Muse announce first album in four years, Will of the People, share ominous new single, Compliance

Matt Bellamy performing live
(Image credit: Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images)

Muse have announced their new album, Will of the People, which will be released via Warner Records on August 26.

When it arrives, it will be Muse’s ninth studio album and their first full-length record since the release of Simulation Theory in 2018.

Accompanying the news is the 10-track effort’s electro-heavy second single, Compliance, which joins the previously released Won’t Stand Down.

While Won’t Stand Down marked a return to the band’s heavier roots, and offered up perhaps their most brutal riffs to date, Compliance is a more classically Muse offering, and layers on the eerie synths that chime away above a bubbling bedrock of warbling electric guitar textures and swells.

The track itself is said to be a study of what it’s like to be seduced by authoritarian rule, and has been paired with a similarly dystopian music video directed by Jeremi Durand, which you can check out below.

Compliance is about submission to authoritarian rules and reassuring untruths to be accepted to an in-group,” explained Bellamy. “Gangs, governments, demagogues, social media algorithms and religions seduce us during times of vulnerability, creating arbitrary rules and distorted ideas for us to comply with.

“They sell us comforting myths, telling us only they can explain reality while simultaneously diminishing our freedom, autonomy and independent thought,” he added. “We are not just coerced, we are herded, frightened and corralled. They just need our compliance.”

As for the album itself, Will of the People was produced by Muse – whose lineup comprises Bellamy, Dominic Howard and Chris Wolstenholme – who received mixing help from Dan Lancaster, Aleks von Korff and Grammy winner Serban Ghenea.

It was penned and recorded in London and Los Angeles, and is dubbed an exploration of “the increasing uncertainty and instability in the world”, charting Bellamy’s personal navigation through the volatile events of the last few years.

Muse Will of the People album cover

(Image credit: Muse)

As the frontman explained, “A pandemic, new wars in Europe, massive protests & riots, an attempted insurrection, Western democracy wavering, rising authoritarianism, wildfires and natural disasters and the destabilization of the global order all informed Will of the People.  

“It has been a worrying and scary time for all of us as the Western empire and the natural world, which have cradled us for so long are genuinely threatened,” he added. “This album is a personal navigation through those fears and preparation for what comes next.”

For those of you who were hoping for some more Won’t Stand Down-style riff-a-thons, you may be in luck. According to the band, Will of the People won't bow to a single genre, and instead promises a melting pot of different styles, from glam-rock and alt-pop to “granite heavy riffs”.

The tracklist for Will of the People can be found below.

  1. Will of the People
  2. Compliance
  3. Liberation
  4. Won't Stand Down
  5. Ghosts (How Can I Move On)
  6. You Make Me Feel Like It's Halloween
  7. Kill or be Killed
  8. Verona
  9. Euphoria
  10. We Are Fucking Fucked
  • Will of the People is available to preorder now via Warner Records ahead of its August 26 release.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.