released a handful of songs so far, but her immense talent shines through already. — Ernesto Lechner
J-Hope — Jack In The Box
Release Date: Friday, July 15
After BTS announced their hiatus last month, beloved member J-Hope followed the shocking news with his own major announcement: the release of his new solo album, Jack In The Box, out July 15. His first album single, "More," released Friday, marks the first release from any BTS member as they embark on "BTS' Chapter 2." Jack In The Box is said to represent J-Hope's own musical personality and vision, while also showing his aspiration to break the mold and grow further. Having learned music through dance, the performer has always been original and bright, and this new album will surely showcase how his sound has matured over the years.
As a group, BTS have already proven themselves as global pop icons, and now, J-Hope will show the world his own flavor as a solo artist. He's already making history as the first South Korean artist to headline a main stage at a major U.S. music festival via his highly anticipated debut at Lollapalooza 2022 later this month. With so many accomplishments already under his belt, J-Hope will surely release one of the can't-miss albums of 2022 via Jack In The Box. — Ashlee Mitchell
Lizzo — Special
Release Date: Friday, July 15
The world needs a collective pick-me-up these days, and Lizzo has proven time and time again to be the musician to bring big smiles and bright days —and then some. The purveyor of positivity is releasing her fourth studio album and second major-label LP, Special, on July 15. The full project is preceded by two singles: The Top 10 Billboard hit and TikTok mainstay "About Damn Time" as well as "Grrrls," which samples and interpolates "Girls" by the Beastie Boys. As with Lizzo's previous projects, there will be no shortage of uplifting tracks, and, of course, she'll be coming with a fresh set of certifired Lizzobangers. Ricky Reed, Max Martin and Mark Ronson are just a few of the confirmed producers providing their magic on the album. Additionally, the singer, rapper and flautist touts Special as a "love album," which took its form as a result of a myriad of experiences. "I had a lot happen interpersonally. A lot has happened globally, and I think I needed to process that," she told SiriusXM's "The Heat" in April. — J'na Jefferson
Cuco — Fantasy Gateway
Release Date: Friday, July 22
At only 23, Cuco has established himself as one of the most brilliant singer/songwriters in contemporary Latin music. The son of Mexican immigrants, he has forged a cinematic sonic universe that draws from hazy bedroom pop and psychedelia, but is also informed by the spectral tinge of the classic baladas that made generations of Latines sigh with unresolved longing. After recording a swanky, electro-pop cover of the standard "Piel Canela" in 2020 and collaborating with boy pablo on this year's epic "La Novela," Cuco is releasing his second album, Fantasy Gateway. Recorded in Mexico City, his father's hometown, the collection includes the lovely "Fin Del Mundo" with fellow dream popster Bratty, the languid "Time Machine," and a much-anticipated collaboration with Kacey Musgraves and Adriel Favela. Cuco's intriguing contrast between his DIY ethos and the lush sophistication of his songwriting hints at the emergence of an artist ready to create a transcendent body of work. — E.L.
ODESZA — The Last Goodbye
Release Date: Friday, July 22
For ODESZA, goodbye means new beginnings. Five years after releasing their GRAMMY-nominated album, A Moment Apart, the Seattle-based electronic duo is staging a comeback in 2022 with their fourth studio LP, The Last Goodbye. The album, ODESZA said in a statement, is inspired by their friends and family's impact on them: "We found comfort in the fact that those who we love stay with us, that they become intrinsically part of us, in a way." On Last Goodbye, ODESZA take a deeper exploration of 4/4 rhythms, threading a collection of driving beats coated in soul-piercing vocals and rousing instrumentation that evokes at once nostalgia, melancholy and euphoria.
The album is an aching desire to connect, to love, and to be loved. Singles like "Love Letter," featuring the Knocks, and the Bettye-LaVette-sampling title track hold an iron grip on emotions with lyrics like "You can't break my heart 'cause I was never in love." Elsewhere, "Better Now," with MARO, offers a more optimistic approach to life: "So what if I fall? / Better that I tried instead of nothing at all." ODESZA's The Last Goodbye is vast and visceral, intimate yet intense — exactly the kind of album you'll want soundtracking these hot summer nights. — Krystal Rodriguez
Beyoncé — Renaissance
Release Date: Friday, July 29
Beyoncé has dominated the last two years: She unveiled her visual masterpiece, Black Is King, in 2020, she celebrated a history-making GRAMMYs night in 2021, and she garnered her first Oscar nomination in February. Now, Queen Bey is officially returning to the solo spotlight after a six-year gap since her last album, Lemonade (2016). In mid-June, and after much speculation, Beyoncé announced she'd be releasing her seventh studio album, Renaissance, on Friday, July 29. The 16-song Renaissance is being helmed as "Act I" of a rumored double album.
Information about the project remains scarce, though a British Vogue cover interview teasing the sound and style of Renaissance leads many to believe that Bey's forthcoming release will feature nods to disco, house and dance music. Days after her initial announcement, Beyoncé released the project's motivating lead single, "Break My Soul," which samples New Orleans bounce icon Big Freedia and interpolates infectious, '90s-flavored synths. The album's rollout is a vastly different approach for Beyoncé, who, with the thin-air release of her self-titled album in 2013, has been credited for popularizing the surprise album drop. —J.J.
King Princess — Hold On Baby
Release Date: Friday, July 29
Always one to be radically transparent about the events and relationships in her life, King Princess is looking inward on her new album, Hold On Baby. Musically, the album combines some of the anthemic riffs found on her previous work, including her 2019 debut album, Cheap Queen, with more elaborate production from accomplished collaborators like Mark Ronson and the National's Aaron and Bryce Dessner. Tracks like the pulsing "For My Friends" and the deeply emotional "Little Bother," a collaboration with Fousheé, showcase a more robust sound from King Princess and find her turning the keen insights of her writing inwards toward her own faults, joys and mindsets. Her goal for the album, she explained in a statement, is to "give you all some strength in accepting ourselves; as chaotic as we can be." With such a worthy goal and an even greater sonic ambition, Hold On Baby will be a crowning moment for King Princess. — Gabriel Aikins
Maggie Rogers — Surrender
Release Date: Friday, July 29
After her 2019 debut album Heard It In A Past Life earned her critical acclaim and a Best New Artist nomination at the 2020 GRAMMYs, Maggie Rogers quickly built anticipation for what she would do next. After a couple of relatively quiet years writing on the East Coast, she reemerged in April with the announcement of her sophomore album, Surrender. Counting 12 tracks, it's a welcome return for one of the most dynamic songwriters working today.
The album's first single, "That's Where I Am," proves Rogers is even more thoughtful than ever: Over a soaring collection of synths and pulsing percussion, she sings of finding acceptance of life's many twists and turns, all while expanding upon the sound of Past Life. Recent track "Want Want" teases an even more experimental Rogers as the song brings some downright grimy guitar riffs and delivers a heavier mix than most listeners have heard from her. With so much energy in just two early tracks, Surrender is shaping up to be a must-listen summer album. — G.A.
$uicideboy$ — Sing Me A Lullaby My Sweet Temptation
Release Date: Friday, July 29
If anybody doubts the unbelievable adaptability and malleability of rap today, just look at who's in $uicideboy$' orbit. In years past, they've collaborated with everyone from Travis Barker to members of Korn. On their upcoming Grey Day Tour, they'll be supported by bleeding-edge acts ranging from hardcore heroes Knocked Loose to genre-dismantling crushers Code Orange to SoundCloud-adjacent rapper Ski Mask the Slump God.
What is the New Orleans duo stumping for on the Grey Day Tour? That'd be Sing Me a Lullaby My Sweet Temptation, their new album out July 29 on G*59 RECORDS.
Flanked by lead single "Escape From BABYLON" — a scorching analysis of the pit of vipers that dating can be, especially as wild men like this — Sing Me a Lullaby My Sweet Temptation is sure to be yet another ruthless excoriation of their inner selves. (Much like acclaimed predecessors, Long Term Effects of Suffering  and I Want to Die in New Orleans .)
Strap in for another sonic brawl from these uncommonly candid rap survivors, which will undoubtedly elevate them even further in the realm of unflinching music — genre and its attendant limitations be damned. — M.E.
Photo: Daniel C. Sims/Getty Images
Solange To Play Benefit Show For Hurricane Harvey Relief
GRAMMY winner adds her name to the list of artists who are helping to raise millions in relief efforts for victims
GRAMMY winner Solange has announced she will be performing a benefit show to raise money for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. The performance, called Orion's Rise, will be held at Boston's Orpheum Theatre on Sept. 8.
"I'm committed to partnering with organizations on the ground in Houston and making contributions to uplift the city that raised me with so much love," said Solange, a Houston native.
