If you weren’t around for, or simply weren’t paying attention to, Suede’s sorry sputtering-out in the early 2000s, it’s hard to convey just how extraordinary their latter-day vindication has been. Unlike certain other ’90s Britpop contemporaries, Brett Anderson and co were never able to rely too heavily on nostalgia – at the time they got back together, theirs was not an especially clamoured-for reunion. Instead, they focused their energies into making a new album that would be more than mere postscript, and they succeeded in resounding fashion: 2013’s ‘Bloodsports’ was the unexpected sound of a band rediscovering their demons, better 10 years late than never.
‘Outsiders’, the first track taken from new album ‘Night Thoughts’, emphatically proves that was no fluke. From the title, to the lyrics, to the epic sweep of the song itself, this is Suede in excelsis, with Anderson’s portrait of a secret lovers’ tryst (“By the roadside shrine there’s a place/Selling bouquets of cellophane”) evoking nothing less than the windswept melodrama of Bowie’s ‘”Heroes”’. That’s a weighty comparison for any track to live up to, of course, but the way ‘Outsiders’ escalates – musically and emotionally – from Richard Oakes’ spidery guitar riff to its eventual crescendo means it comes closer than most to doing just that. “She puts her faith in the moment“, bellows Anderson against the rising tide of the chorus; on this evidence, you could do a lot worse than put yours in Suede.