Former R.E.M. singer Michael Stipe said he was working on his first solo album and expected to release it in 2023. He put out his debut single, “Your Capricious Soul,” in 2019 and followed it with “Future if Future” earlier this year.

In a recent interview with Departures, he outlined his intent with the upcoming record, noting, “I’m collaborating with a bunch of different musicians, and each of those songs, if I get my way – which I think I will because I’m paying for it – will be very different.”

He added, “I have no management. I have no label. For the first time in my adult life, I don’t have a contract with anyone except myself. So I get to do whatever I want.” Predicting that the album “should come together next year,” he said “there will be a visual representation for each of the songs. … I’m hoping to build slowly.”

Asked if he ever considered quitting music, Stipe said, “When the band disbanded, I couldn’t imagine continuing with music, and it took five years before I could come back to the idea of it.” He returned in 2018 with a collaboration with electroclash duo Fischerspooner on their album, Sir. “I’m still blown away at how good the material was that we worked with on that record,” he said. “And it established a long-standing working relationship with myself and producer Andy LeMaster, which is really important.”

Stipe also said that 2023 would include a new book, an art exhibition and a project that involved working with “a lot of dancers.” "I’m doing something that I’m completely terrified of and not sure that I’m capable of," he noted. "Actually, I know that I’m incapable, but I’ve started painting."

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