The last few weeks has seen a return of several seminal artists from the England and Ireland each with new material.
Obviously Bowie’s ballad Where Are We Now? has rightly taken the limelight as it is his first new studio recording to surface since Heathen 10 years ago with an album to follow in the coming weeks too. With strong rumour of retirement this comes as a great surprise to fans. My Bloody Valentine have also made a surprise album m b v, dispute many recent hints and rumours of a new material being in the pipeline. Pulp too debuted a semi-new (It is a re-recorded b-side from “We Love Life” sessions, this time produced by James Murphy) song After You last Christmas Day and was performed live for the first time on The Jonathan Ross Show on Saturday. Johnny Marr too has a fantastically catchy first solo single The Messenger online with an album to follow shortly.
However, for its quality, Suede’s new material could receive a little more attention. So here is some. Having regrouped in 2010 for concerts at the Royal Albert Hall, a few festivals then a tour, new material is hardly a revelation. Released last month, the first free download Barriers does not reinvent the band but effortlessly carries them into the 21st Century. If features many hallmarks of a typical Suede track: sharp guitars, Bowiesque vocals, opaque lyrics, unrequited companionship and all with an energy of a fresh (revitalised) band: the promotional video hardly shows a recognisable face possibly to show the song with as little baggage as possible but maybe to hide the age of the 40 something combo as well.
…an addictive intimacy to which it climaxes…
The song appears to be spoken from someone recalling how much fun and rebellious their time was to a previous lover. It opens in a seductive setting of Belgium rooms of “Aniseed Kisses and Lipstick traces” vibrantly inviting the listener into the diegesis. The simple F Sharp Major riff carries the tune with an addictive intimacy to which it climaxes at the choruses. The song’s energy is almost like an advert for seeing the band live (a place where the musicians will make the most profit) the concluding chanting accentuates this feeling.
The most recent single It Starts And Ends With You from the album Bloodsports is the first asking for your cash. Again a band performance lead video but with much more revealing face time. The song feature more of an up-beat melody and perhaps not as immediate as its predecessor but point towards a great sounding new album. In time could easily become a live favourite along with The Wild Ones or Metal Mickey.
After regrouping Suede were keen not to release any material until they were sure that it would tarnish their reputation and attitude. These two new songs hardly have the shock factor of previous songs from Heroine to Animal Nitrate but have a strong conviction that featured on the bands debut single The Drowners. Will the album feature the consistency of the preceding tracks? March 18 will tell.