FACT. The top spot on my personal Spotify Wrapped has gone to Tom Aspaul for two years in a row. The heartbreak disco-pop of his debut album “Black Country Disco” and “Black Country Discothèque” (the remix album) were constant music companions in my life, steering me through the gloomy days of lockdown. As such, “Black Country Disco” will never get old to me. Since he announced, the new era would begin on New Year’s Eve. I was eager to jump right into the new music when it dropped. As I watched Tom’s Instagram posts, I became intrigued by “Let Them” (It’s All Love). Even so, I held off from posting my thoughts until the video was released.
The first thing I noticed about the new track, it is brimming with Europop flavour. I felt sure Tom would reference Moldovan singer Natalia Gordienko’s Eurovision entry, “Sugar,” as an influence for the new sound. (He has shared his appreciation of the track extensively on his social media platforms). In line with the “It’s Fantastic” playlist, he curated for the “Life In Plastic” sophomore album – (that includes songs that inspired the upcoming album). Steps, Kylie, Adam Rickitt, Liberty X, Everything But The Girl and INNA, among others, helped shape the sound of his second album. I was startled not seeing Gordienko’s name on the line-up. (Check out the “It’s Fantastic” playlist HERE)
Not everything has changed in this era. Tom teams up with longtime collaborator Gil Lewis again for the release. Speaking with Gay Times, Tom said. “I’ve worked with Gil Lewis, who produced the first album, again, but every song is co-produced by me this time around. I’ve also collaborated with my wonderful friend MNEK on a couple of tracks.” (Read the full interview with Gay Times HERE)
As much as I enjoy the new direction of the music. It was the Sam Taylor-Edwards‘ music video I’ve been dying to watch. Clever, wardrobe styling from Aaron Francis Walker helps project the image we see of Tom encoded into a virtual reality version of himself in the clip. This styling is on point, and has such a cool, camp, gay aesthetic for a video game model. I cannot take my eyes of this video it is massively captivating.
The year has only just started, yet the video is one of my favourites of 2022, already. I love that it envelops me in a sense of escape. I am hopeful that Tom’s “Life In Plastic” era will bring me more opportunities to break free from reality. Certainly seems Tom is hinting at this direction with both the music and the video.