Placebo release Beautiful James, first new song in five years

(Image credit: Mads Perch)

Brit-rockers Placebo have launched their first single in five years, Beautiful James. It's the first new material since the band released Jesus' Son in 2016. 

A statement accompanying the release says, "It is with some poignancy then that new single Beautiful James arrives, born into a world that is as divided as it has ever been. 

"Against the backdrop of splintering global relations, unchallenged online abuse and widespread fear among the narrow-minded of what they cannot understand, Beautiful James brings with it a message of defiance that seeks to normalize and celebrate non-heteronormative relationships in song.

"Created through the glaze of insomnia, the band turned their creative process on its head in order to bring Beautiful James to life. It meant approaching their work together in a new way, which began first with photographic imagery and a song title that evoked a certain feeling - long before any music was written. The resulting song is as powerful as it is tender – a resolutely defiant and ultimately necessary piece of art."

“If the song serves to irritate the squares and the uptight, so gleefully be it," adds frontman Brian Molko. "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.” .

Beautiful James is the first new music to emerge from Placebo since the band took to Instagram in May to announce that their eighth studio album had been completed, and was being "primed for release." The band's last album was Loud Like Love, released in 2013.   

There have been no announcements of a title, tracklist or release date for the forthcoming album. 

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 37 years in music industry, online for 24. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.