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How Rina Sawayama Turned Her Therapy Sessions Into 'Hold The Girl'
Rina Sawayama

Photo: Thurstan Redding

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How Rina Sawayama Turned Her Therapy Sessions Into 'Hold The Girl'

While making her second album, the pop shapeshifter dug deep into her past in a search for closure. Along the way, she rediscovered a long-lost feeling: pure joy.

GRAMMYs/Sep 13, 2022 - 08:10 pm

Rina Sawayama shares a birthday with Madonna. It’s "quite a vibe," she tells GRAMMY.com over Zoom from London, noting their shared "Leo energy." Like the icon, Sawayama is vibrant, artistically fearless, a pop chameleon pre-destined for stardom. But whereas Madge celebrates her birthdays with lavish bashes in international locales, Sawayama’s ideal day is a little more low-key: an intimate gathering at home with some friends, over dinner and a movie.

Life leading up to Sawayama’s 30th birthday two years ago should have given her reason to go all out if she wanted. She had just released her debut album, SAWAYAMA, an all-acclaimed collection of songs discussing topics such as capitalism, intergenerational trauma, and making one’s own family, all over an equally wide-ranging soundboard of nu-metal, dance, pop, and R&B. An international tour had been mapped out. But a month before the album’s release, the pandemic hit. 

Stuck inside with little to do between Zoom calls, Sawayama struggled to adjust. As a result, she added more intensive therapy to her regimen to address resurfaced traumas. From those sessions, Sawayama molded her second album, Hold The Girl, which arrives Sept. 16 via Dirty Hit. 

Like its predecessor, the LP is a blender of maximalist sounds and styles, this time bridging industrial, rap-rock, and stadium-sized trance with pop, indie, and even country music. Here, Sawayama is more introspective, her rawness and vulnerability an attempt to make peace with her past. The title track is both haunting and uplifting as she vows to protect the young past-self she "left…spinning on the carousel." On the darker and more frantic "Frankenstein," she begs someone to "put me together, make me better."

Beyond its individual songs, Hold The Girl's beauty lies in its overall arc: an emotionally intense trek through stretches of sorrow and then engulfing rage to finally reach the peak of light and healing. For Sawayama, the latter part has been long overdue: "I think it was in my thirties that I truly felt this moment of relief from depression," she tells GRAMMY.com. "I was able to look at little things like leaves or trees…It was a childlike joy that I was able to feel."

Sawayama spoke with GRAMMY.com about creating Hold The Girl, an album about "holding your inner child and allowing the child to feel loved and thrive and feel pure joy — something that I felt [throughout] my entire twenties and late teens I wasn't able to do."

Since you started touring again, how did it feel being in this overlapping space where you're still performing your last album from two years ago for the first time while finalizing your new one?

It made me feel really sad because I wanted to perform it so many more times. I wanted to perform it to more audiences, to different states, even Europe. 

I feel sad because there's just no space in the next tour set to perform most of the songs. I think we're gonna pick up three or four songs. I feel a little sentimental about it but, you know, we gotta move forward.

What motivated you to start working on Hold The Girl?

I didn't want to! I was completely uninspired. But time was passing and I was having a chat with my label and my management and they're like, Look, if you work on it now, then by the time everything opens up, there'll be a new record and then there'll be momentum. And I was like, Oh, God, I dunno. I don't feel ready to move on. I think people were feeling so unmotivated in general throughout lockdown because we had no release. There was nothing to be excited for. 

I actually read, on recommendation of a songwriter friend, Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and she talks about how you get through your creative blocks. That in conjunction with seeing artists like Charli XCX and Taylor Swift releasing lockdown albums was really inspiring because I was like, you have to think of another way. I really was digging my heels in. I just didn't want to write. I just wanted to sit at home and be sad, basically.

So how did you overcome those blocks?

When I don’t know how to do something, I always look to books to find out how to do it. And there are so many books on creative blocks. When I was really young, I read The Artist’s Way because I didn't know how to write songs. But yeah, Big Magic, I read Tunesmith, which was also a really good book. 

Listening to podcasts about creating, and just speaking with friends who are in the industry being like, "How do you feel?" And them being like, "Yeah, I feel the same way, too" was really encouraging because I didn't feel like I was being stupid by not wanting to write. It was books and just kind of necessity: I had to.

