At a much buzzed about “special event” today in Berlin, Depeche Mode announced the release of their next studio album. They’ve spent the last week teasing the announcement with blurry images of studio equipment.
The album, called Memento Mori, will arrive near the end of March 2023. DM revealed that most of the songs for the album are finished but are still being mixed.
Dave Gahan and Martin Gore are the band’s remaining members, following the untimely death of founding member Andy Fletcher, who passed away earlier this year. The image accompanying today’s announcement depicts Depeche Mode as a duo for the first time in their 40+ year history.
Memento Mori, latin for “Remember that you must die,” seemingly pays tribute to Fletch. However, DM says the title was decided before Fletch’s death and has since taken on new poignancy. “It sounds very morbid, but you can look at it positively as well. Live each day to the max,” Martin says.
Depeche Mode revealed further details about Memento Mori in a press release posted on their website after the special event:
Martin Gore commented, “We started work on this project early in the pandemic, and its themes were directly inspired by that time. After Fletch’s passing, we decided to continue as we’re sure this is what he would have wanted, and that has really given the project an extra level of meaning.” Dave Gahan added, “Fletch would have loved this album. We’re really looking forward to sharing it with you soon, and we can’t wait to present it to you live at the shows next year.”
DM tease new song from Memento Mori
At the start of the special event, Depeche Mode played a brief snippet of a new song that includes the lyrics: “Heaven’s dreaming. Thoughtless thoughts, my friends. We know we’ll be ghosts again.”
They also revealed that they’re working with producer James Ford again. Ford, an English musician who is part of the band Simian Mobile Disco, produced Depeche Mode’s last album, Spirit. In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, DM also named another producer working on the album: Marta Salogni, an Italian record producer who has worked with Black Midi, Gazelle Twin, and Bjork.
Notably, there was no mention of former members Vince Clarke and Alan Wilder returning to the studio, despite pleas from DM devotees.
It’s unclear if this song or another track from Mememto Mori will be released as a single prior to the album’s release in March. This video will probably get taken down, so you should watch it soon.
Memento Mori will be DM’s 15th album
When Memento Mori arrives next year, it will be Depeche Mode’s 15th studio album. It follows their 2017 album, Spirit, which included the pre-release single “Where’s the Revolution” that was accompanied by a Marxist-like video directed by their long-time visual artist, Anton Corbijn. Spirit arrived near the start of the Trump presidency and saw Depeche Mode tackle political and social subject matter, including cultural regression, climate change, and poverty.
Much has changed in the Depeche Mode camp since Spirit’s release. In 2020, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the same class that included Nine Inch Nails. All three members of DM at the time appeared from their homes in a wholesome acceptance speech that was broadcast on Youtube.
Depeche Mode will tour the world in 2023
The release of Depeche Mode’s new album, Memento Mori, will be accompanied by a world tour in 2023. It will be their first tour in five years—their 2017-2018 Global Spirit Tour was DM’s longest tour ever, with 130 shows performed across the world.
The tour begins in North America with a special, limited run of arena shows starting March 23. Following 10 North American dates, Depeche Mode will visit Europe for a summer stadium tour.
The Memento Mori tour will be a bit shorter than the Global Spirit Tour. They’ll play just 42 shows in 41 cities.