Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Placebo are Back with New Single ‘Happy Birthday in the Sky’

London-based alternative rock group Placebo is back with new music for the first time in almost ten years. 

The group formed in 1994 as part of the Britpop scene. However, their inspirations came more from the grunge side of things, heavily influenced by Nirvana, Sonic Youth, and Pixies

The band rose to fame quickly and became well-known for their androgynous punk personas.

The duo is set to release their 8th studio album March 25, and their latest single gives listeners a taste of what is to come. ‘Happy Birthday in the Sky’ is the band at their heartbreaking best. The track tells the story of losing a loved one and ways to cope with that pain, such as numbing it out. Brian Molko’s vocals grip every word with so much sorrow as he pours himself into this story of loss. Stefan Olsdal’s guitar work here is soft in a way that feels similar to Interpol, and its simplicity allows those powerful, painful lyrics to shine. However, as the song builds, that soft guitar fades into some tech oversaturation.


Molko states that ‘Happy Birthday in the Sky’ is “to people who aren't with us anymore, it communicates the kind of heartbreak that we're really, really good at communicating, I think. You know, that sense of loss, that sense of desperation. It's as if a part of your body and your soul has been ripped from you unfairly. And you pine and you pine, and you wait.” He goes on saying this heartbreaking feeling will continue on their upcoming album, ‘Never Let Me Go’, which will discuss themes of personal accountability, humanity, and feeling under surveillance. If this track is only the sneak peek of what’s to come, then listeners can expect to hear something heartbreaking, visceral and honest about the human experience.


Hope Orr


Image: ‘Happy Birthday in the Sky’ Official Single Cover (PRESS)

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