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Scissor Sisters Frontman Jake Shears is Building a 'Honky-Tonk Fantasia'

Jake Shears
Photography: Ivan Bideac

After a long absence, the singer is hitting the new year running with a Broadway role, a memoir, and his first solo album.

No one loves a falsetto more than Jake Shears. It was always the greatest and most reliable instrument in his group Scissor Sisters' musical arsenal. Now, after a too-long absence, it's back, and as fruity and fruitful as ever. It's been almost six years since Scissor Sisters released their fourth album, Magic Hour, a curate's egg of genre-hopping that showcased both the band's versatility and its consistency. Scissor Sisters always had range, but the foursome also had form. Collaborators and producers would come and go, but they were always undeniably Scissor Sisters.

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Now, though, lead singer Jake Shears has gone solo, and the results are glorious. His upcoming album's lead single, "Creep City," is a sky-high slice of infectious glam rock with shades of Queen, and some flirty, dirty sax thrown in for good measure. A sneak preview of the rest of the as-yet-untitled record, out next summer, does not disappoint.

Shears is on fire, delivering the kind of ebullient wall of sound we need in 2018, and sounding defiantly upbeat even when he mines heartache, as with "Everything I'll Ever Need," which starts as a ballad ("Not sure just who I am without you anymore") before shifting gears into a jaunty saloon bar anthem. And the sweaty dance track "Clothes Off" is very definitely a demand, not a suggestion. "The music is the most personal stuff I've written, but still remains a total hoot," says Shears. "The whole thing was recorded with live people playing real instruments. It's my honky-tonk fantasia."

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Glasses by Jaques Marie Mage

Fans will also get the chance to see Shears on Broadway, starting January 8, as he steps into the bedazzled boots of Charlie Prince in the long-running musical Kinky Boots. "Believe it or not, they're going to be the first stilettos I'll ever have worn," the musician recently told Playbill. "My feet are so big, I've never seen a pair that would actually fit me." And the singer has also just finished a memoir, Boys Keep Swinging, detailing his rise from working strip clubs as a go-go boy to the Scissor Sisters' annus mirabilis when the band's namesake debut became the best-selling album of 2004 in the U.K. "It's mostly about me growing up, a lot of my teenage life, and then my early days in New York," he says. "I think it's pretty funny, and a little painful. There are a lot of fun cameos by New Yorkers, and plenty of juicy stuff." We can't wait.

Photography: Ivan Bideac

Styling: Taylor Brechtel

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