MUSIC REVIEW: Obsession never sounded so good

Ray A-J August 17, 2018

Queer rock singer Matt Fishel goes into fanboy overload in his latest track I’m totally obsessed with him.

THE INVOLMENT of politics in art is integral to creating change, a necessary evil, and especially for the LGBT+ communities, activism is key. With powerful musicians like Years and years’ Olly Alexander, Sam Smith, and the up-and-coming Andrea Di Giovanni, music is the perfect outlet for Queer people everywhere to have their say and make a difference. But not every song has to be so seriously politically charged, for the messages to break through. And with his latest track, the unapologetically fabulous Matt Fishel shows us that politics can have a fun side too.

Pretty in pink, the energetic Matt Fishel coaxes us into joining his vibrant mirage of gay culture across different eras, throughout the opening of his latest single I’m totally obsessed with him.

A collage of desolate halls, and seemingly coy visions of Matt himself, weave into one another as the sycophantic track begins. Sounds of cheerful trumpet melodies, and racing drums shoot themselves into the enigmatic rumble, building the tension even further. And then, just as the pyramid of sounds nears is peak, a voice is heard.

He’s in my heart,” a joyous Matt coos, guitar in hand, as images of choir singers and euphoric dancers around him come alive in celebratory chorus. With his sparkly, punk fueled vocalisations, the queer rocker decorates a vivid symphony of distorted guitars and bracing drum beats, encouraging all to dance along with the racing rhythms of each chorus. Keeping close by the pool of upbeat, friendly rock, a cheeky little video featuring, as Matt describes, “a celebration of queerness, togetherness, fun and pride,” rolls by. And the dancers, full of sways and glorious nods to voguing, whirl around in perfect harmony with the charmingly infatuated mesh of electric guitars and roaring trumpets.

I’ve gone into fanboy overload,” the commercially ripe whisper of Matt grins at the viewer, before suddenly strolling through the set of a nineteen twenties speakeasy, complete with sultry saxophone players and silky suits. With their winding solos, the marryment of saxophone and guitar skip blissfully through colourful fields of people as the video continues. From extras sitting pretty in giraffe costumes, Marie Antoinette style drag, nuns, footloose dancers in kitschy spandex, women in wigs, half-naked men, and leathered up police men, everyone is on show and having a gay old-time.

One minute, donning a wink and a smile, the next a wig or guitar, the video flies through a timeline of queer iconography, and never fails to keep up a sweetly light-hearted tone of lightly obsessive love.

Overall Matt has painted a charming little image of teen – like sycophantic infatuation, with a tongue in cheek touch of Queer history. The joy that’s plastered on each of the faces in the video trickles through to the listener too.