[sic] Magazine

New Years Revolutions – upcoming albums for 2023.

New Years Revolutions
Anticipated albums in 2023 – by Gavin Fearnley

The outside world appears to continue being, erm, eventful. All the while, however, albums have been recorded and are about to hit shops and streaming services.

So, what does 2023 have in store in terms of new music? Let’s have a gander, shall we. [with embedded YouTube samples at the footer]

What’s being released this year?

First and foremost, 2023 must surely – finally – deliver us The Cure’s latest offering, 15 years after the underwhelming and disappointing 4:13 Dream. Titled Songs of a Lost World, those who heard the five new compositions during the European tour at the end of last year will be salivating for what’s on it. ‘Alone’, ‘I Can Never Say Goodbye’, and especially ‘Endsong’ were immediate hits with the band’s dedicated fan base. If these songs anything to go by, this will be Robert Smith’s darkest and most haunting album since Bloodflowers or even Disintegration. It may even by the band’s last, especially if lyrics are an indication (“This is the end, of every song we sing” from ‘Alone’). But he says that every time, doesn’t he?

Brisbanite Robert Forster – former co-leader of The Go-Betweens – brings out his eighth solo record, following on from last year’s single ‘Tender Years’ in which he once again references Germany (Heidelberg this time), his wife’s home country. It’s a family affair, given that said wife Karin Bäumler (who has been battling cancer) and son Louis Forster (who, until recently, was a member of The Goon Sax) helped record the album. Forster and Bäumler’s daughter, Loretta, as well as ex Go-Betweens bassist Adele Pickvance are also involved. The Candle and The Flame is set for release on 3 February and is Forster’s first solo album in nearly four years.

Following the death of founding member Andy Fletcher in May last year, Depeche Mode’s Dave Gahan and Martin Gore announced that they had returned to the studio to work on new material. Memento Mori – the band’s fifteenth studio album – is out in March and will be accompanied by a huge world tour.

Morrissey, oh Morrissey. Will his 14th studio album, Bonfire of Teenagers, actually come out in 2023? The former Smiths frontman is, once more, in some kind of dispute with a record label. This time it’s Los Angeles’ Capitol Records – which by my reckoning is his 17th label as a solo artist (if you include compilations and overseas releases). According to “Messages from Morrissey” on his own website (‘Morrissey Central’), former teen idol Miley Cyrus sang backing vocals on a tune called ‘I am Veronica’ two years ago. However, she now wants to be “taken off the song”. The website continues to say that “Morrissey has disassociated himself with Capitol Records … who control the hidden album ‘Bonfire of Teenagers’,” whatever that really means. It’s curious, because he’s already released a single from this album: ‘Rebels Without Applause’, which was akin to Morrissey covering Morrissey on ‘Cemetry Gates’ [sic] from The Smiths, whose lyrics of course – ironically enough – refer heavily to plagiarism.

On New Year’s Eve, Tracey Thorn took to Twitter. She wrote that 2022 was “a big year for [her and husband Ben Watt], bringing us back together to record for the first time in 23 yrs [sic]. Never imagined in Jan that this would happen. Yet here we are.” Apparently, Everything But the Girl’s first album since 1999’s Temperamental will be out in Spring. Thorn and Watt sail a reliable ship and this will be one of the year’s most anticipated records – especially after such a long wait.

The indefatigable Yo La Tengo return in February with studio album number 17 (yes, seventeen): This Stupid World. It’s three years since We Have Amnesia Sometimes, which received favourable reviews, and less than 12 months since they collaborated with David Byrne on ‘Who Has Seen the Wind?’. The New Jersey based band are just one more year away from a 40th anniversary. An exhaustive tour follows with dates in both North America and Europe. Not to be missed.

Canadian “slack rocker” Mac DeMarco is set to release an instrumental album entitled Five Easy Hotdogs, his first since 2019’s highly-rated Here Comes the Cowboy.

Erstwhile Sleaford Mods collaborator Billy Nomates (aka Tor Maries) is releasing her second album, CACTI, and has previewed it with some excellent singles including ‘Balance Is Gone’ and ‘Spite’ accompanied by some polished videos.

City Slang is a brilliant label from Berlin which is always worth keeping tabs on. It’s on that label that the intriguing English singer-songwriter Anna B Savage finds her home, an artist whose debut album A Common Turn attracted massive acclaim from critics (it rarely got reviews under eight out of ten). She releases in|FLUX in March.

Manchester’s synthesiser-powered alternative popsters The Slow Readers Club released their single ‘Knowledge Freedom Power’ in November last year and plan on bringing out an album of the same name in February.

Wigan’s The Lathums debuted at number one in 2021 with How Beautiful Life Can Be, seemingly arriving out of nowhere. Now down to three, it remains to be seen how they cope with losing a member. From Nothing to a Little Bit More is released on 24 February.

In a similar vein, we move to Liverpool’s Circa Waves who, if you don’t know them, can boast 113,085,600 plays on Spotify for 2015’s jaunty single ‘T-Shirt Weather’. To put that into perspective, Marquee Moon by Television has a mere 40,106,500 plays on the streaming platform (which is enough to fling oneself down onto the floor and give up, frankly). Their fifth album Never Going Under is released on 13 January.

Låpsley, aka Holly Lapsley Fletcher, of York and Southport (not Scandinavia despite the spelling of her name) is back with a third studio album, Cautionary Tales of Youth, almost three years after the acclaimed Through Water.

What else?

“Godfather of punk” Iggy Pop brings out Every Loser in January. Also in January, Supergrass frontman Gaz Coombes releases Turn the Car Around, the follow-up to 2018’s World’s Strongest Man. Orbital return with Optical Delusion in February whose lead single ‘Dirty Rat’ saw the pair collaborate with Sleaford Mods. The Luka State from Cheshire, like Stereophonics on amphetamines, release More Than This in March. In the same month Manchester’s Ist Ist return with (presumably) more Joy Division/Interpol inspired doom pop with Protagonists. Rotherham’s The Reytons, who sound like fellow South Yorkshire lads Arctic Monkeys and know it, are back with What’s Rock And Roll? in February. Californians, We Are Scientists, release an eighth album in January called Lobes. Welwyn Garden City’s finest, The Subways, bring out Uncertain Joys after an almost eight-year hiatus. The marvellously dreamy Tennis are set to release Pollen in February, the Denver band’s sixth record. US pop folksters Villages, (not to be confused with Dublin’s Villagers) release Dark Island in February. That’s also when Damon Albarn’s cartoon band Gorillaz release Cracker Island, their eight album, with collaborations from Tame Impala, Bootie Brown and Thundercat.

Enjoy the samples below:_

The Lathams photo by Ewan Ogden. Yo La Tengo by Cheryl Dunn.