Ben Folds‘ first new album since a 2015 collaboration with yMusic is coming this summer. The 10-track What Matters Most was co-produced in Nashville with Joe Pisapia and will be released on June 2 through New West Records. The classic Folds-sounding lead single “Winslow Gardens” is out today (Feb. 15).
“There’s a lifetime of craft and experience all focused into this one record,” Folds says of the project, which includes guest appearances by Ruby Amanfu, dodie, and Tall Heights. “Sonically, lyrically, emotionally, I don’t think it’s an album I could have made at any other point in my career.”
“I come from the vinyl era, and this perhaps more than any record I’ve made is a true album,” he offers. “There’s a very specific sequence and arc to each side, all building up to this almost surreal positive finale, and that structure was really important to me. More than anything, I wanted to make an album that was generous, that was useful. I want you to finish this record with something you didn’t have when you started.”
What Matters Most will be available in several formats, including a limited color vinyl autographed by Folds and featuring a bonus cover of the Psychedelic Furs’ “The Ghost in You.”
Folds will tour extensively this year, beginning March 24 in Eau Claire, Wi., with a handful of shows to feature backing by local symphony orchestras. Click here for more information.
The North Carolina-born artist has been busy with a variety of pursuits since 2015’s So There, including serving the artistic advisor to the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., releasing his 2019 New York Times best-selling memoir, A Dream About Lightning Bugs, staging gallery shows of his photography, appearing as himself in the Amazon Prime series The Wilds, and earning an Emmy nomination for writing and performing the theme song to the Apple TV special It’s the Small Things, Charlie Brown.
Ben Folds’ What Matters Most tracklisting:
But Wait, There’s More
Clouds With Ellipses (feat. dodie)
Kristine From the 7th Grade
Back to Anonymous
What Matters Most
Moments (feat. Tall Heights)