Pet Shop Boys say their new music is their gayest yet: “This is our queer album”

Pet Shop Boys say their new music is their gayest yet: “This is our queer album”

You are currently viewing Pet Shop Boys say their new music is their gayest yet: “This is our queer album”
wp header logo png
Pet Shop Boys

On the eve of the release of their 15th studio album Nonetheless, English synth-pop legends the Pet Shop Boys are anything but being boring.

Vocalist Neil Tennant, 69, and keyboardist Chris Lowe, 64, are dropping their new record while simultaneously celebrating the 40th anniversary of their first single “West End Girls.”

The momentous occasion comes as Tenant, who came out as gay in 1994, has declared Nonetheless the duo’s “queer album.”

While the PSB’s music has always resonated with LGBTQ+ audiences and touched on gay themes in subtle ways, Tennant says Nonetheless does so more overtly than ever before.

“I think this is our queer album,” he told NME. To which Lowe responded by joking, “Really?! I’m taking my copy back…”

Case in point: The album’s first single “Loneliness” features a very gay video depicting muscular bodies, shower scenes, secret hookups and a glory hole. All set to a thumping club beat.

Feel the rush!

Among the other tracks is “Love Is The Law,” which depicts Irish poet Oscar Wilde’s post-prison days in France watching the clandestine cruising of gay men in the area. Tennant added: “So the language I’m trying to use is of sexual transactions – ‘trade’, ‘trick’ – American slang for picking someone up.”

Another song entitled “A New Bohemia” is inspired by the ’70s queer art/activist troupe Les Petitis Bon-Bons who worked with disco trailblazer Sylvester. While the album’s second single, the disco-tinged “Dancing Star,” centers on gay ballet legend Rudolf Nureyev’s defection from the Soviet Union to the West in the ’60s.

The accompanying video features historic footage of Nureyev, who passed away from AIDS complications in 1993 at the age of 54.

In the interview, Tennant also touched on how far society has come since the Pet Shop Boys first emerged on the scene in the early 1980s, when coming out could have pigeonholed the group as a “gay band” if not completely derailed their career.

In particular, he feels the rise of drag queens in pop culture have made everything more digestible to heteronormative audiences.

“What I think now is that what you might call gay culture has become mainstream,” Tennant said. “Several years ago, I went to see Jake Shears in Kinky Boots on Broadway. It was an essentially straight audience, and when the drag queens came on, they all went ballistic. I thought: ‘Wow, this whole thing’s just gone totally mainstream’ – and I think it’s ‘cause of RuPaul’s Drag Race.”

While the world may be gooped and gagged by Ru Girls, the Pet Shop Boys have also been enjoying a pop culture resurgence as of late. Two of their early songs have appeared in two of the biggest queer films of the last year.

In Saltburn, Barry Keoghan karaokes to their 1987 kept boy anthem “Rent,” while one of the most emotional scenes in All of Us Strangers features Andrew Scott reminiscing an early Christmas moment to the sounds of the Pet Shop Boys’ cover of “Always on My Mind.”

Tennant couldn’t be more thrilled with their cinematic close-ups especially because they inform the narrative of the story.

“What I love is that in each of those different films, our songs are used as plot points,” he added.

Fans can hear all 10 tracks on Pet Shop Boys’ new album Nonetheless starting Friday, April 26th.


Leave a Reply

This site uses User Verification plugin to reduce spam. See how your comment data is processed.