Bright Light Bright Light has joined forces with Scissors Sisters-founder and global LGBTQ+ music trailblazer Jake Shears on his high-octane new song “Sensation.” Written initially about the euphoria of meeting someone (friend, lover, etc.) you instantly connect with while in a fractured and divided world, the song’s meaning feels amplified when viewed through the lens of the current health crisis. It’s a cut off his forthcoming album Fun City (out September 18th on his own label YSKWN!, in partnership with Megaforce Records and The Orchard), which will serve as not only a stellar collection of expertly crafted ’80s-inspired dance-pop, but also as a musical love letter to the LGBTQ+ community
Bright Light Bright Light teased the new song last weekend when he performed it live for the first time during a livestreaming performance with LOGO.
“For a song about connection and celebrating who you are, Jake was totally my top choice,” said Bright Light Bright Light (aka Rod Thomas) to FLOOD about the collaboration. “It was so much fun to do a proper duet and have a voice that reminded me to be myself on a song about celebrating your community.”
Shears echoed the enthusiasm: “Rod’s songwriting always blows me away, and getting to record with him is an absolute joy. ‘Sensation’ was just one of those songs, the first time I heard it, I was like— I flipping love this.”
The release follows the forthcoming album’s acclaimed first single “This Was My House,” a prideful ode to queer safe spaces that Paper Magazine praised saying “it’s not every day that we get a perfect disco song” while Rolling Stone spotlighted its “buoyant beat to dance through pain and trouble,” and Queerty said “we’re hooked and keep voguing through the living room.”
The vocals for Fun City were recorded on the empty dancefloor of East Village gay club Bedlam, a choice Bright Light Bright Light made as a way to channel the energy of the queer trailblazers that influenced him like Sylvester, Erasure, Scissor Sisters and Hercules & Love Affair. He hopes Fun City will examine the ways marginalized people stay strong, focused and creative through times of social and political hardships. The album title itself is a historical reference to a quote said by NYC mayor John V. Lindsay who on his first day in office in 1966, amidst a crippling transit strike, said “I still think it’s a fun city.”
The album boasts a veritable “who’s who” of LGBTQ+ major-players and allies who serve as collaborators, including (in alphabetical order by first name) Andy Bell (of Erasure), Big Dipper, Brendan MacLean, Caveboy, The Illustrious Blacks, Initial Talk, Jake Shears, Justin Vivian Bond, KAYE, Mark Gatiss, Niki Haris & Donna De Lory, and Sam Sparro.
Bright Light Bright Light has been a staple of the international LGBTQ+ music scene for over ten years, having released three prior albums and touring as both a solo artist and as support alongside pop royalty like Elton John, Cher, Erasure, Ellie Goulding and Scissor Sisters. He also collaborated with Elton on his 2016 banger “All In The Name” which he also performed with the music legend on The Graham Norton Show.
For the past four years he has curated, hosted and served as the DJ for regular afternoon dance parties (which he affectionately calls the “Romy & Michele’s Saturday Afternoon Tea Dance”) at Manhattan’s Club Cumming and Brooklyn’s C’Mon Everybody. Aside from using his music as a powerful platform for equality, he has also actively fundraised for The Trevor Project, Ali Forney Center, Hetrick-Martin Institute, ACLU, and Elton John AIDS Foundation over the years.
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