This announcement comes on the heels of other artists pledging their support, including Solange's sister, Beyoncé. But they are certainly not the only ones.
Comedian Kevin Hart pledged $50,000 to relief efforts, and the fund he organized has earned nearly $2 million in additional financial support, with contributions from artists such as the Chainsmokers. All funds will go to the American Red Cross.
The Kardashians and Jenners, Nicki Minaj, and DJ Khaled have also announced they will make donations. Jennifer Lopez and her partner Alex Rodriguez joined in the fundraising efforts, pledging $25,000 each to the Red Cross.
In addition, GRAMMY winner Jack Antonoff is matching donations up to $10,000 for the Montrose Center in Houston, an LGBT community center. Chris Brown will donate $100,000 directly to "the people," and T.I. will donate $25,000 to relief efforts.
Cuco On 'Para Mi,' Musical Tastes, MC Magic & Lil Rob | Up Close & Personal
Cuco's debut is here and he talks to the Recording Academy about one of the most meaningful songs on the albums, the sounds he's featuring and more
Cuco's debut, Para Mi, meaning "for me" in Spanish is exactly that: a 13-track album made by him, for him.
We've gotten to know the artist from Hawthorne, Calif. through his mostly dream pop singles and EPs and on his debut he highlights his diverse musical tastes even moreso.
"I like samba, salsa music, funk, jazz, soul, I like everything. I'm just learning to produce," he told the Recording Academy for Up Close & Personal about adding different sounds to his album.
"'Bossa No Sé,' I had that for three years," he added about the bossa nova inspired single. The album is the first with a label and while he's not longer indie he says: "I learned to value myself" about being independent.
Watch the video above to hear Cuco talk about one of the most meaningful songs on the album and working with idols MC Magic and Lil Rob.
"GRAMMY Effect" Spikes Sales
"GRAMMY Effect" Spikes Sales
The 52nd Annual GRAMMY Awards drove a 3.3 percent increase in album sales compared to last week, according to a Billboard report. The 2010 GRAMMY Nominees album jumped to No. 5 with sales of 71,000 units, a 55 percent increase. Top GRAMMY winner Beyoncé's I Am…Sasha Fierce rose to No. 14 with sales of 32,000 copies, a 101 percent increase. Other GRAMMY performers experiencing sales increases include Pink (up 234 percent), Dave Matthews Band (up 114 percent), the Zac Brown Band (up 82 percent), the Black Eyed Peas (up 76 percent), Taylor Swift (up 58 percent), and Lady Gaga (up 17 percent). Lady Antebellum, who also performed on the telecast, remained at No. 1 for the second consecutive week. (2/10)
Grainge Promoted To UMG CEO
Universal Music Group International Chairman and CEO Lucian Grainge has been promoted to CEO of Universal Music Group, effective Jan. 1, 2011. He will succeed Doug Morris and report to Jean-Bernard Lévy, chairman of the management board of Vivendi. Grainge will relocate from London to New York to serve as co-CEO of UMG in tandem with Morris for six months starting July 1. Morris, who has served as UMG chairman and CEO since 1995, will remain as company chairman. (2/10)
Stars Align On Capitol Hill
Music at presidential inaugurations provides entertainment and unifying moments of patriotism
(On Jan. 21 President Barack Obama will be inaugurated into his second term as president of the United States with a celebration in Washington, D.C., featuring performances by GRAMMY winners Beyoncé, Alicia Keys, Kelly Clarkson, Brad Paisley, Usher, and Stevie Wonder, among others. This feature is taken from the fall 2012 issue of GRAMMY magazine and offers a brief history of notable musical performances at past presidential inaugurations.)
Being elected the leader of the free world is a pretty good reason to strike up the band. Ever since George Washington first danced a celebratory minuet after his inauguration in 1789, music has played an ever-increasing role in the gala events surrounding presidential inaugurations.
In 1801 Thomas Jefferson had the U.S. Marines band play him along as he made his way from the Capitol to the White House after taking the oath of office. James and Dolley Madison threw the first official inaugural ball in 1809. Jumping to the 20th century, in 1977 Jimmy Carter invited such music luminaries as John Lennon and Yoko Ono to his inaugural ball and allowed rock and roll — or at least the Southern rock variety — to become a part of his inauguration backdrop when he invited the Marshall Tucker Band and the Charlie Daniels Band to share a concert bill with Guy Lombardo And His Royal Canadians. (Lombardo's group was something of an inauguration ball house band, having played for seven presidents.)
