Years pass and times change, but Suede remain one of the finest groups in the land.
A band whose legacy has remained every bit as trim as frontman Brett Anderson’s waistline, the group’s catalogue is littered with jewels. Yet remarkably, their second chapter has produced work every bit as thrilling as their first, with a reunion bringing some formidable music.
Suede’s forthcoming album ‘Autofiction’ – their ninth, all told – was an attempt to tap into their feral live energy, communicating the more punk-focussed aspects of their outlook. A song cycle infused with a sense of attack, the dynamic performances thirst for a post-lockdown sense of unity.
New single ‘She Still Leads Me On’ is a case in point, with the raw performance including a lyric that deals with an all-too-personal sense of loss. A song written from Brett Anderson to his late mother, Suede launched this chapter of their work with a debut performance of the song live onstage In Brussels.
We’ve grabbed a studio session of this song, something that compliments the final version in a very different way. Shown in absolute control, it’s a glimpse into Suede’s inner workings, and illustrates the intensity with which they approached those initial studio sessions.
A bold, keening vocal from Brett Anderson is set against a wiry guitar line, while the interlocked rhythm section have rarely felt so tight, so inter-connected, and so innately physical.
A beautifully shot clip, ‘She Still Leads Me On’ is a hugely emotive piece of work. Brett Anderson comments:
“My mother was a huge presence in my life, and still is. ‘She Still Leads Me On’ is a song about loss, but not about grief. It’s a song that says, even though someone’s gone, they can still guide you through life.”
“It’s almost like a companion piece to ‘Life Is Golden’, from our last album, ‘The Blue Hour’. ‘Life Is Golden’ is a song from me to my son, from the parent to the child. And ‘She Still Leads Me On’ is a song from the child to the parent. I’m very proud of this song. Every now and then you write a song that just nails how you are feeling about something, and it expresses it perfectly well. ‘She Still Leads Me On’ is one of those songs that really does that for me.”
Watch the new session – filmed by Mike Christie and edited by Jon Slade – below.