As a person who is also in therapy, since therapy plays a role in the album, listening to this album was both an arrow to the chest and a hug.

Oh, wow. That's so amazing. Thank you for saying that. That's so heartbreaking but amazing. I feel seen.

I felt seen! So I have an idea of what it means to hold the girl, but I’d really like to hear in your words what it means.

It’s addressing the things that I went through when I was a child and a teenager up until now, turning 30 and finally feeling like an adult. I have perspective towards my younger self. I felt like I had given myself away in the sense that I've done so much people-pleasing in my life. And it's led to people taking advantage of me or some really precarious situations. It really left some scars.

During therapy, what was amazing is this idea of, now that you're an adult, you're able to see your younger self as a child slightly separate from you. It's this beautiful moment where you're able to hold your inner-child and give them the love that they didn't have when you were younger, whether it was the parenting you needed, or the general support that you needed, or the friendship you needed.

That was the therapeutic process that I went through, and what I really wanted to trace narratively with this record. It starts off by being like, this is what's wrong, and then it goes into this moment of chaos, a real self-punching moment where you are letting yourself be swallowed in the chaos of it and emotional turmoil, which is like the middle of the album after forgiveness. Then it kind of ends in the euphoria.

Can you tell me about the catharsis of recording that stretch from "Holy" to "Frankenstein"? Those are screaming and crying records to me.

It was really fun. So it starts with "Holy," which — I went to a Church of England school and I think that was very impactful to me. There was a church attached to our school and we were allowed to perform there, so that was one of my first experiences with music and performance. At the same time, it was a girl's school and it was very savage. There were so many things that happened that were not okay and probably quite traumatic. I wanted it to be a crying-in-the-club kind of song. 

So it goes from that to "Your Age," on which…I can look back and think generally how badly behaved adults were and how unchecked so much behavior was when we were younger. Just thinking about the ‘90s and 2000s and the behavior that so many people were able to get away with — think about Britney Spears and what happened there, and the #MeToo movement. 

"Imagining" is this chaos. We were having so much fun with the sound and making it very industrial and very frantic — I love the idea of thrashing around in a club, which is what I used to do when I was 15. Then it ends with "Frankenstein," which is about expecting your partner or those close to you to put you back together, and realizing the only person that can do that is you.

I had so much fun doing that section of the record. I love writing pop, but I also really love the bold sounds. So in terms of sonics, there’s a marriage of those two vibes.

Exactly, you're known for mixing sounds from R&B and pop to dance and metal. With songs like "This Hell" and "Send My Love to John," you've invited country music to the party. What drew you to the genre and what made it right for this moment?

Kasey Musgraves. I didn't know about Kasey until she won Record Of The Year at the GRAMMYs. I've never heard music so pure since the Carpenters; I had never heard a voice so crystal clear. It was so to-the-point and refined in terms of the songwriting and production. I was completely enamored with that record for, like, two years. Then I went down a route of listening to country singers like Dolly Parton. I listened to Trio, which is by the band [Parton] had with Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris; it's just amazing, the harmonics and just the simplicity of the songwriting. 

I think at the same time, being locked down inside the house, I had dreams of writing the record in Nashville, because at that point I'd been so obsessed with the country style of writing. I just wanted to be authentically writing with those people. And I couldn't, obviously. In my head I had this vision of wanting to be in a place that I didn't have any cultural connection to, and that’s country.

You've previously talked about challenging yourself to turn really difficult topics from your therapy sessions into pop songs. Do you view these songs as extensions of your therapy? Do they provide any closure once those experiences are immortalized into song?

It's definitely provided closure, and I'm so grateful that I get to have these two ways of dealing with my trauma, which is doing therapy and also having amazing collaborators that I get to write with and be open about my experiences — and for them not to be like, "this is heavy, this is weird." All of them were like, "Alright, let's go."

I always strongly recommend therapy. I think if we learn anything during the lockdown it’s that you have to be comfortable just sitting there with yourself. I think therapy is the first step in that.

Given that the album is so deeply personal, what would you say is your favorite or most resonating lyric on it?

I think some of the most simple ones resonate the most. "Blue sky is always there behind the rain," which is in "To Be Alive," is a common meditation mantra. The lyrics just really distill everything, all the therapeutic process and amazing quotes, into one. I also love the lyric "Flowers still look pretty when they're dying," which is the last line of the record. It's haunting at the same time as validating. I really wanted to end on that nuanced lyrical vibe.

