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Placebo share moving new song ‘Happy Birthday In The Sky’

Brian Molko describes the track as "one of the more heartbreaking moments" on Placebo's new album

By Charlotte Krol

Brian Molko of Placebo is seen performing live onstage in 2017
Brian Molko of Placebo performs live. (Picture: Wikimedia Commons)

Placebo have released ‘Happy Birthday In The Sky’, the final single from their upcoming album ‘Never Let Me Go’.

The song, according to frontman Brian Molko, is about communicating grief and heartbreak, and follows previous singles ‘Beautiful James’, ‘Surrounded By Spies‘ and ‘Try Better Next Time‘.

‘Never Let Me Go’ is Placebo‘s eighth album and their first in nearly a decade. They last released an album in 2013 with ‘Loud Like Love’.

Molko said of the new single: “‘Happy Birthday In The Sky’, for me, is one of the more heartbreaking moments on the album. ‘Happy Birthday In The Sky’ is a phrase that I’ve been using for quite some time. When I say, happy birthday 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 continued: “What I am thinking is that this is kind of so visceral and so intense emotionally that it’s really going to communicate something very powerful to the listener.

“And that’s basically all I’m interested in. At what cost? Who cares. As long as the song really, really moves people, then whatever sacrifices you have to make in order to get there are fine with me. It’s not such a bad thing to inhabit these emotions – you’re very, very much alive and in the moment while you’re doing so.”

In a recent interview with Rolling Stone UK, Molko explained that he felt drawn to spit out the exploitation of touring on the band’s new album.

“I wanted to do something that had a certain brutality to it, either sonically or lyrically,” he said, referencing one of his favourite albums, Kanye West’s ‘Yeezus’, as an example of commercial music taken to the extreme.

“What actually came out was something more ‘listenable’ than they had intended, wrote interviewer Emma Garland. “Thirteen tracks of metallic stoner rock, post-punk and gorgeous piano melodies, ‘Never Let Me Go’ feels like Placebo’s strongest album in years.”

Placebo will head out on a UK and Ireland tour in the autumn – see the full list of dates here.