“I think a lot about how clubs are almost like queer churches. You go and congregate and you dance.” — Olly Alexander
Salo Panto, the latest album from Years and Years will be released July 6th. After releasing a single and a trailer, Olly Alexander sat down with the BBC to share some thoughts. Including the links between spirituality, religion, and larger queer culture.
“I was always aware that, in the bible, homosexuality was viewed as sinful and that’s always stayed with me,” says the singer, “but I really love religious iconography and religious language because it’s so powerful and so evocative… so now I love to play around with that and subvert it.”
“I think a lot about how clubs are almost like queer churches. You go and congregate and you dance. That’s always been a sacred experience for me, although it’s been both positive and negative. I wanted to write a song that flitted between those two things.”
His latest single calls these images to mind, but he was actually inspired to write it by a relationship he had with a “straight man.”
Of the inspiration relationship, Olly says, “he told me was straight and we became friends, and at a certain point the relationship tipped over into something more intimate – and it felt like we were becoming lovers. …and suddenly, there was just an explosion of pain and conflict.”
In addition to the music on the new album, there will also be a short film released. Who Narrates the shirt film? The amazing Judi Dench.
Photo from ollyyears on Instagram