Is it too early to ask what's next? Maybe the better question is, what are you looking forward to most once the record's out?

Having these kinds of conversations with people who really resonate with it on a very, I want to say different level, because I can tell when people resonate with it on that kind of level—when they feel seen. The great thing about therapy is that you don't feel alone when you start doing it. You realize that there are other people who feel similarly to you. I can't wait to meet my fans and chat to them about how they've resonated with the record because this one, compared to the last one, is definitely more hard-hitting. It comes from a much deeper place.

Having talks like this is definitely what I'm looking forward to, and also to be able to do that in shows through singing it back to people. That will be really amazing.

Julian Lennon On New Album 'Jude,' Grappling With His Namesake & Embracing His Bittersweet Past

Listen To GRAMMY.com's LGBTQIA+ Pride Month 2022 Playlist Featuring Elton John, Lady Gaga, Lil Nas X, Ricky Martin, Rina Sawayama & More
(L-R): Janelle Monáe, Pabllo Vittar, Lil Nas X, Lady Gaga, Rina Sawayama

Source Photos (L-R): Cindy Ord/MG22/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue; Mauricio Santana/Getty Images; Rich Fury/Getty Images for The Recording Academy; Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for The Recording Academy; Scott Dudelson/Getty Images for Coachella

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Listen To GRAMMY.com's LGBTQIA+ Pride Month 2022 Playlist Featuring Elton John, Lady Gaga, Lil Nas X, Ricky Martin, Rina Sawayama & More

For LGBTQIA+ Pride Month 2022, GRAMMY.com presents a genre-spanning playlist of emerging and established artists you should know, including RuPaul, Janelle Monáe, Kim Petras & many more.

GRAMMYs/Jun 1, 2022 - 07:19 pm

Now more than ever in the music industry, artists are out, proud and loud about being open members of the LGBTQIA+ community. Across all genres and music of different languages around the world, musicians are joyfully embracing their queer identities while creating much-needed visibility for their queer-identifying fans. As calls for LGBTQIA+ fairness and equality continue, artists throughout the world are amplifying the voices of the global LGBTQIA+ community.

In honor of LGBTQIA+ Pride Month 2022, GRAMMY.com has put together a playlist celebrating 50 artists across the LGBTQIA+ spectrum from throughout the decades and across all genres.

Listen to GRAMMY.com's official LGBTQIA+ Pride Month 2022 playlist below and follow the Recording Academy/GRAMMYs on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and PandoraPlaylist powered by GRAMMY U.

Among the queer icons who paved the way for representation in pop music and culture are Elton John, Queen's Freddie Mercury, and George Michael of Wham! In the '90s, drag queen superstar RuPaul took the world by storm and would soon lead a drag revolution of her own. Into the 2010s, Puerto Rican superstar Ricky Martin kicked down the proverbial closet door and led the way for more Latin and queer Latin acts to follow in his footsteps. Lady Gaga took queer culture into the stratosphere with her global Pride anthem, "Born This Way." Frank Ocean created waves through R&B and pop as a Black queer innovator with the release of his breakthrough single, "Thinkin Bout You."

The last decade has welcomed more openly LGBTQIA+ artists than ever. South Korean singer Holland has led the way for queer voices in K-pop, Kim Petras has become a pop beacon for trans representation, and Lil Nas X remains one of the biggest rappers and singers in the world today. Also, legendary musicians like Lesley Gore and Chavela Vargas opened up about their queer identities later in their lives.

As LGBTQIA+ representation continues to grow across the music industry, may more artists and music fans keep living their truths and expressing themselves openly and safely.

Japanese Breakfast, Blackpink, Enhypen, Stray Kids, Mxmtoon & More | Listen To GRAMMY.com's AAPI Month 2022 Playlist

Remembering Christine McVie Of Fleetwood Mac Through Her GRAMMY Triumphs, From 'Rumours' Onward
Christine McVie in 1969

Photo: Evening Standard / Stringer via Getty Images

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Remembering Christine McVie Of Fleetwood Mac Through Her GRAMMY Triumphs, From 'Rumours' Onward

Unflashy and undramatic, McVie's contributions to Fleetwood Mac led to some of their greatest contributions to popular song — with two GRAMMY wins to boot.

