Album Previews for 2023

Join us for Uncut’s essential guide to many of 2023’s key albums. Brace yourselves for Peter Gabriel, Margo Cilker and Elvis Costello and more

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Please be upstanding for our annual Albums Preview, which this year truffles out many of the goodies you can expect to hear in the coming 12 months. In the latest issue of Uncut – now in UK shops and available to buy from our online store – you’ll find news of new albums by the likes of Lucinda Williams, The Damned, Natalie Merchant, The Cure, Graham Nash, the Rolling Stones and more.

Below, you’ll find forthcoming albums from Peter Gabriel, Margo Cilker and Elvis Costello. Call it a preview of our Preview, if you like…

TITLE: i/o
LABEL: Real World
At last! Two decades in the planning, the rightful heir to 2002’s Up


Speaking to Uncut in 2020, Peter Gabriel suggested that new music may not be too far away. “Although I’ve been writing a lot, I’ve had various other distractions and other projects, so I’m very slow in actually finishing things,” he admitted. “There’s a big backlog of ideas that are unfinished but I’m now getting enough lyrics done, which is often where I slow down. I’m looking forward to getting an album out.”

Gabriel had been dropping hints about his activities for some time, usually via his social media channels. As far back as 2002, not long before the release of Up, Gabriel announced that another album of fresh songs – tentatively titled I/O – would be released within 18 months. A covers album, various tours, collaborative projects and reissue campaigns have eaten into his schedule since, leaving I/O as unfinished business.

In April 2019, he provided an update to BBC 6 Music. Gabriel explained that he’d taken time off owing to his wife being ill, but was excited to be back making music now that she’d fully recovered. Asked what we might expect in terms of new material, he was careful not to give too much away: “There’s a wide bunch [of songs] in there… I’m also trying to do some simple piano versions of things, which I don’t know is enough to make a whole record or not, but that’s something I’m looking at.”


In 2021, Gabriel revealed he’d recently spent 10 days in the studio with his trusted lineup of Tony Levin, Manu Katché and David Rhodes, during which time they had recorded 17 new songs. Fast forward to summer 2022 when Gabriel disclosed that a final recording session was slated for September.

November 2022 saw a major tour announcement, stating that Gabriel will be playing throughout Europe in the spring of 2023, following by a Stateside trek in the late summer and autumn. Named after the new album, now stylised to i/o, Gabriel declared: “It’s been a while and I am now surrounded by a whole lot of new songs and am excited to be taking them out on the road for a spin. Look forward to seeing you out there.”

While we await news of i/o’s actual content at the time of going to press, various online message boards have been rife with speculation. Gabriel’s most recent studio singles (2016’s “I’m Amazing” and “The Veil”) may or may not make the final cut, but among the other tracks mooted as potential candidates for inclusion are “Silver Screen”, “Just Add Water”, “Funk Bone”, “Lost And Found”, “Chinese Whisper” and the much-bootlegged “Baby Man”.

Whatever the final tracklisting, it will be fascinating to trace the evolution of Gabriel’s songwriting on what amounts to his first studio album of originals in 20 years. “I think you learn all the time if you listen, so I hope I’ve matured as a songwriter,” he told Uncut in 2020. “The actual art of my songwriting is improving… Sometimes the intersection with popular culture may be over when you’re in your mature years, but there can still be lots of interesting material. I see that all the time with other artists, so I hope to have that in my own work.”

TITLE: Unconfirmed
LABEL: Loose
RELEASE DATE: Autumn 2023
Pacific Northwest singer-songwriter builds on 2021’s ravishing Pohorylle

MARGO CILKER: We went back into the studio with a very similar cast of characters to the last one. Sera Cahoone was at the helm again and pulled in some fresh players to spice it up. She had a good idea of who she thought would be a good fit. We kind of streamlined everything that we learned during the making of Pohorylle. We knew what worked, then we went back in with the same approach, with a fresh batch of songs. There’s a couple of new instrumentations, so it’s a little different, but not a huge departure. We wanted to keep the momentum going. There’s some songs that people will recognise, because they’ve been in my live set in the last year as I’ve been touring the UK and throughout the States. So if you’ve been hearing me play solo, you’ll hear these songs with a fleshed-out full band and lush accompaniments. I’ve been playing “Keep It On A Burner”, for example, at every show since I wrote it.

I felt I needed to capture this moment in my career. If anything, I was trying to kind of stay close to where I was when I wrote and recorded my first record. A lot of the songs were written during the pandemic and during the shutdown, after I’d recorded Pohorylle but hadn’t even released it. We recorded the record this spring, when it seemed we were all still feeling the pandemic, when we were all still broken and still not touring as much as we needed or wanted to be, I guess. I was getting back on the road, but the industry has been suffering so much. Because I had the songs, we just decided to go for it. The whole
thing was done in a week. There’s definitely moments where you’ll feel this space of a time where I was grounded and couldn’t go anywhere. So there’s a lot of reminiscing and reflecting on that period, this season of being totally, absolutely, bewilderingly stuck.

Lyrically, I’m still kind of capturing a little of the place I’m living in, exploring those kinds
of things. I don’t know what’s down the road for me, but this is definitely a second go around. We’re looking to release it next fall if everything goes according to plan. I don’t know if I want to show my cards too much at this stage, because I don’t want people to set up expectations. But I think what’s cool about this record is it’s a continuation. It’s really neat that, even though my life got kind of crazier, we were still able to just get in there and do some more of what we did the first time. I think the result is great.

TITLE: Songs Of Bacharach And Costello
LABEL: Unconfirmed
Four-album set that revisits a favourite collaborator

ELVIS COSTELLO: “It’s Painted From Memory” [1998] and “Taken From Life”, which is a collection of songs that Burt and I wrote over the last 15 years for a proposed Painted From Memory musical. So you’ll hear other people singing a couple of those original songs, but also a bunch of songs that have never been heard before. We’ve compiled them with a couple of the songs from Look Now [2018] and some recordings that were piano/voice explorations of what the songs would sound like if they were sung by other people. We’ve put them all together to create an impression of what it would have been like to have that score.

There’s another disc of live performances of Painted From Memory songs, mostly with Steve Nieve and myself, a couple of them orchestral. Finally, a whole album of Bacharach/David songs, which I thought would be fun to include. This is a love letter to Burt. We went into the studio last September and recorded two songs with Vince Mendoza conducting a 30-piece orchestra. So the bookends for this Taken From Life record are newly recorded. The Imposters and I recorded a third song, in Capitol Studios with an orchestra. It was a few years since we’d worked together, but it didn’t take very long before I’m in the booth and he was on the call-back saying, “Elvis, you’re not singing the right melody.” So I had to be on top of it!



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