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band back with new album, tour

British electronic music pioneers Depeche Mode announced a comeback on Tuesday with an upcoming new album and their first tour in more than five years, following the death of founding member Andrew Fletcher.

Lead singer Dave Gahan said the new record Memento Mori, due out in March, was inspired both by the pandemic and the loss of Fletcher, who died in May from a tear in his heart artery.

Gahan, 60, told reporters in the German capital that the band, after a long absence, was ready to embrace its fans again with a series of big stadium shows also beginning in March, in Sacramento.

“We get to make music and we get to play music for you and hopefully bring a sense of joy and togetherness, you know, in our own small way, in a world that seems to be constantly in some kind of turmoil,” he said of their 19th tour.

The band, one of Britain’s most successful and long-running acts, had tantalised fans last week with a cryptic teaser on Instagram showing only grainy footage of a music mixing console and the words “Berlin 4.10.22”.

Credited with bringing electronic music into the mainstream, the band last released a studio album, “Spirit”, in 2017. “Memento Mori” will be their 15th studio record. 

Depeche Mode triumphed with a string of hits in the 1980s and early 1990s, at first becoming synonymous with danceable synthpop but then gradually adopting a darker sound.

The band has sold more than 100 million albums since it began in 1980, winning over a global audience with earworms such as “Personal Jesus”, “People Are People” and “Enjoy the Silence”.

The group has nevertheless maintained an underground appeal, even as it was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2020.

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