On Friday, the Australian-born star of “The Flash” and “Love, Simon” unveiled “Gods of the Disco,” his first new single since his 2020 debut album, “Rainbow Boy.” The song’s video finds the actor and singer in 1970s throwback mode, strutting across a nightclub stage with moves that harken back to Michael Jackson’s “Off the Wall” era.
Before long, Lonsdale strips down to a pair of sequined underwear and gets locked in a sensual embrace with a pair of hunky revelers. The midnight bacchanal begins to take on a sinister vibe, however, as several clubgoers reveal vampire fangs, their fearsome eyes devoid of emotion.
Catch the “Gods of the Disco” video above.
“I like to say that it’s me performing in front of my fears,” said Lonsdale, who developed the video’s concept with director Chris Coats. “To me, the song is about freedom. It’s about letting out your inner freak. But before you can own your freedom, you have to cross over and face your fears. So I wanted to physically represent those fears.”
Released in the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, “Rainbow Boy” is an introspective record in which Lonsdale examines his life as a Black queer man through songs that meld pop, R&B and rap elements.
By comparison, “Gods of the Disco” is more celebratory. Though Lonsdale considers himself a homebody, he got the idea for the track after being invited to a Los Angeles rave over the summer following more than a year of self-isolation.
“I’m trying to meet the world where it’s at,” he said. “I feel like we’re in an age of disco rebirth because of what the world’s been through. There are racial injustices that continue. No one’s been able to dance or connect. But after that comes a healing of mind, body and spirit. That’s what I want to usher in musically.”
Lonsdale hopes to perform “Gods of the Disco” when he returns to the concert stage in Los Angeles later this fall. The song’s release comes as his stateside acting career is once again picking up steam. He recently wrapped filming on “My Fake Boyfriend,” a romantic comedy in which he plays a gay man who uses social media to give the illusion of being in a new relationship in order to get out of a toxic one.
Lonsdale considers the movie, which also stars Dylan Sprouse and is slated for release in June 2022, his first adult role. “Love, Simon” encouraged him to embrace his true self ― he publicly addressed his sexuality months before its release ― while his character in “My Fake Boyfriend” is a confidently queer person who is “trying not to be awkward as he spreads his wings,” he said.
“I’m honored and blessed to be able to take on the mantle of telling stories, [and] I’m grateful people still think I can play 19 or 20,” he added. “But I don’t know what 19-year-olds are feeling like right now. I know what a 29-year-old is feeling, because I’m feeling that.”