GRAMMYs/Dec 2, 2022 - 08:32 pm

In an acclaimed career that spanned more than half a century, Christine McVie staked her claim as one of the most potent singer-songwriters of her generation. A beloved original member of the seminal rock group Fleetwood Mac, with whom she sang, wrote and played keyboard, she and her bandmates catapulted to fame in the early '70s, scoring GRAMMY gold and influencing generations of musicians.

"As a GRAMMY Award winner and 2018 Person of the Year honoree, the Recording Academy has been honored to celebrate Christine McVie and her work with Fleetwood Mac throughout her legendary career," Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason jr. stated. In an announcement of her death, the remaining members of Fleetwood Mac mourned her passing by saying "She was truly one-of-a-kind, special, and talented beyond measure."

McVie, who passed away Nov. 30 at 79 after a brief illness, may have not been as flashy, or as dramatic, as fellow Fleetwood Mac members Lindsay Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. But McVie's contributions to the band led to some of their greatest contributions to popular song, with two GRAMMY wins among seven nominations.

The tour de force that is Rumours is one of the most acclaimed and best-selling albums of all time and an inductee into GRAMMY Hall Of Fame. The masterpiece earned McVie her first GRAMMY (for Album of the Year no less) at the 20th Annual Ceremony in 1978, also earning a nomination for Best Pop Vocal Performance By A Group.

Fleetwood Mac's 11th studio album, Rumours was actually McVie's 7th album with the band after making her name in the English blues scene, rising through the ranks as part of the band Chicken Shack, and even releasing a solo album.

In 1971, McVie joined Fleetwood Mac alongside her then-husband John McVie. The potent combination of the McVies, along with Mick Fleetwood, Buckingham and Nicks, catalyzed and detonated into the stratospheric Rumours.

"It's hard to say (what it was like) because we were looking at it from the inside," McVie said about the iconic album earlier this year.  "We were having a blast and it felt incredible to us that we were writing those songs. That's all I can say about it, really."

McVie's coyness may stem from the fact that prior to its production, Christine and John divorced after eight years of marriage. Meanwhile, Buckingham and Nicks were having a tumultuous relationship themselves. 

McVie is credited as sole songwriter on a handful of instant-classic Rumours tracks, all written during a perilous moment. "I thought I was drying up," explained McVie. "I was practically panicking because every time I sat down at a piano, nothing came out. Then, one day,  I just sat down and wrote in the studio, and the four-and-a-half songs of mine on the album are a result of that."

That includes "Don't Stop," an ironically peppy ode considering the turmoil McVie and her bandmates were grappling with at the time. With lyrics that staunchly proclaim "Yesterday's gone!," the song was reportedly written as a plea from Christine to John to move on from their relationship.

"I dare say, if I hadn't joined Fleetwood Mac, we might still be together. I just think it's impossible to work in the band with your spouse," McVie later said. John, meanwhile, was oblivious to the song's message during its production and early acclaim. He revealed in 2015: "I've been playing it for years and it wasn't until somebody told me, 'Chris wrote that about you.' Oh really?"

John was also equally ignorant to the source inspiration of "You Make Loving Fun"; McVie told him the joyful song ("Sweet wonderful you/ You make me happy with the things you do") was about her dog. In reality, it was about an affair with the band's lighting designer.

"It was a therapeutic move," McVie later mused of her lyrical penchant for hiding brutal honesty in plain sight. "The only way we could get this stuff out was to say it, and it came out in a way that was difficult. Imagine trying to sing those songs onstage with the people you're singing them about."

When McVie was asked earlier this year what song she written she was most proud of, it was an easy answer: the Rumours track "Songbird."

"For some peculiar reason, I wrote "Songbird" in half an hour; I've never been able to figure out how I did that," she told People. "I woke up in the middle of the night and the song was there in my brain, chords, lyrics, melody, everything. I played it in my bedroom and didn't have anything to tape it on. So I had to stay awake all night so I wouldn't forget it and I came in the next morning to the studio and had (producer) Ken Callait put it on a 2-track. That was how the song ended up being. I don't know where that came from."

McVie's most recent GRAMMY nominations were for her contributions to The Dance, Fleetwood Mac's 1997 live album that featured her stand-outs from Rumours along with the McVie penned-tracks "Say You Love Me" and "Everywhere."

