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Sugababes - When The Rain Comes

15th September 2023

It’s finally happened: Sugababes have released new music. It feels surreal even writing that sentence, but it’s true. There was a moment in time where it seemed like we’d never get our girls’ back, and now here we are, the day of their career-defining headline gig at The O2 Arena, a year out from The Lost Tapes, and the indebted recipients of a brand new track. This is a Sugababes lead single. A proper, actual lead single, hopefully leading to - dare I say it - a new album.

And ‘When The Rain Comes’ is an absolute triumph. It captures that impossible-to-describe Sugababes magic, feeling instantly like it’s always existed in their catalogue, like it’s always been there nestled between their biggest hits. If it was to be the sibling of any of their previous releases, it’s the spiritual successor to their debut album highlight, ‘Soul Sound’, merged with Mutya Buena’s own ‘Real Girl’. And this is Mutya’s song through and through. To many, she’s the voice of Sugababes, and her honeyed, smooth vocals are all over the track, layered with her sisters to create those melodious harmonies that we’ve come to know and love in the two decades that the ‘Babes have been active. Which is not to say that Keisha and Siobhan don’t have their moments on the track; they do. But it’s good and healthy for girlbands to rotate the role of main character, and on this occasion, it’s Mutya’s turn. 

‘When The Rain Comes’ is breezy and summery, the perfect soundtrack to a hazy evening in London, punctuated with gorgeous Winehouse-esque horns. It feels decidedly retro and nostalgic, straight from a 2000s rom-com soundtrack alongside Gabrielle’s ‘Dreams’ or Jamelia’s ‘Thank You’; not quite a banger, not quite a ballad. It’s immediately a highlight of their entire discography. Here’s to the future of the Sugababes, one in which their classic material can sit alongside the new in as perfect harmony as when the voices of Mutya, Keisha and Siobhan start to sing. 

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