Darren Hayes has returned with his first new song in over a decade, a retro-tinged pop anthem titled ‘Let’s Try Being In Love’.
Said to represent “the beginning of a brand new chapter” in the former Savage Garden frontman’s solo career, the song draws clear inspiration from ‘80s disco, pop and techno. Citing the likes of Patrick Cowley and Shep Pettibone (the latter of whom was most famous for his works with Madonna and George Michael) as particular influences, ‘Let’s Try Being In Love’ sees Hayes sing passionately over a bed of crisp, melodically charged synths.
Notable is that Hayes arranged, produced, composed and performed the new track entirely himself. It arrives today (January 27) alongside a music video written by Hayes and directed by Andrew Putschoegl. It stars Hayes alongside Scott Evans (brother of MCU heavyweight Chris Evans) as a closeted gay man in the throes of an affair, watching his former marriage shatter as he learns to embrace his sexuality.
“I’m looking back on that first period of my life where I’m married to a woman,” Hayes explained in a press release. “I’m realising that in order to be free I have to destroy something beautiful and innocent. Scott’s character represents the freight train of my future sexuality and that’s gonna emerge no matter what.
“I wanted to show I love the feminine in me, be proud of the gay me. There’s a dance scene that is so passionate, everything’s alive and thriving and blooming. That’s how I feel in general about music. And that’s a hugely sharp contrast to how I felt 10 years ago.”
Take a look at the video for ‘Let’s Try Being In Love’ below:
Expounding on the personal journey that led Hayes to his comeback, the singer-songwriter explained: “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 went on to say that he initially had no plans to return to music, but rather “it just kind of happened in a really wonderful, organic way”. Reflecting on the 10-plus years that have passed since his last solo effort, ‘Secret Codes And Battleships’, he said: “This whole period of being away from the public eye, taking time out was a choice.”
Alongside the new song comes the announcement that Hayes will perform at this year’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade in Sydney. Taking place on Saturday March 5 at the Sydney Cricket Ground, it’ll mark Hayes’ first show on home soil in just days shy of 10 years. Tickets for the parade are on sale now via Ticketmaster.
“It’s going to be especially emotional for me,” he said in a video sharing the news, “because the last time I did this was 17 years ago. And get this: I wasn’t even out then, which is unbelievable. But to return home all these years later, as a fully out, proud, loud, gay man – to celebrate with all of you – is going to be such a treat. I can’t wait to do it.”
Check out Hayes’ announcement video below:
In a separate statement, Hayes said: “Last year, I was in awe, along with the rest of the world, as Australians united and came together safely to celebrate our vibrant and resilient community. I decided in that moment, if this could happen again in 2022, I was going to do everything within my power to come home and celebrate with you.
“You can imagine how thrilled I am, truly, to have been chosen to close what I know will be an unforgettable and necessary night of pride and joy. I’m so looking forward to spending time together after so much time apart.”