For his upcoming album, Fun City, Bright Light Bright Light, a.k.a. New York-based Welsh singer-songwriter Rod Thomas, is making pop music with a purpose.
The collection of songs draws inspiration from LGBTQ history, disco, and ’80s pop, including his single, “I Used to Be Cool,” which has a new music video featuring Thomas and his co-stars Sam Benedict and Josep Magraner as houseboys who crush on the sexy, Speedo-clad homeowner played by model Christian Bendek.
“I had such a blast filming this video. Christian, Sam, and Josep are friends of mine, so we just had so much fun making this campy video in my friend Drew’s gorgeous house upstate,” Thomas tells NewNowNext. “Just like ’This Was My House’ [Thomas’ previous single], I worked with Tyler Jensen (Scream Queen! My Nightmare On Elm Street documentary) as we have so many crossover ’80s and ’90s culture references, drawing upon references from The Cars and Billy Idol music videos, Desperately Seeking Susan, and Fast Times At Ridgemont High . I wanted the video to be high camp, summer-ready, and just absolutely the gayest I’d made. And I THINK we did that?”
Thomas has previously said that Fun City is “a love letter to how diverse and inspirational” the LGBTQ community is. He tells NewNowNext that working on “I Used to Be Cool” allowed him to poke fun at himself:
A big part of LGBTQ+ culture for me is the need and ability to laugh at yourself, which I’ve spent a fair bit of my life doing (especially in lockdown). I wrote this song as a tongue-in-cheek look at the more delusional side of attraction where you let your brain run wild and lose your mind for a bit. I’ve really loved the time I’ve spent on Fire Island, especially when Lina [Bradford] was doing High Tea, so I wanted to make a poolside, forward-sounding song that would be perfect with a cocktail, so made this song as my summer romance, one gin too far, OTT moment.
Squirt on some sunscreen, park yourself by the nearest pool, and check out the exclusive premiere of the “I Used to Be Cool” music video below.