The album earned McVie and the band GRAMMY nominations for Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal (for the Lindsay Buckingham-written "The Chain") and  Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal (for "Silver Springs," penned by Stevie Nicks). It also landed a nomination for Best Pop Album. It was her final album with the band before a 15-year self-imposed retirement.

In her final years, McVie was a vital member of Fleetwood Mac, including in 2018 when they became the first band honored as MusicCare's Person of the Year.

Speaking to the Recording Academy before the ceremony, Nicks expressed that her initial goal upon joining the group was a humble one: "Christine and I made a pact. We said we will never, ever be treated as a second-class citizen amongst our peers."

Lindsey Buckingham Holds Forth On His New Self-Titled Album, How He Really Feels About Fleetwood Mac Touring Without Him

15 Must-Hear New Albums Out This Month: SZA, Neil Young, A Boogie Wit da Hoodie, NCT Dream & More
(L-R): A Boogie wit da Hoodie, SZA, Jacquees, Metro Boomin, Rivers Cuomo of Weezer

Photos (L-R): Joseph Okpako/WireImage; Tim Mosenfelder/FilmMagic; Prince Williams/Wireimage; Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Justin Combs Events; Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

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15 Must-Hear New Albums Out This Month: SZA, Neil Young, A Boogie Wit da Hoodie, NCT Dream & More

Rounding out the year, here are the can't-miss releases and massive new albums dropping in December 2022 from Weezer, Metro Boomin, NOFX, Jacquees, Ab-Soul, and many others.

GRAMMYs/Dec 2, 2022 - 07:20 pm

And just like that, 2022 is almost done — but not before we get another round of must-hear albums. December's slate of releases is set to send the year out on a high note, with something for all tastes.

This month heralds much-anticipated returns from R&B innovator SZA, with S.O.S., and rap super-producer Metro Boomin, with the mysterious HEROES & VILLAINS. December's riches also include Bad MFs from West Coast hip-hop supergroup Mount Westmore, indie-rock lifers Weezer dropping SZNZ: Winter and a loaded, possibly final album from punk-rock misfits NOFX. There's also new-generation R&B (RINI’s Ultraviolet EP and Jacquees' Sincerely For You), dark techno (Terence Fixmer's Shifting Signals), soul-baring indie (Sophie Jamieson's Choosing), and much more.

Below, check out a guide to the 15 essential albums dropping just in time for the festive season. — Jack Tregoning

Contributed reporting by Ashlee Mitchell

SZA - S.O.S.

Release date: TBD

Five years after her GRAMMY-nominated debut album, Ctrl, it's about to be SZA season all over again. While details are still pending, the alternative R&B star is expected to drop her second album, S.O.S., this month, following the single "Shirt" and its teaser follow-up, "PSA."

In a revealing Billboard cover story, SZA spoke frankly about the pressure she feels to release the album while navigating the music industry and her fans' expectations. As always with SZA, the music itself speaks volumes, and the darkly seductive "Shirt" (accompanied by a music video co-starring SZA and Academy Award nominee LaKeith Stanfield in a riff on Bonnie and Clyde) suggests S.O.S. will be something to savor. — J.T.

Related: Ari Lennox's Age/Sex/Location Explores Online Dating, Never Settling & Old School Romance

Metro Boomin - HEROES & VILLAINS

Release date: December 2

To prepare fans for his new album, HEROES & VILLAINS, sought-after rap producer Metro Boomin went all-out on a short film starring his collaborators Young Thug and Gunna alongside celebrated actors Morgan Freeman and LaKeith Stanfield. Following that flex, the artist's first solo LP in four years is set to feature a who's who of rap, with an exact tracklist still to be announced.

Metro Boomin's previous album, 2018's Not All Heroes Wear Capes, featured the likes of Travis Scott, 21 Savage and Gucci Mane rapping over the producer's dark, trap-centric beats. This time around, he's keeping his cards close to his chest, slyly sharing a video of the studio sessions on his Instagram with the caption, "When the sequel is even better than the first." All will be revealed on Dec. 2. — J.T.

Related: For The Record: Kendrick Lamar's 'Good Kid, M.A.A.d City' Launched A New Era In Storytelling & West Coast Rap

Neil Young - Harvest (50th Anniversary Edition)

Release date: December 2

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Neil Young's seminal folk-rock album Harvest, released to great acclaim in 1972. Featuring indelible songs like "Heart of Gold," "Old Man" and "The Needle and The Damage Done," Harvest was the best-selling album of that year in the US.

