Brett Anderson’s fourth solo album ‘Black Rainbows’ is released on September 26 – but you can hear the whole thing now, via the We7 widget below.
Produced by Anderson with Leo Abrahams (Florence And The Machine, Imogen Heap), ‘Black Rainbows’ finds the sometime Suede vocalist returning to solo duties after a summer spent touring with his old band. Anderson says it’s his best solo album to date, telling NME:
It’s a confident album. It wants to be heard. It wants to break out of its box and assault you.
Anderson has also given us his own track-by-track guide to the album, which you can read by scrolling down below the album player.
Anderson: “We made the album as a series of jams, and I remember when we first started jamming this track, we’d been playing it for like a minute or something, but it had this sort of stateliness and size and I thought, ‘That’s definitely the opening track’, and that’s how it ended up. To be honest it’s probably my favourite song on the album, its quite special for me, and I like the vocal on it.”
“It’s got quite a krautrock groove, this one. I think we first started with a Faust song as a reference point, and then we changed it just enough to be non-sueable, ha ha. Did I consider it as a potential Suede track? No, because you can’t just interchange musicians and expect it to be the same band. You know, Suede play their instruments in a certain way and my solo band play their instruments in a certain way, so, no, there was never confusion for me. I was always like, ‘This is the solo thing’.”
‘Crash About To Happen’
“It’s quite upbeat. It was inspired musically by melodic 80’s indie, things like The Cure and I suppose Johnny Marr’s guitar playing. I really love the guitar line actually. What’s the song about? It’s about all those kind of characters like Britney Spears – those kind of ‘It’ girls that go off the rails. Where you’re just kind of watching via the pages of Hello, and you’re fascinated and horrified at the same time.”
‘I Count The Times’
“This was one of the last tracks written for the album. I suppose it was kind of inspired by ‘The Idiot’-period Iggy Pop, especially the darker, grinding, disturbed stuff like ‘Mass Production’. Lyrically it’s a song about infidelity and mistrust and suspicion and all those lovely healthy things that form the landscape of many relationships.”
“Another song that references setting fire to things. There’s a lot of that on this album. There are a few recurring lyrical threads, carpet burns and paper planes. I like the way those phrases knit the album together. The repetition doesn’t bother me. I prepared for this album by writing poetry, and certain themes came out of that. It was interesting. Would I want people to see the poems? No, never, absulutely not.”
‘This Must Be Where It Ends’
“I like this song, it’s actually the only song that didn’t originate from the sessions where we jammed. I wrote it with Leopold Ross – he’s in a band called Io Echo and he plays with The Big Pink and stuff like that, and lives in LA. I emailed him and said, ‘I wanna write something that feels quite tortured but quite grand’, and this song is the result.”
“It’s possibly the closest to what I’ve done before, in terms of a rock dynamic. It doesn’t sound like Suede, but it’s not a million miles away from ‘New Generation’ territory. Lots of the album is about the detail of human relationships and me documenting those little details. There’s something quite claustrophobic about the lyrics in this which I like – it’s not black or white, it’s not criticism and its not celebration, but there’s both of those elements in there, which I think is what a relationship is.”
‘In The House Of Numbers’
“It’s a bit Talking Heads-ish, a bit Arcade Fire. The guitar part reminds me a bit of Stone Roses, actually. Like ‘Waterfall’. The lyrics were inspired by Any Human Heart by William Boyd. It’s about someone marrying into a different class and suddenly finding themselves living in a mansion and not feeling like they really relate to their surroundings anymore.”
‘Thin Men Dancing’
“It’s sort of a glammy stomp, with quite a sexy guitar part: just a great live rock track.”
“It’s actually the only slow track on the album. I don’t think I’ve ever made an album with less slow tracks on it. It’s a song about, no matter how close to someone you are, no matter how much you’re enthralled by them, you never really own them. It’s that distance that’s interesting, you know. It’s that sense that you can never be completely one person. You’re always separate people.”
Scroll down the page to watch the video to Brett Anderson’s ‘Brittle Heart’, the first single to be taken from ‘Black Rainbows’.