Returning with their first new song in five years, Placebo have just dropped ‘Beautiful James’ as the first taster of their forthcoming album - which will mark the follow-up to 2013’s ‘Loud Like Love’.
It’s an uplifting number with electronic elements, very much in the vibe of their more recent work rather than the angsty rock of their early releases. But frontman Brian Molko refuses to give away any meaning to this ambiguous song.
“Who is James to you? And is James even a man? These are questions I’m not going to answer, these are questions I want people to ask themselves,” he said in an interview with BBC 6 Music, though he did admit to how writing it first came about.
“For a long time ‘Beautiful James’ was called ‘Bad Piano’ because the main hook melody was written by me at five o’clock in the morning in the middle of a major bout of insomnia,” he said. “Then Stefan [Olsdal] had to take it and make some sense out of it. It became the keyboard riff, the main riff, of ‘Beautiful James’.”
Frontman Brian Molko confessed that the album has been finished since 2019, but thanks to the pandemic, everything has been pushed back. He also revealed that the band decided to work “backwards” as a challenge to themselves, starting off with album art and song titles before developing the music.
“I needed to do it backwards at the beginning to feel like I was doing something different,” he said.
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