SUEDE’s 13

Brett and the boys talk us through the tracks on their new album, exclusively...

Suede, currently rehearsing for the shows in a south London studio where NME joined them to hear songs from their forthcoming LP, ‘Head Music’, due for release on May 3 through Nude.

Anderson revealed that Suede have been recording ‘Head Music’ with producer Steve Osborne in a number of London studios since last May and they have just decided on the final tracklisting.

The 13-track album will feature:

Everything Will Flow

A big, string-laden ballad in classic Suede style.

Head Music

The album’s title track which, according to Anderson, was, “just a phrase I heard people start saying. It wasn’t meant to have a big meaning or anything. We’d be in the studio and we’d just say, ‘This sounds like head music.’ At first, it meant that what we were doing sounded quite theoretical. It just grew from there really. I found it intriguing.”

Indian Strings

It sounds like the title says, orchestral and Eastern, a little like Led Zeppelin‘s ‘Kashmir’. It includes the line: “Images of violence fill up my mind”.

Savoir Faire

Starts like Prince‘s ‘When Doves Cry’, then goes very heavy and T Rexy. It includes the lines: “She’s shaking the scene like a fucking machine… She got flowers in her hair/She got savoir-faire…” and, “She lives in a house/She’s as stupid as a mouse”! This is the song that, during Suede‘s webchat on Sonicnet at midnight on March 1, Anderson declared as his favourite ever Suede track because, “It’s the key track on the new album.”

She’s In Fashion

Features oriental-type keyboards, and sounds like a cross between pop David Bowie and The Chi-Lites. Bassist Matt Osman told web-users that it is, “A big summery pop song, probably as light as anything we’ve done.” Heavily tipped to be the second single off the album, it ends with the lyrical coda: “Sunshine blow my mind and the wind blow my brain”.

Electricity

The first single off the album. Due for release on April 12, it was co-written by Anderson, keyboardist Neil Codling and guitarist Richard Oakes. It has been previously referred to as “life-affirming” with “Sex Pistols guitars” and, according to Codling, it’s, “hard-edged, spiky and more like the last album than anything else on this one”. It was described by a webchat user as “punk-a-go-go” which Codling said was “nice”. According to Anderson, ‘Electricity’ is, “just meant to be a simple love song. It’s nothing bigger than that. Why did we choose it as the first single? Well, it was either going to be this or ‘Savoir Faire’. There are about five singles on the album, so in the end I couldn’t really tell which one should be first. It was pretty much flip a coin or roll some dice.” It includes the chorus: “It’s bigger than the universe/It’s bigger than the two of us/It’s bigger than you and me/We got a lot between us and it’s like electricity”.

Down

Osman‘s favourite ever Suede track, it’s described by Nude boss Saul Galpern as “a big druggy ballad”.

He’s Gone

A big old-skool Suede ballad which was first performed at Reading Festival two years ago. It includes the chorus: “Like the leaves on the trees/Like a Carpenters song/Like the planes and the trains and the lives that were young/He’s gone/And it feels like the words to a song”.

Can’t Get Enough

Starts like Joy Division‘s ‘She’s Lost Control’, all mechanised synth drums and weird fx, then turns into a really heavy punk-guitar song. It’s drummer Simon Gilbert‘s favourite Suede track simply because, “it’s got big drums on it” and it features the line, “Walking like a woman/Talking like a Stone-Age man”.

Hi Fi

Fat-sounding and moody, like Bowie in his ‘Station To Station’ period or heavy Human League.

Asbestos

Very groovy and funky, features trumpet and keyboards.

Elephant Man

Codling‘s favourite Suede track ever, largely because he gets to play hard rock guitar on it.

Crack In The Union Jack

Very rough and echoey, mostly featuring just Anderson and an acoustic guitar. The last track on the album, it sounds like something off Bowie‘s ‘Hunky Dory’.

“It’s the closest we’ve ever come to an overt political statement,” Anderson told NME.

He has previously said the album was influenced by Asian Dub Foundation, Audioweb, Tricky, Prince and Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry and he told NME this influence is most evident on ‘Crack…’: “There’s a lot of rage in those sorts of bands, a sense that what people loved about punk those people have got hold of, because they feel like they’ve been mistreated. There’s a definite sense of disillusionment there. You can’t bandy words like ‘Union Jack’ around and it not be a political statement of some kind. I was aware of that. It’s meant to be a simple metaphor for people who hide behind nationalism, these pockets of dull existence hiding behind a jingoistic front.

“I don’t really like talking about things in a one-dimensional way. The politics of the songs are generally about human politics. Before, I’ve always romanticised about it, but this time I’ve decided to be more truthful. If you feel bleak about life, then say so, it doesn’t matter. You don’t always have to hide behind this facade that everything’s OK all the time. That’s the honesty I wanted to get across. It’s just a case of looking at things realistically.”