To celebrate the milestone, Young is releasing a special anniversary edition, available in either CD or vinyl box-set. Extras include a new two-hour documentary called Harvest Time, an official release of Young's BBC In Concert performance, and a hardcover book featuring never-before-seen photos and notes by legendary rock photographer Joel Bernstein. Consider this the festive gift for the Neil Young completist in your life. — J.T.

After breaking out with his 2021 debut album, Constellations, RINI returns this month with the seven-track EP, Ultraviolet. The Filipino-Australian R&B talent, who now calls Los Angeles home, pairs his indelible voice with slinky, late-night production that pulls the listener close.

Ahead of Ultraviolet, RINI has released the singles "Haunt Me" and "Selfish," featuring GRAMMY-winning rapper BEAM, which pair his themes of love and longing with gauzy, head-nodding beats. "I want to be able to show the world and myself that I'm growing, not just in music, but as a person," RINI told Uproxx in May. On Ultraviolet, which also features the slick bedroom jams "Something to Feel" and "Your Eyes," that evolution is evident. — J.T.

Related: R&B Isn't Dead: Listen To 51 Songs By Summer Walker, Josh Levi & More Artists Who Are Pushing The Genre Forward

NOFX - Double Album

Release date: December 2

SoCal punk veterans NOFX have always kept up a prolific output, and this month the band returns with their 15th LP, Double Album. Following last year's Single Album, the conveniently titled Double Album features 10 new songs with perfectly NOFX titles like "Punk Rock Cliché" and "Is It Too Soon if Time Is Relative?" Lead single "Darby Crashing Your Party" showcases the band at their hard-riffing, rowdy best, with frontman Fat Mike clearly relishing lyrical volleys like, "A middle-class clown waging lower class war/A Beverly Hillbilly peeled off the floor."

In a statement announcing the new album, Fat Mike revealed the songs were recorded at the same time as Single Album, then finished off later. "I think it's a very enjoyable album, and maybe our funniest," he added. It could also be NOFX's parting gift — responding to a fan’s Instagram comment, Fat Mike announced that 2023 will be the band's "last year" after an "amazing run." — J.T.

Related: 5 Women Essential To Punk: Exene Cervenka, Poly Styrene, Alice Bag, Kathleen Hanna & The Linda Lindas

Terence Fixmer - Shifting Signals

Release date: December 2

French producer Terence Fixmer has been one of the most intriguing figures in the electronic music scene for well over a decade. Over six past solo albums, numerous EPs and standalone releases, Fixmer has perfected a dark, gritty sound that melds techno with the looser industrial spirit of electronic body music (EBM).

Fixmer's seventh album, Shifting Signals, continues in that vein while allowing for new textures to creep in. "On each album I aim for something different but I retain the core sound, which is always there and often dark and melancholic," the producer wrote in a statement. "Sometimes the balance tips slightly and on this album, I'm striving to be freer and open myself up more to melody."

That openness to different modes is showcased on the atmospheric, piano-led "Synthetic Minds," which evokes a John Carpenter film score, while fellow singles "Corne de Brume" and "No Latitude for Errors" are built for heady techno dance floors. — J.T.

Related: Going Underground: House DJ Claude VonStroke On Making Soul Decisions & Keeping Electronic Music Grimy

Sophie Jamieson - Choosing

Release date: December 2

On her debut album, Choosing, London-based singer-songwriter Sophie Jamieson doesn't shy from difficult or uncomfortable emotions. Lead single, "Sink" lays bare her push-pull relationship with alcohol over a lulling bed of piano and drums. That theme of emotional vulnerability carries through the LP's 11 songs, which foreground Jamieson's enchanting voice and plain-spoken lyrics.

"The title of this album is so important," Jamieson wrote in a statement. "Without it, this might sound like another record about self-destruction and pain, but at heart, it's about hope, and finding strength. It's about finding the light at the end of the tunnel and crawling towards it." Choosing arrives via Bella Union, the tastemaking label led by Simon Raymonde, formerly of Scottish dream pop band Cocteau Twins. — J.T.

Related: Hear The 2022 Nominees For Best Alternative Music Performance At The 2023 GRAMMY Awards

White Lung - Premonition

Release date: December 2

Canadian punk rockers White Lung weren't expecting to take six years to follow up 2016's celebrated Paradise. As the story goes, the band got together in their hometown of Vancouver in 2017, expecting to rip out their final album before parting ways. In the studio, frontwoman Mish Barber-Way discovered she was pregnant with her first child — which, along with a global pandemic and another child, put the album plans on ice.

