Legendary London alt rockers Placebo have returned with their first new song in half a decade, the hard hitting and synth heavy ‘Beautiful James’.
There’s something very on-the-nose about hearing Brian Molko’s familiar voice kick off with “bring me back to life” right from the song’s outset. It contains a certain “Guess who’s back, back again” vibe to it, or maybe more accurately there’s a certain “It’s Britney, bitch” feeling to it. An announcement, a statement of intent, a return. Is it a painfully obvious way to state your comeback? Sure. Is it still awesome? Absolutely.
“If the song serves to irritate the squares and the uptight, so gleefully be it. But it remains imperative for me that each listener discovers their own personal story within it – I really don’t want to tell you how to feel,” Molko explains. “[‘Beautiful James’] is as powerful as it is tender – a resolutely defiant and ultimately necessary piece of art.”
Back in 2015, upon the departure of American drummer Steve Forrest, Molko and band co-founder Stefan Olsdal finally dispensed with the formalities of needing a permanent percussionist and forged ahead as a duo.
The band had been swapping out drummers for their entire career, the most prominent of which was Steve Hewitt, who had three separate tenures in the group throughout the ’90s and 2000s before departing for good in 2007.
The last new music to come out from Placebo was the 2016 single ‘Jesus’ Son’. Before that, you have to go back to 2013 to get a full-length album, Loud Like Love. The band have indicated on their social media accounts that a new LP is coming soon, and if ‘Beautiful James’ is the first taste of the upcoming album, then it’s set to be an exciting release.
Check out the visualiser for ‘Beautiful James’ down below.