The Cure’s Robert Smith issues new album update

Robert Smith
(Image credit: Simone Joyner/Getty Images)

The Cure’s much-anticipated 14th studio album, Songs Of A Lost World, is not yet finished but it will be soon, says frontman/guitarist Robert Smith, who promises that it will be out before the band’s European tour.

That tour kicks off on 6 October, in Riga, Latvia. After waiting 14 years for a follow-up to 4:13 Dream, Cure fans can do another few months standing on their heads. What can we expect? 

Speaking to the NME on the day Smith and Cure bassist Simon Gallup picked up the Icon Award at the Ivor Novello awards, Smith reaffirmed his earlier pronouncements that Songs Of A Lost World was “almost finished” and that no one should expect hit singles. This is going to skew darker, “more like Disintegration than [The] Head On The Door”.

“It’s pretty relentless, which will appeal to the hardcore of our audience, but I don’t think we’ll be getting any number one singles off it or anything like that,” Smith said. “It’s been quite harrowing, like it has for everyone else.”

Smith has said previously that the album is half-mixed and sequenced, but he revealed that there are still some parts needing recorded before it will be finished. Songs Of A Lost World will have 12 tracks and these are already sequenced. 

“Reeves [Gabrels] our guitar player has come over from America for the day just to finish a couple of solos, I’ve got to finish a couple of vocals,” Smith said. “Essentially it’s a 12 track album. It’s there, it’s kind of half-mixed and half-finished. 

“It’s a weird thing. It’s kind of evolved over the last two years. It hasn’t always been a good thing to have been left alone with it. You pick at it, like picking at seams, and everything falls apart.”

It will, however, be worth the wait. “I think it’s the best thing we’ve done, but then I would say that,” Smith said. “I’m not doing an Oasis when I say that, ‘It’s the best fookin’ album’. A lot of the songs are difficult to sing, and that’s why it’s taken me a while.”

Much of this time has also been consumed by a second album the band are working on. No titles have been revealed as yet, and there is no confirmation from Smith and co whether it will definitely be released.

Smith admitted last year that the music was coming easy but writer’s block had stymied the album’s progress. The writing process for Songs Of A Lost World started in 2019, and once the band had written much of the material, “20-odd songs”, Smith told The Times that he had nothing.

I was listening, thinking this is the best music this band has made and my words are drivel

Robert Smith

“We recorded 20-odd songs and I wrote nothing,” he said. “I mean, I wrote a lot, but at the end I looked at it and thought, ‘This is rubbish.’ The difficulty is I’ve become such a harsh critic of myself I think, ‘Who’s going to be interested in that? It is really that bad. I was listening, thinking this is the best music this band has made and my words are drivel.”

This agony, however, is part and parcel of The Cure’s writing process. Smith has been there before. Explaining why the remasters of 1992’s Wish will have so many instrumental demos, many of which were written by Gallup, Smith said that he just couldn’t find the words to do them justice.

You can read the full interview over at the NME. See The Cure for full dates of their forthcoming European tour.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.