Australian pop music icon Darren Hayes is set to stage a major comeback with the upcoming release of his new album, Homosexual.
It is the first new album from Hayes in ten years and his fifth as a solo artist. Homosexual will be released on October 7 with an Australian tour set to follow in January and February 2023.
“I named my album Homosexual for a variety of reasons,” Hayes said. “The most obvious, is that I’m a gay man who grew up in an era when that word was used to shame and vilify people like me, so I wanted to reclaim it.”
The latest single from the new album, All the Pretty Things, was released on Friday, August 19. The single, described as a “queer dancefloor anthem,” was written and produced by Hayes, as were the remaining 13 songs from the album.
Dedicates New Song To Pulse Victims
Hayes dedicated the new song in remembrance of the 49 victims of the Pulse mass shooting in Orlando in 2016.
“I decided to write a song about their happiness frozen in time in a way they deserved to be remembered. I connected that joyful moment to the LGBTQI musical pioneers who have inspired me, now long passed, and those political activists responsible for the freedoms I enjoy today.”
Trigger Warning: This story discusses suicide ideation, which might be distressing to some readers. For 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.
“I came up with my own way to say thank you with a simple phrase: ‘We’ve Got To Dance to Remember Them.’ Ultimately, that’s where my own freedom began. I really came out and into myself on the dance floor and that’s where my tribute continues,” said Hayes in a press release to announce the album’s launch.
Hayes, who struggled for years with his true identity as a gay man, and in his darkest days contemplated suicide before reaching out to Lifeline, recently spoke about his long path towards self-acceptance and embracing his gay self with The Guardian.
“I just thought it would be such a shame, now that I’m so comfortable in my skin, to not write about my full, vibrant, high-definition, 3D presence,” Hayes said of creating Homosexual.
Growing Up Gay
“I’m also a recording artist who came up in an era where being openly gay was frowned upon and I experienced first hand, the attempted erasure of my true identity from the marketing department of a major record label,” Hayes said in a statement, explaining the reason behind the name of his upcoming album Homosexual.
“Perhaps the most important reason I chose this title is that in 2022, I’m living in a time and in a country where the freedoms of LGBTQI+ people are more at risk than they’ve ever been. Moments like the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill in Florida, or the constant attacks on trans people, have made it clear to me that now is the time to be as loud as possible about who I am.”
“So on the front cover of my album, I’m proudly lounging upon my version of a stairway to heaven,” Hayes said.
“Emblazoned across me, in the brightest hot pink neon, is a word the 11 year old me used to be terrified of. I lounge proudly underneath the electric buzz of this symbol, this term that used to be used to denigrate people like me. Now it’s my word. Now it means whatever I want it to mean. If you haven’t worked it out yet, I think it means something magical, amazing, unique and essential.”
A Proud Homosexual
“My name is Darren Hayes. And I’m a proud Homosexual,” the singer said.
Hayes, 50, returned to the public eye early in 2022 when he headlined the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade as well as releasing several new singles from Homosexual including Let’s Try Being In Love, (Hayes’ first single since Stupid Mistake in 2012), Do You Remember and Poison Blood.
For the music video for Let’s Try Being In Love, Hayes cast a man as his love interest. “I was constantly put in music videos where I was in a romantic situation with a woman or I was muted,’’ he told The Guardian.
“And for me, it was like, ‘No, I’m going to show you, I’m going to cast a man that I think is really fucking sexy.’”
Do You Remember Tour
In an interview with NME in January 2022, in support of Let’s Try Being In Love, Hayes said, “I’ve been married to Richard [Cullen] for almost 17 years, [and] I’m in this really comfortable place in my life. But at the same time at mid-life I’m grieving the fact I never got to celebrate who I really was at the period of my life where I was most famous.”
“I look at this world we live in now where someone like Lil Nas X can push forward his true self, full of pride and self-love and have the chance to be loved for who he truly is. I was realising with great sadness that I didn’t get that experience. A lot of the time I was my most famous, I was deeply sad.”
Hayes’ Do You Remember? Tour, the singer’s first tour in a decade, is scheduled to start in Perth January 31, 2023 with additional dates in Melbourne, Sydney, Newcastle, and Brisbane, before wrapping up in the Gold Coast February 12, 2023.
The tour then moves on to the UK for dates throughout March and April 2023, with scheduled shows in Birmingham, Manchester and London already sold out.
The tour will include also include songs from Hayes’ Savage Garden catalogue as well as his new material.
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