Ben Folds will release his new album What Matters Most on June 2 via New West Records. The 10-song collection is his first studio album since his chart-topping So There in 2015. What Matters Most is a bold, timely, cinematic work that examines the tragic and the absurd in equal measures as it reckons with hope and despair, gratitude and loss, identity and perspective. The songs are bittersweet, hilarious at times, yet often laced with a quiet sense of longing and dread. Taken as a whole, the result is an undeniably joyful album that refuses to succumb to the weight of the world around it. Mojo awarded the album 4 stars saying, “What Matters Most is near flawless; a whole semester of song-craft in 40 minutes.” 

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

Today, Folds shared “Back To Anonymous,” a song he wrote during the pandemic when people’s identities were hidden behind masks. “It got me thinking about everyday people who just do the most amazing things that we should aspire to, yet they never get applause. That’s who the song is for – those who truly deserve to be recognized and applauded,” says Folds. 

Folds recently shared the video for the single “Exhausting Lover,” directed by actor and comedian Derek Waters of Drunk History fame. The video depicts an outrageous staged musical directed by Folds and based on the song’s lyrics. He also previously shared the album highlight “Winslow Gardens” as well.  

Folds has announced an additional round of new tour dates in support of What Matters Most, with shows across the US, the UK – including a concert at the prestigious Royal Albert Hall in London – and throughout Europe. Tour dates are listed below and at

Born and raised in North Carolina, Folds first rose to fame in the mid-’90s with Ben Folds Five, whose acerbic, genre-bending take on piano pop helped define an entire era of alternative rock. After scoring multiple hit singles and a gold record with the band, Folds launched his solo career in 2001, releasing a series of similarly acclaimed albums that would firmly establish him as one of the most ambitious and versatile songwriters of his generation. In 2010, Folds teamed up with celebrated author Nick Hornby on a collaborative record titled Lonely Avenue. In 2014, he composed and performed his first piano concerto for the Nashville Symphony & Nashville Ballet. In 2017, he became the artistic advisor to the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center, where he began curating a series of performances marrying contemporary artists with symphonic orchestration. In 2019, he released his New York Times best-selling memoir, A Dream About Lightning Bugs; and in 2021, he launched the Lightning Bugs podcast, an interview series on creativity and process with guests as diverse as Jon Batiste, Sara Bareilles, Rainn Wilson, and his close friend Bob Saget. As if that wasn’t enough to keep him busy, Folds also revealed himself to be a prolific photographer with gallery shows in the US and Europe, appeared onscreen in films and television (most recently playing himself in three episodes of the hit Amazon Prime series The Wilds), composed music for a 25-minute stage adaptation of Mo Willem’s Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs (which premiered at the Kennedy Center and was featured on PBS), and serves on the boards of the Arts Action Fund, the Nashville Symphony and Planet Word, a new immersive museum in Washington, DC, dedicated to celebrating the power of language. Last year, Folds was nominated for an Emmy for his composition and performance of the theme song to the Apple TV special It’s the Small Things, Charlie Brown. 

“It can be difficult jumping back and forth from one discipline to another,” says Folds, “but you learn so much from moving between worlds and collaborating with so many different kinds of artists. I performed some of the songs on this record with the National Symphony Orchestra before I finished recording them for the album, and that context gave me so much insight into how I wanted to handle them in the studio.”

Ben Folds’ What Matters Most will be available across digital platforms, compact disc, and standard black vinyl. A limited Seaglass Blue color vinyl edition autographed by Folds, as well as a compact disc edition featuring three bonus tracks also autographed by Folds is available for pre-order NOW via NEW WEST RECORDS

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 What Matters Most UK/European Tour: 

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 Performances

~ Full Band Performances 

# Solo Performances

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