Irish rockers U2 will release Songs of Experience, their fourteenth studio album, next year. It will be the follow-up to 2014’s Songs of Innocence, the infamous record that Apple automatically placed on 500 million iTunes accounts when it came out. Since, the band has been widely criticized for the release strategy. They’ve spent 2015 touring globally, though, and it doesn’t look like they’re taking a break any time soon.
“We’re going to get [Songs Of Experience] out next year,” said Bono to The Irish Times. “Unusually for us, a lot of the songs are done already.” From the aforementioned interview, it sounds like Bono is quite passionate about the upcoming record. While giving The Irish Times a preview of Songs of Experience, Bono explained the various songs: “On this one we were going after a broken cassette recorder type of sound”; “This has got a really crunchy beat”; “You have to hear Edge’s guitar work on this”; “Just wait until you hear the drum break on this one.”
When this new album does drop, we hope that it’ll have a more traditional release than Songs of Innocence. Bono did publicly apologize for the iTunes promotion — but then rescinded his words. “It’s one of the proudest things for us ever,” said the frontman to Billboard on the unusual release strategy. He explained that the songs were the “most personal songs” that the band has written, and that the band wanted as many people to hear them as possible. “So we were just thrilled that we got a chance to introduce ourselves to people who weren’t fans of listening to rock music, or people that listen to Bhangra in India, or whatever, all around the world.”
Considering the band has recently dealt with the death of their longtime tour manager Sheehan and the band’s ‘spiritual leader’ Rev Jack Heaslip, the upcoming record may be just as personal. “Death and mortality? I answer with joy,” he told The Irish Times. “U2 came into existence to fill a void, a gaping hole in my heart.”
For those who want a dose of U2 sooner than 2016, HBO will be airing two specials this fall on the rockers: a behind-the-scenes documentary on their current tour coming on November 7, and a full concert in Paris from the tour on November 14.