Ben Folds Reveals New Album ‘What Matters Most,’ Single “Winslow Gardens,” and 2023 Tour Dates

Ben Folds has revealed the release of his new album, What Matters Most, his first in eight years, along with a new single and forthcoming tour dates.

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Co-produced by Ben and Joe Pisapia (K.D. Lang, Guster) and recorded in East Nashville, What Matters Most, out June 2, is Folds’ first album following his 2015 collaboration with the string ensemble yMusic and the 2010 release, Lovely Avenue, with British author Nick Hornby.

Along with featured guests, including Ruby Amanfu, Tall Heights, and dodge, the penultimate title track for What Matters Most was inspired by Folds’ friend, the late actor, and comedian, Bob Saget.

Within Folds’ cinematic scope, the collection of songs is bittersweet, on one end navigating tragedy and despair and on the other side hopefulness and new perspective with the more upbeat “Winslow Gardens,” centered around losing track time during isolation with a loved one.

“There’s a lifetime of craft and experience all focused into this one record,” said Folds of the album in a statement. “Sonically, lyrically, emotionally, I don’t think it’s an album I could have made at any other point in my career.”

Though it’s been nearly a decade since Folds’ previous album, he has kept busy over the past several years. In 2017, Folds became the first artistic advisor to the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center, and in 2019, he released his memoir, A Dream About Lightning Bugs. He also launched his podcast, Lightning Bugs, in 2021, featuring guests, including Saget, Sara Bareilles, Jon Batiste, and Rainn Wilson.

Folds, who is currently working on a new musical for TV and writing his second book, recently appeared as himself in three episodes of the Amazon Prime series The Wilds. In 2022, he was also nominated for an Emmy Award for composing and performing the theme song for The Peanuts Apple TV special, It’s the Small Things, Charlie Brown

To support What Matters Most, Folds will also kick off a worldwide tour, which begins on March 24 in Wisconsin with dates across the U.S. and the UK—including a concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London—and throughout Europe, wrapping up in Germany on Dec. 4. Select dates will also include orchestra collaborations.

In retrospect, What Matters Most is an album Folds says is his most “true” to date. “I come from the vinyl era, and this perhaps more than any record I’ve made is a true album,” he says. “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.”

Folds adds, “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 Track listing: 

1. But Wait, There’s More
2. Clouds With Ellipses (feat. dodie)
3. Exhausting Lover
4. Fragile
5. Kristine From The 7th Grade
6. Back To Anonymous
7. Winslow Gardens
8. Paddleboat
9. What Matters Most
10. Moments (feat. Tall Heights)

Ben Folds – 2023 Tour Dates
March 24 – Eau Claire, WI – The Pablo Center at The Confluence
March 25 – Viroqua, WI – The Historic Temple Theatre
March 26 – Dubuque, IA – Five Flags Theatre
March 28 – Fort Wayne, IN – The Clyde Theatre
March 29 – Urbana, IL – Krannert Center for the Performing Arts
April 21 – Tallahassee, FL – Capital City Amphitheatre *
April 23 – Atlanta, GA – Atlanta Symphony Hall *
April 25 – Cincinnati, OH – Cincinnati Music Hall *
April 26 – Knoxville, TN – Tennessee Theatre
April 28 – Greensboro, NC – Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts *
April 29 – Wilmington, NC – Greenfield Lake Amphitheatre
April 30 – Charleston, SC – Charleston Gaillard Center
May 30 – Chicago, IL – Orchestra Hall*
June 13 – New London, CT – Garde Arts Center
June 14 – Lowell, MA – Memorial Auditorium
June 16 – Lewiston, NY – ARTPARK Mainstage Theater
June 17 – Huber Heights, OH – Rose Music Center
June 18 – Louisville, KY – Palace Theatre
June 20 – Wilmington, DE – The Grand Opera House
June 22 – New York, NY – Beacon Theatre
June 23 – Greensburg, PA – Palace Theatre
June 24 – Indianapolis, IN – Rock the Ruins at Holiday Park
June 25 – Detroit, MI – Motor City Casino
June 27 – Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium
June 28 – St. Louis, MO – Stifel Theatre
June 30 – Onamia, MN – Grand Casino Mille Lacs
July 1 – Fargo, ND – Outdoors at Fargo Brewin
July 22 – Columbus, OH – Bicentennial Stage at the Columbus Commons *
August 2 – Bonner, MT – KettleHouse Amphitheatre *
August 4 – Park City, Utah – TBA *
August 8 – Milwaukee, WI – Riverside Theater
August 9 – Cedar Rapids, IA – McGrath Amphitheatre
August 10 – Kansas City, MO – Uptown Theater
August 11 – Salina, KS – The Stiefel Theatre for the Performing Arts
August 13 – Arvada, CO – TBA
August 15 – Mesa, AZ – Mesa Arts Center
August 16 – Los Angeles, CA – The Wiltern
August 17 – Oakland, CA – Fox Theater
August 19 – Eugene, OR – Cuthbert Amphitheater
August 20 – Seattle, WA – Paramount Theatre
October 6 & 7 – Minneapolis, MN – Orchestra Hall *
October 20 & 21 – Dallas, TX – Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center *
November 8 – Bath, United Kingdom – The Forum
November 9 – Brighton, United Kingdom – Brighton Dome
November 10 – Birmingham, United Kingdom – Symphony Hall
November 12 – Oxford, United Kingdom – New Theatre
November 13 – London, United Kingdom – Royal Albert Hall
November 15 – Gateshead, United Kingdom – Sage Gateshead
November 16 – York, United Kingdom – Grand Opera House
November 17 – Manchester, United Kingdom – O2 Apollo
November 18 – Edinburgh, United Kingdom – Usher Hall
November 20 – Dublin, Ireland – The Helix
November 23 – Zurich, Switzerland – Kaufleuten
November 25 – Berlin, Germany – Admiralspalast
November 26 – Wiesbaden, Germany – Kurhaus
November 27 – Utrecht, Netherlands – TrivoliVredenburg – Grote Zaal
November 30 – Paris, France – La Cigale
December 1 – Antwerp, Belgium – De Roma
December 2 – Dudelange, Luxembourg – Opderschmelz
December 4 – Essen, Germany – Lichtburg

* Orchestra dates

Photo: Alysse Gafkjen / New West Records

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