Fast forward to 2022, and White Lung's fifth and final album, Premonition, is finally here. With all that extra time to marinate, Premonition is a thrilling return from the trio, mining deeper themes with the same raucous, kick-down-the-door energy that fans expect. The album opens furiously with "Hysteric", and also features the singles "Date Night" and "Tomorrow," which match Barber-Way's impassioned vocals with muscular punk-rock riffing.

"We felt like this record was the right endpoint and we are happy the songs will finally be released," the band wrote in a statement. — J.T.

Related: Like Turnstile And Code Orange? 10 More Bands Expanding The Boundaries Of Hardcore

A Boogie Wit da Hoodie - Me vs. Myself

Release date: December 9

New York's A Boogie wit da Hoodie has been steadily hyping the release of his fourth album, Me Vs Myself, throughout 2022. Originally scheduled for November, the album will drop this month, right in time for A Boogie's hometown album launch at the iconic Apollo Theater in Harlem.

Me Vs Myself was preceded by a pair of singles, "Take Shots," featuring Tory Lanez, and "Ballin," which both showcase the rapper's supremely confident flow and wavy beats. While the full tracklist is not yet confirmed, A Boogie's previous album, ARTIST 2.0, covered the R&B and rap spectrum with guests like Summer Walker, Khalid, Young Thug and Lil Uzi Vert, without pulling focus from the main star. The rapper has already lined up dates for the Me Vs Myself tour stretching into 2023, so it's a great time to bet on A Boogie. — J.T.

Related: Meet The 2022 Nominees For Best Rap Album At The 2023 GRAMMY Awards

Mount Westmore - Snoop, Cube, 40, $hort

Release date: December 9

When living legends Snoop Dogg, E-40, Too Short and Ice Cube formed the supergroup Mount Westmore, West Coast rap heads took notice. After several hints that a collaborative album was coming, Mount Westmore made the surprise decision to release their debut, Bad MFs, exclusively as an NFT via the blockchain-based platform Gala Music.

The album arrives on streaming services this month under a new title, Snoop, Cube, 40, $hort, featuring additional songs not included on the NFT version. A spirit of loose fun and ride-or-die friendship carries through all the singles released so far, including the swaggering "Bad MFs" and the bass-heavy, light-hearted "Big Subwoofer." As Snoop put it to HotNewHipHop, "You bring the legends of the West Coast together, something great will always happen." — J.T.

Related: Take The Power Back: How Rage Against The Machine's Debut LP Created Rap-Rock With A Message

Leland Whitty - Anyhow

Release date: December 9

Best known as a member of Toronto-based jazz ensemble BADBADNOTGOOD, Leland Whitty is a true multi-instrumentalist. On his seven-track solo release, Anyhow, Whitty oversaw all production and composition, moving deftly between guitar, synthesizer, woodwinds and strings.

Following his scores for indie films Disappearance at Clifton Hill and Learn to Swim, Whitty was inspired to combine cinematic composition with rock and jazz instrumentation in his own project. Lead single "Awake" perfectly strikes that balance with twinkling keys, mournful strings and an insistent drum beat, while follow-up "Glass Moon" conjures a similarly beguiling mood. Members of BADBADNOTGOOD and Whitty's musician brother also joined the studio sessions, making Anyhow a family affair. — J.T.

Related: Robert Glasper & Terrace Martin On Removing Their Egos And Creating Their GRAMMY-Nominated Collaboration Dinner Party: Dessert

Jacquees - Sincerely For You

Release date: December 16

On "Say Yea", the sultry bedroom anthem he dropped back in May, Jacquees croons, "Girl, you overdue for some romantic s—." That simple line is something of a mission statement for the R&B casanova, whose third album, Sincerely For You, drops this month.

The LP features "Say Yea" alongside 16 more R&B jams, including singles "Tipsy," which captures the singer's blurry plea to a lover, and the smoothly boastful "Still That." Elsewhere, Sincerely For You offers up guest turns from Future (who also executive produced the album), 21 Savage and Tory Lanez, plus the R&B dream team of 6lack and Summer Walker on "Tell Me It's Over." On his socials, Jacquees dedicated the album to "everybody who been there for me along the way" and promised to deliver only "real R&B." — J.T.

