Watch: 'Life in Plastic.' Out Singer Tom Aspaul Releases Bright, Sparkly and Sexy Second Album

Saturday June 4, 2022
Originally published on May 31, 2022

Tom Aspaul
Tom Aspaul  (Source:Instagram)

Out, British singer Tom Aspaul released his album "Black†Country Disco" during the pandemic and it was an instant hit. But what set the album apart, according to a report in PinkNews, is how autobiographical it was, describing the break-up he had after a long-term relationship and his move out of London.

He followed "Black Country Disco" with a remix EP and a short tour after pandemic restrictions were lifted, then felt pressure as to how to do a follow-up.

His new album — "Life in Plastic" — goes in an entirely different direction. "'Life in†Plastic'†sees him move away from the disco sounds fans know and love into glittering Europop," adds Pink News.

Watch Tom Aspaul's song "Kiss It" from his new album "Life in Plastic."

Aspaul did, though, think that some may think he's just going commercial and would lose the vulnerability on display in the first album.

"It did really concern me that people might think because I'm doing a Europop album, that there isn't any depth to it and something's fundamentally gone. But if anything I'd say there's more depth in†'Life in Plastic'†than†'Black Country Disco.'†The first album†was about one particular event, but actually the more interesting part of that was the fallout of that break-up and the relocation from London."

And the light, happy sound is intentional. "Maybe that's the reason I've sugarcoated it and made it so plastic sounding — because I'm so nervous to talk about these topics in a way that would be more direct. I'd be afraid of exposing myself. That's why I've deflected it by making it so bright and sparkly and sexy — I'm literally in bondage gear on the album cover."

Aspaul wrote the songs during lockdown, Pink News reports, which was a period of introspection. "I was getting older and feeling quite contemplative. I almost feel like with†'Black†Country Disco'†coming out and me really pushing myself as an artist, it's been like this second puberty. I've grown up quite a lot. A lot of it is looking back over that period of time."

He was also able to explore the theme of what it means to be a successful and gay. "It is a cliché but a lot of gay men, if they don't have children, they seem to have a lot of time to look after themselves and have these really lavish lifestyles, and that's a topic that interests me. I wanted to explore why that happens, which I guess is where the†'Life in Plastic' name comes from."

He joked, though, that his success may not be as it seems. "I present myself to the world as this pop star, but the reality is that I do live at home with my parents and I do everything myself [behind the scenes], even though it doesn't look like I do."

Aspaul also explores the meaning of friendship with the album, which has changed for him since moving out of London and having mostly long-distance relationships. In thinking about it, he concludes that some of his friends are "disco friends," people who are fine to hang with at a club, but aren't really friends.

"They like you because they can go for a drink with you and have fun. There is a place for people like that in your life and I've always appreciated people like that, but in the song 'Let Them (It's All Love)', I'm not really criticising them. I'm just saying, it's fine. It's good to know where you stand."

He also explained it was hearing Europop as a kid that inspired him. "Tom remembers growing up with 'glossy, shiny, plastic; songs blaring out of the radio — he wanted to capture that era on this album," Pink News adds.

"I felt quite limited in a way by†'Black Country Disco'†and the limits to what disco could be. There was only a certain time period you could take references from. With this, I really wanted to move things along. Because so much of the album is me looking back at my adult life. I wanted it to have that nostalgic twinge for the '90s and the noughties because that's when I came of age."

Check out these pics and thirst-traps from Aspaul's IG: