- Album Title: Simulation Theory
- Release Date: November 9, 2018
- Label: Warner
- Recording Dates: December 2016 - July 2018
- Status: Ready for release; finishing mixing in July or August 2018
- Lead Single: "Dig Down," out May 18, 2017
- Second Single: "Thought Contagion," out February 15, 2018
- Third Single: "Something Human," out July 19, 2018
- Fourth Single: "The Dark Side," out August 30, 2018
- Fifth Single: "Pressure," out this fall
- Expected Sound: Acoustic and stripped back; hip-hop; an evolution and different from what they've done before; cohesive yet musically diverse
- Expected Themes: Politics, social issues, personal life
- Songwriters: Matthew Bellamy
In June 2015, Muse released their 7th studio album, Drones. The first song we heard was the aggressive "Psycho," followed by gentler singles "Dead Inside" and "Mercy" and a number of promo tracks. The album signaled a kind of return to their roots. Over the last two decades, Muse have pursued increasingly symphonic and electronic music, but Drones focused on simple guitar, bass, and drums. The songs were as energetic and rocking as ever, while the lyrics painted a concept centered on government control. Muse toured extensively, but soon they were already thinking about album #8.
Just months after Drones came out, drummer Dominic Howard said the band wanted to evolve and really lose their minds on the next album. In January 2016, he wasn't sure they'd even release a proper album, saying they may go the route of standalone singles or sets of tracks instead. By the end of the year, though, the band was describing their next album. Frontman Matthew Bellamy first said they might try to strip it back this time and make a more acoustic record. He later said he wanted to do a hip-hop album... possibly joking? They said the album would probably be ready in 2018, with a song or two in 2017 if we're lucky.
Muse started sharing studio pictures in December 2016 and January 2017. They continued to share rare sneak peeks through spring, and then Matt made an exciting announcement: New single coming soon! In early May, Muse shared a few videos of them filming a music video, also "coming soon." On May 11th, the announced that their single "Dig Down" would be out on May 18th!
In October 2017, Muse officially began recording the new album beyond the three songs they'd started the prior spring. On February 15, 2018, the band released their second single, "Thought Contagion." They stated they'd release a few more songs before the album would drop. On July 13, 2018, Matt Bellamy shared a live acoustic snippet of their next single, "Something Human." The song officially came out the following week on July 19th. They said they plan to release at least one more song ahead of the album.
On August 30th, Muse officially announced their new album, Simulation Theory, will be out on November 9th! It will feature 11 original songs. A deluxe edition includes five alternate versions of the album tracks, while a super deluxe edition includes 10 total bonus tracks. In addition to announcing the album, Muse also released a new song, "The Dark Side," along with an accompanying music video. All 11 songs will come with music videos. A fifth song, "Pressure," will most likely be made available before the album's November release date.