Placebo – ‘Beautiful James’

  • 2 min read

Alt-rock legends Placebo have finally broken their long silence with the release of new single, ‘Beautiful James’. Their first new music in five years, the single is a welcome return to form for fans who have been holding out for something new.

The band of Brian Molko and Stefan Olsda shared the single just a few days ago, describing the song as being “as powerful as it is tender – a resolutely defiant and ultimately necessary piece of art”. Frontman Brian Molko continued, “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.”

The track, ‘Beautiful James’, is a celebration of non-heteronormative love and was written in an unconventional manner. During a period of insomnia, Molko and bassist Olsdal first came up with the vibe through images and the song’s title and then began work on the music after. 

The new single comes after the band teased their new single earlier this week, and gives fans hope of for Placebo’s long-awaited eighth album. In May, the band had said their new album was “being primed for release” but nothing has yet materialised. The duo wrote in a since-deleted Instagram post in May that their new album is “finished” and also asked fans what kind of merchandise they’d like to see.

Speaking to Matt Everitt on BBC 6 Music, frontman Brian Molko discussed the making of the album and explained how it was finished in early 2020 before the pandemic struck.

“We were basically ready to go on tour: the album was already finished and we spent 2019 in our home studio working on it,” he said. “We’d sort of decided already that ‘Beautiful James’ would be the first single, so we had a lot of confidence. We had a lot of get-up-and-go, and then everything that happened, happened, so everything is sort of delayed by about two years now.

“I know it was frustrating for the fans. It was certainly very frustrating for us as well, the interminable wait to put out new music, but at least it was there. We knew we had it.”

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