"Where Are We Now?”

David Bowie

Well, it's about time. Posted out-of-the-blue on his website, Bowie's first release in nearly a decade – the first peek from a forthcoming LP, The Next Day, due in March – is a stirring melancholy ballad set in Berlin, with the singer reflecting on old haunts. "Had to get the train from Potsdamer Platz," he croons over piano and big shimmery Eighties synths, with sad vibrato in his voice and a cryptic reference to "walking the dead." But then the bridge comes, he takes heart in the sun and the rain, and a high-pitched electric guitar soars brightly across the sky. It conjures nothing so much as the German lovers from "Heroes," walking among ghosts in a new world, hope and despair hand in hand, a moment so real you can taste it.

Listen to "Where Are We Now?":