Related: Durand Bernarr's 'Wanderlust': The R&B Singer Explains Why He's "Constantly In A State Of Arriving"

Ab-Soul - Herbert

Release date: December 16

Six hard-won years after his last album, the divisive, conspiracy theory-heavy Do What Thou Wilt., Ab-Soul has found his drive again. The rapper from Carson, California returns this month with a deeply personal album that shares his birth name, Herbert.

Ab-Soul's new outlook was previewed in lead single "Do Better," which reckons with the scars of his past and looks to the future with powerful clarity. The next single, "Gang'Nem," featuring Houston rapper FRE$H and produced by fellow Top Dawg Entertainment mainstay Sounwave, also revisits his upbringing and pays respect to L.A. street culture over a woozy, hard-hitting beat.

For fans of Ab-Soul's dense lyrical style and gravelly flow, Herbert is an eagerly-anticipated return to the rap limelight. — J.T.

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NCT DREAM - Candy

Release date: December 19

NCT Dream, the youngest sub-group of Neo Culture Technology (NCT), has seen exponential growth since they rebranded as a fixed unit in 2020. The septet is set to release a winter special EP called Candy on Dec. 19. The mini-album's six tracks, include lead single "Candy," which was originally performed by H.O.T. in 1996. The album will be the first holiday release for any NCT sub-group, following a slew of successful releases from NCT Dream this year.

The group released their second studio album, Glitch, in March 2022, followed by their repackaged Beatbox in May. Their first feature film, NCT Dream The Movie: In a Dream, released worldwide on Nov. 30 and Dec. 3 and documents the opening days of their tour in Seoul. The group will finish their tour in Japan by February 2023. — Ashlee Mitchell

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Weezer - SZNZ: Winter

Release date: December 21

This has been a remarkably good year to be a Weezer fan. Always pleasingly prolific, in 2022 the band decided to release a four-EP series under the name SZNZ, each timed to coincide with a new season.

Following Spring, Summer and Autumn editions, SZNZ: Winter arrives just in time for peak coziness. While the complete tracklist is not yet known, Weezer performed the EP in full for an intimate crowd at the Troubadour in Los Angeles (using their favored alias Goat Punishment), with new highlights including "I Want A Dog" and "The One That Got Away."

While frontman Rivers Cuomo has described SZNZ: Winter as having a sad vibe that suits snowed-in days, you can always count on Weezer to cut the melancholy with some power-pop verve. — J.T.

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GRAMMY Rewind: Dua Lipa Champions Happiness As She Accepts Her GRAMMY For Best Pop Vocal Album In 2021
Dua Lipa at the 2021 GRAMMYs.

Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

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GRAMMY Rewind: Dua Lipa Champions Happiness As She Accepts Her GRAMMY For Best Pop Vocal Album In 2021

As Dua Lipa held her new GRAMMY, she reflected on how "jaded" she felt before putting out 'Future Nostalgia' — and how the album taught her the importance of happiness.

GRAMMYs/Dec 2, 2022 - 06:00 pm

Three-time GRAMMY-winner Dua Lipa already had two golden gramophones to her name going into the 2021 GRAMMYs. But her third win — and her first for Best Pop Vocal Album — may have been the happiest of them all.

In this episode of GRAMMY Rewind, revisit the special moment when Dua Lipa took the stage to claim her trophy for her album, Future Nostalgia. The second studio album of the singer's career, Future Nostalgia earned her six nominations, including the coveted Album Of The Year as well as Record Of The Year and Song Of The Year for lead single "Don't Start Now."

As she held her new trophy, Lipa reflected on what she's learned through the process of making Future Nostalgia, making special mention of the power of happiness, and putting out happy music.

"I felt really jaded at the end of my last album, where I felt like I only had to make sad music to feel like it mattered," she explained. "And I'm just so grateful and so honored, because happiness is something that we all deserve, and it's something that we all need in our lives."

The singer also threw a spotlight on her fans, team and co-writers during her time onstage. "This means so much," she concluded, adding a shout-out to her family and friends who were watching from home. "I love you, thank you."

Press play on the video above to watch Dua Lipa's complete acceptance speech at the 63rd GRAMMY Awards, and keep checking back to GRAMMY.com every Friday for more new episodes of GRAMMY Rewind. 

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