Right... enough reminiscing! The year 2022 was an amazing one for music, but time marches on.
There’s a huge amount to look forward to already, with a whole set of bona fide mainstream and left-field legends from across the decades planning albums and tours – and a whole lot of fascinating stuff bubbling away on the margins too.
Depeche Mode. Credit: Anton Corbijn
A particularly poignant one is Depeche Mode’s upcoming Memento Mori album and tour – their first in over five years.
Never shy of addressing dark subject matter, the band is directly addressing – with the title, the death of founding member Andy “Fletch” Fletcher. His absence will loom large as Dave Gahan and Martin Gore face the world as a duo for the first time.
Ryuichi Sakamoto. Credit: Milan Records
Perhaps almost as emotive is Ryuichi Sakamoto’s 12, due this month, an “audio diary” of the past two years undergoing cancer treatment.
Depeche Mode’s UK contemporary The Cure comes back after a much longer break and in happier circumstances.
The band’s recent live shows have had rave reviews, including for new material from the upcoming Songs Of A Lost World album, which will be their first in almost 15 years.
Don’t hold your breath as it’s been delayed repeatedly already, but the signs are good for a 2023 release – plus there are shows soon to be announced for North America, and who knows, the long promised Robert Smith solo album might even emerge too.
Metallica. Credit: Tim Saccenti
Other veterans on manoeuvres include Metallica, whose 72 Seasons! is slated for April, with a 46-date world tour booking now; Peter Gabriel who will be releasing i/o – his first album of all-new material in two decades – and touring Europe in May and June; and husband-and-wife duo Everything But The Girl, whose upcoming comeback album will be their first since Temperamental 24 years ago!
Paramore. Credit: Zachary Gray
There is buzz building too, for Paramore’s first album in five years, This is Why; Kylie Minogue’s follow up to 2020’s DISCO; and most of all for the promised Act 2 and Act 3 of Beyoncé’s Renaissance.
Nobody knows what form the latter will take but Beyoncé will be undertaking her first tour since 2016’s Formation shows.
A couple of steps away from the mainstream, we’re majorly looking forward to a few projects.
Young Fathers. Credit: Jordan Hemingway
Scotland’s Young Fathers have been growing artistically at an extraordinary pace, and early signs are that their fourth album Heavy Heavy is going to be a big one.
Connecticut alt pop figurehead Caroline Polachek has an impressive lineup of collaborators for her fourth album Desire, I Want To Turn Into You.
Also blurring pop and out-there electronics is Sweden’s Fever Ray, back with their first album in five years Radical Romantics, and LA-based Kelela, back after a similar break with Raven.
On top of that there’s the seventh albums from electro-goths Ladytron and junk-pop collagists The Go! Team, and the 17th from shoegaze / dream pop royalty Yo La Tengo.
All of the above will be on the road through the year.
Elsewhere on the live circuit, Billie Eilish’s marathon Happier Than Ever tour continues through Latin America in the spring, then finally concludes with festivals in Canada and the UK in the summer.
Coldplay. Credit: James Marcus Haney
Coldplay’s Music Of The Spheres tour carries on through Brazil, Portugal, Spain, Italy and Sweden, and Harry Styles takes in Oceania, Southeast Asia and just about every country in Europe.
Bruce Springsteen’s first shows with the E Street Band since 2017 will start in February and take in large swathes of North America and Europe, while long awaited shows from Janet Jackson with Ludacris in support will take place across the US.
A joint tour has been announced by Ben Gibbard’s two projects Death Cab For Cutie and Postal Service – celebrating the 20th anniversary of their respective breakthrough albums. This too is North America only, but clamour for other dates has been so impassioned don’t be surprised if more happens.
If you have a taste for ultra-indie and can’t catch that one, at least Big Thief will be out and about through 2023 – covering most of the planet, it seems.
Björk. Credit: Vidar Logi
And finally, there is one final chance to catch the hugely celebrated Bjork Orchestral shows – but only if you happen to be in Japan in March!
Cover Credit: A Paper Creative
Elevate the way you discover music with KEF
Writer | Joe Muggs
Joe Muggs is a writer, DJ and curator of many years standing, covering both mainstream and underground. His book 'Bass, Mids, Tops', covering decades of UK bass music, is out now via Strange Attractor / MIT Press, and you can subscribe to his newsletter at tinyletter.com/joemuggs.