Words: Rajan Lakhani
Suede lead singer, Brett Anderson is fast cementing himself as the comeback kid of the alternative music scene. It could be argued that this is his third return, after 'Trash', Suede's first new record released with new guitarist Richard Oakes following the departure of Bernard Butler, and then 'Refugees', which marked his reunion with Butler as The Tears' after Suede went on hiatus. Listen to new track 'Barriers' below.
A decade after Suede's last release, my sense of anticipation and excitement were huge as I pressed play. I thought it was a good song initially but then I listened to the song again, and I began to realise what a great track this is, with the melody now firmly having taken up residence in my head. Some fans will bemoan it doesn’t have some of the alien, more exotic features that distinguished Suede in the 90s but it shows the band has grown and isn’t reliant on one particular sound.
This return track perhaps doesn’t share the anthemic qualities of the aforementioned tracks, which I suspect that will come with their official first single, 'It Starts And Ends With You' from their new album, 'Bloodsports'. However, I’ve talked to a few people who aren’t fans of Suede and they are pleasantly surprised by 'Barriers'.
The bits that make Suede distinctive are all there, for example whether it’s the romantic sweep of the lyrics, Anderson’s soaring, unique vocal, Oakes’s buzzing guitar sound or Codling’s graceful synth. But it’s now allied to a grittiness and an arena-rock scale production, which recalls, especially the military-esque drums, Arcade Fire, a band influenced by Suede. There is an energy and momentum to 'Barriers' that should silence the doubters – I can’t wait to hear what the band have lined up next.
Download the track for the price of your email address at suedebarriers.viinyl.com.