Darren Hayes announces ‘Homosexual’, his first album in over a decade

The former Savage Garden frontman has also shared new single 'All You Pretty Things'

Darren Hayes has announced that his first album in over a decade, ‘Homosexual’, will arrive in October.

To coincide with the announcement, Hayes shared a new single titled ‘All You Pretty Things’, a dancefloor-primed synth-pop cut influenced by Patrick Cowley, Daft Punk and Madonna.

In a press statement, Hayes explained that the song is dedicated to those who lost their lives in the tragic Pulse Nightclub 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.

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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. 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.”

Listen to ‘All You Pretty Things’ below:

‘Homosexual’, set to arrive on October 7 via Hayes’ own label Powdered Sugar Productions, will mark the former Savage Garden frontman’s first album since 2011’s ‘Secret Codes and Battleships’. In addition to ‘All You Pretty Things’, the album will also feature recent singles ‘Let’s Try Being in Love’, ‘Do You Remember?’ and ‘Poison Blood’.

In a statement, Hayes said he decided on the new album’s title for numerous reasons – the “most obvious” being he is “a gay man who grew up in an era when that word was used to shame and vilify people like me” and “wanted to reclaim it”.

“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 continued.

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His statement echoes comments he made in a recent profile with The Guardianin which he described the head of his record company at the time openly telling people he looked “too gay” in a music video for single ‘Insatiable’, and his promotion in the US being cancelled as a result. “I was so angry that I had been extinguished,” Hayes said, reflecting on that time. “I’d been extinguished by men in suits.”

In today’s statement, Hayes said the most “important” reason for choosing the title was that he was living in a time where “the freedoms of LGBTQI+ people are more at risk than they’ve ever been” – pointing to Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill or attacks on trans people – and feeling a need to be “as loud as possible” about his identity.

“On the front cover of my album, I’m proudly lounging upon my version of a stairway to heaven. Emblazoned across me, in the brightest hot pink neon, is a word the 11 year old me used to be terrified of,” he said.

“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. My name is Darren Hayes. And I’m a proud Homosexual.”

In January next year, Hayes will kick off his ‘Do You Remember?’ arena tour, celebrating 25 years since he rose to prominence as one half of Savage Garden, with shows in Perth, Melbourne, Sydney, Newcastle, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

Darren Hayes’ ‘Homosexual’ tracklist is:

1. ‘Let’s Try Being in Love’
2. ‘Do You Remember?’
3. ‘A Little Death’
4. ‘Poison Blood’
5. ‘Hey Matt’
6. ‘Homosexual (Act One)’
7. ‘Music Video’
8. ‘Euphoric Equation’
9. ‘Nocturnal Animal’
10. ‘Feels Like It’s Over’
11. ‘All You Pretty Things’
12. ‘We Are Alchemists’
13. ‘Homosexual (Act Two)’
14. ‘Birth’

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