‘Ghosts Again’, Depeche Mode’s first single from the upcoming ‘Memento Mori’ album, was unveiled today.
Released on Mute and Columbia Records, Martin Gore and Psychedelic Furs’ Richard Butler-penned ‘Ghosts Again’ is produced by James Ford (who returns after his studio duties on the previous album) and Marta Salogni.
The video was created by long-standing collaborator and filmmaker Anton Corbijn.
Fans (and perhaps some critics who know their Depeche Mode history) will inevitably note the change once again in style for the first single from a new album – a statement of intent (as ‘Personal Jesus’ from ‘Violator’, ‘Ultra’ debut ‘Barrel Of A Gun’ and countless others did) behind the latest period in the life of the band.
‘Where’s The Revolution‘, from the previous album was a marker that Gore and co were pretty angry/frustrated at the state of the world in 2016 when tracks from ‘Spirit’ were recorded.
‘Ghosts Again’ returns to an old favourite subject of Gore’s – eternity and life’s relationships, before and after death – but the track, arguably, comes at it musically in an uptempo style (some major keys, too!) which many will lament hasn’t been heard for some time in the Depeche Mode catalogue.
Combine the pace of the song with some analogue synth (alongside the fairly low-key grungy guitar work) and it’s no surprise that comparisons are being made with mid-1980s Depeche Mode and even Erasure – now home to Vince Clarke, who left Gore, Dave Gahan and Andy Fletcher after the 1981 debut album ‘Speak & Spell’.
Interviews in the coming weeks, ahead of the album’s release, will no doubt explain what the vibe and creative approach was in the camp during the songwriting and production process – but nevertheless, many will ‘see Ghosts Again’ as a pointer toward a fresher, less sonically experimental Depeche Mode.
It’s been 1,660 days since Depeche Mode left the stage at the Waldbühne in Berlin as the Spirit Tour came to a close.
A lot has happened to the band and the world since founding member and keyboard player Fletch passed away in May last year and the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the music industry and the lives of the band’s fans.
There were concerns among fans as to whether Depeche Mode would ever return to the studio for another record after ‘Spirit’ – but despite the sad passing of Fletch and the age of its two remaining members (we don’t want to be “geriatric old bastards, going out there, couple of little moves but we know that he’s f**ked”, Gahan once mused when asked about the longevity of the band), Depeche Mode are going for it yet again with their 15th studio album and follow-on tour.
‘Memento Mori’ is slated for release on March 24.