Tom Aspaul’s incredible film for Black Country Disco is a love letter to his West Midlands roots.
Directed by queer filmmaker Sam Taylor-Edwards, the ten-minute movie was shot in Wolverhampton and Birmingham earlier this summer, and includes three beloved songs from the universally-acclaimed “student project” of the same name: W.M., 01902 and Tender.
In the 70s and 80s-inspired visual (which was shot entirely on film and VHS), the singer-songwriter, producer and Black Philip stan arrives home to the West Midlands for W.M., before channelling his inner vintage pornstar with a choreo-heavy number for 01902.
The film finishes at the beginning of the narrative with Tender, showcasing a broken and bruised Tom as he contemplates his life in a bathtub (relatable). The whole thing is camp as tits and we’re obsessed with it, really.
“Originally, it was just gonna be W.M, and then as me and the director got chatting, and I became a bit more ambitious, I thought it’d be really nice to tell the whole story of the album,” Tom tells GAY TIMES. “I think the lyrical content sort of encapsulates the whole album with those three songs.”
The star also wanted to portray West Midlands in a more positive light, as it’s often regarded as “really grim, grey and boring”.
“In a way it is, let’s be real, but I wanted to show it like it can be cinematic and quite beautiful. I think there’s beauty to be found,” he adds. “Then also, I just wanted people to see the narrative, which is obviously me breaking up with my boyfriend. That’s Tender. It’s a flashback, while 01902 is like a sexy fantasy.”
Black Country Disco came to fruition following Tom’s departure from London and the breakdown of a long-term relationship. Although it chronicles his journey through heartbreak and loss, it also delves into acceptance, freedom and most importantly, the joy of finding yourself again.
It received widespread praise from fans and critics, and has been hailed by many publications (including us) as one of the best pop albums of 2020.
“It’s been pretty amazing, to be honest,” admits Tom. “It’s got a much better reception than I thought it would in terms of streaming and people writing about it, tweeting and messaging. On top of everything, I’ve sold out pretty much all of the vinyl and the CDs, which I never honestly never expected to do!
“It’s given me a sense of satisfaction, because it was such hard work.”
For fans who are in dire need for more Black Country Disco – you’re in luck. Tom is working on a remix album, which currently has a tentative title of Black Country Discotheque, and will include collaborations with artists such as MNEK and Bronze Avery.
He’s also planning to write his upcoming sophomore album, which could be released as early as 2021.
You can read our full interview with Tom Aspaul about Black Country Disco here.