Two modern gay artists have teamed up to cover a gay classic. Jake Shears, the charismatic frontman of the still-hibernating act, the Scissor Sisters, joins TR/ST for a cover of the Pet Shop Boys’ 1990 song, “Being Boring.”
It’s a much more faithful adaptation than you might expect from the weirdo synth project TR/ST. Robert Alfons performs the verses with his distinctive nasally vocals, yet he delivers lines like “I came across a cache of old photos” with the same melodic patter you might recall from his more accessible songs like “Gone.” Jake Shears arrives on the chorus, and they’ve pitched his vocals so high I don’t really recognize him.
Still, it’s a remarkable and chilling moment to hear these two singers perform a song so crucial to the gay canon.
“Being Boring” is of course a classic entry from the Pet Shop Boys catalog—in fact, The Guardian ranked it the best Pet Shop Boys song. Neil Tennant composed the song’s lyrics about a friend who died of AIDS, and the song reflects halcyon days of youth and the loss of innocence. It is one of the most important songs ever composed about the AIDS crisis.
This is not the first time TR/ST has referenced Pet Shop Boys. His 2019 song “Grouch” has a bubbling house groove that he said was inspired by the Pet Shop Boys.
TR/ST releases self-titled EP
TR/ST’s version of “Being Boring” appears on a new self-titled EP out today on Dais Records. The EP also includes last year’s “Robrash” and the official release of fan-favorite track “Slug,” There are also two new songs, including a track called “Run” features Canadian hyperpop star Cecile Believe.
This five-song EP signals a new era for TR/ST. In addition to joining Dais, he’s no longer working with longtime collaborator Maya Postepski, who returned to the project in 2019 to coproduce several songs. On the TR/ST EP, Robert works with a bevy of collaborators:
- Robrash – coproduced by Nightfeelings
- Run – coproduced by Cecile Believe
- Evercall – coproduced by Joel Ford
- Being Boring – coproduced by Nightfeelings
- Slug – produced by Robert Alfons
You can even find the official lyrics for each song on Bandcamp, which is another first for TR/ST. He’s generally reluctant to reveal his lyrics, which are often amorphous and nonsensical.
TR/ST also confirms that a new album is on the way. He’s in the studio now working on the follow-up to 2019’s two-part series, The Destroyer Part One and Part Two. Robert says it will sound “bigger, better, beautiful, and buried in mud.”