The original snake-hipped pioneer kings of Britpop are back with a gorgeous first single from their ninth studio album ‘Autofiction’ – a term meaning half autobiography, half fiction. Lead singer Brett Anderson described the forthcoming LP as “our punk record. No whistles and bells. Just the five of us in a room with all the glitches and fuck-ups revealed; the band themselves exposed in all their primal mess” and it is testament to Suede’s versatile genius that, where thirty years previous they plumbed seedily romantic subject matter depths of smoking heroin in high rise flats and shitting out over-the-counter painkillers on escalators, ‘She Still Leads Me On’ is an emotional and genuinely touching tribute to the frontman’s late mother who passed away in 1989, before Suede even caught a whiff of fame and success/excess.
Suede’s comeback record, after spending time revisiting 1996’s momentous album ‘Coming Up’ through live anniversary shows, is chock-full of screeching feedback, Richard Oakes trademark chiming glam rock guitar, clipped a little into punky clangs, and Anderson still achieving the high notes, warbling with renewed passion, vigour and life that could only come from fully regaining the demon he swore to find again after the group split for the first time. The song itself, relatable to anyone who has experienced the hurt of grieving a lost parent and who still looks to them for inspiration when they’re no longer around in human form, built on simple but affecting lyrics like “But I loved her with my last breath/ And I loved her with a love that was strong as death”.
Even when Suede aren’t telling sexy, grubby stories of glamorously tortured down and out London lowlife and instead turn their attention to personal human connection and family, the narrative remains strong, evocative and every bit as vital. For the London quintet to choose this sensitive, fragile subject matter to launch a visceral, punk rock album is evidence of a group still striving to break new, daring ground after thirty successful years.
‘Autofiction’ is due for release on 16th September 2022 and can be pre-ordered in all manner of bundles through the band’s official webstore.
‘She Still Leads Me On’ was released on 23rd May 2022 and was produced by their long time producer Ed Buller. Have a listen to the song below: