Mutya Keisha Siobhan no more: the Sugababes are officially back.
It’s been ages – over six years, officially – since we last heard anything from any version of the ‘Babes.
But as of Friday (October 18), the original line-up of the Most Successful All-Female Act of the 21st Century, individually known as Mutya Buena, Keisha Buchanan and Siobhan Donaghy – are releasing music together again.
The briefest of summaries, just to catch everyone up to speed: after well over a dozen chart hits across the span of two decades – everything from “Overload” to “Push the Button” to “About You Now” (and, of course, “Get Sexy”) – and three member switch-ups, the very first version of the British girl group reunited in 2011 as MKS, named after themselves. They surely would have liked to have gone with Sugababes, but the name was still registered with the already defunct Sugababes 4.0 which, at that point, consisted of zero founding members of the band.
Little did the Origibabes know, they’d have to grapple for half a decade to secure the rights to their own brand again.
Life imitated art a bit too literally, and the song itself flatlined, stalling at No. 50 in the UK charts, as did the group itself. Over the next five or six years, bits and pieces of their planned project leaked as each member vaguely promised in various interviews that it wasn’t truly over. There’s now well over an album’s worth of Mutya Keisha Siobhan demos like “No Regrets,” “Boys” and “Drum” floating around on the Internet, produced by the likes of Dev Hynes, MNEK, Richard X and William Orbit among others. Devastatingly, it all sounded extremely promising.
Nevertheless, they persisted: they won the name back. They hit the studio again. And now, the artists formerly known as Sugababes-then-known-as-MKS are rightfully, known as the Sugababes again. Sorry Heidi, sorry Amelle, sorry Jade.
For their first move in their re-return to the music scene, they’re revisiting a 2000 UK garage classic called “Flowers” by Sweet Female Attitude, recorded for DJ Spoony‘s Garage Classical album.
Given that “Flowers” is a previously existing hit, it’s not a stretch to say it…sounds like a hit.
The difference, of course, is the vocalists at hand: there is arguably no modern girl group in the game more equipped at heavenly harmonizing than the Sugababes. They just work together, so gorgeously, despite being three entirely distinct, entirely capable vocalists in their own right. (Mutya, rightfully, was ranked No. 2 Best Girl Group Member of All Time on Michael Cragg‘s great Guardian list.)
Every good girl group has their own je ne sais quoi: The Spice Girls came crashing in with their feisty, ’90s bubblegum pop and “Girl Power” rallying cries, Girls Aloud dominated with their spike heels and skintight jeans and sleek, Xenomania-produced electro-pop bangers, and when it came to the ‘Babes (at least, up until the Sweet 7 era), their appeal had everything to do with their slight rough-’round (round)-the-edges-style-meets-Soul Sound – it was always about vocals, vocals, vocals.
The track is such a welcome return from the ‘Babes – that very first “I’ll bring you flowers…” alone? My heart!
If there’s even the slightest shred of pop justice remaining in this world, they’ll soar higher than “Flatline” with this one – and, hopefully, stick around for a while this time. They truly are one of the best groups to ever do it, after all. Who knows? Maybe they can even salvage a few (or all) of the long-since leaked tracks as a bonus collection of sorts – they do deserve to see the official light of day.
“We are happy to finally be able to give a little something to our amazing supporters whilst we prepare for 2020. We hope you like it! Love Sugababes x,” the girls wrote on their newly relaunched Instagram.
Let this be just the beginning of a legendary comeback for our most deserving and talented Sacred Three.
“Flowers” was released on October 18.
This song is featured on the MuuTunes Spotify playlist. Subscribe!
You can also subscribe to MuuTunes on Apple Music.
Photo credit: @official_mutyabuena