Today, inaugurations are presented as both massive public live events and televised productions, complete with a concert featuring a roster of star talent. The musical performances at inaugurations not only provide entertainment, they also help set the tone for a new presidency and bring the country together in a unifying moment of patriotism over partisanship.
"It wasn't about one side or the other. We just had this overwhelming feeling of being proud to be American," recalls Ronnie Dunn, formerly of the GRAMMY-winning duo Brooks & Dunn. He and then-partner Kix Brooks performed their hit "Only In America" at a concert as part of George W. Bush's first inauguration in 2001.
"Right away you could feel it was an emotionally charged crowd, and when you're standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial looking across to the Washington Monument, you can't help but tear up a little," says Brooks. "I remember there was this chaos during the big encore when all the musicians and all the presidential VIPs were onstage together. I turned around and there's Colin Powell shaking my hand. It turned into one of the wildest photo ops ever because all the music people and all the political people were pulling their cameras out to take pictures of each other."
One of the most memorable unions of political and musical star power at an inaugural gala occurred in 1993, when a reunited Fleetwood Mac performed "Don't Stop," a hit from their GRAMMY-winning album Rumours, for President-elect Bill Clinton. Clinton had used "Don't Stop" as the theme song to his presidential campaign, but the payoff live performance almost didn't happen.
"At that point we were as broken up as we'd ever been," says Stevie Nicks. "When our management received the request for us to play, they said, 'No.' I heard about that and thought to myself, 'I don't want to be 90, looking back and trying to remember why my group couldn't play the president's favorite song for him.' I told management to let me handle it."
Nicks successfully coaxed her bandmates into a one-night, one-song reunion, a performance she remembers as truly exceptional.
"For one thing we'd never seen security like that," she says. "The Secret Service makes rock and roll security feel like a bunch of grade school hall monitors. But the performance felt really important. It felt like we were a part of history, and that the song itself was becoming a piece of American history. It was a fantastic night in all of our lives, and I'm really glad the band was able to come together for that one."
The Beach Boys played Ronald Reagan's second inauguration after a somewhat confused relationship with the White House. The band had headlined a series of Fourth of July concerts at the National Mall until 1983, when U.S. Secretary of the Interior James Watt accused the group of attracting "the wrong element" and booked Wayne Newton in their place. Watt later apologized, and the Beach Boys were reinstated and invited to play Reagan's inaugural gala in 1985.
"What I remember most about that night is that I got to meet Elizabeth Taylor," says Jerry Schilling, the band's then-manager. "But I also remember being extremely proud of the group. Things had been hard for Brian [Wilson], and the group wasn't always getting along. But they stood there together in front of the president and sang perfect five-part a capella harmony on 'Their Hearts Were Full Of Spring.' It was a big moment — we all felt that. It wasn't just another gig. The guys were truly honored to be there and they brought it when it mattered."
A new musical standard for inaugural events may have been established in 2009 when Barack Obama's presidency was kicked off with the "We Are One" concert. The patriotic spectacular featured a who's who of performers ranging from Pete Seeger, Bruce Springsteen and U2 to Usher, Sheryl Crow and will.i.am. An all-star lineup usually adds an all-star production element, but this particular concert was unique.
"Dealing with top artists, there's usually a lot of negotiating," says Don Mischer, one of the concert's producers, whose list of credits also includes Super Bowl halftime shows and Olympics ceremonies. "Who needs a private jet? How much does their 'glam squad' cost? What kind of security do they need? Putting together 'We Are One,' we said to every artist, 'This is a historical moment we'd love for you to be a part of, but you have to pay your own way and take care of your own security.' Right away, people like Beyoncé and Bono and Springsteen and Stevie Wonder all said, 'Yes.' They wanted to be there. There was a true camaraderie right from the start, and it turned out to be one of the greatest experiences any of us have ever had."
While Washington's minuet may have simply been a matter of dancing, Mischer says music has become as powerful a symbol of America as any other part of Inauguration Day.
"When you bring the music and the significance of an event like this together, it really reflects the strength of our cultural diversity and the strength of our country," he says. "In fact, at times when we seem to be going through confrontational political campaigns, I wish we would listen to the music a little more."
(Chuck Crisafulli is an L.A.-based journalist and author whose most recent works include Go To Hell: A Heated History Of The Underworld, Me And A Guy Named Elvis and Elvis: My Best Man.)