Northern, working-class and gay. Paul Usher’s courageous and intelligent self-penned debut ‘JESUS IS A PRESTON BOY’ is a startlingly original contemporary R’n’B pop song which is lacerated by an Amy Winehouse-esqe wit, honesty and charm. RELEASED NOVEMBER 9TH on all streaming platforms.
Produced and performed like a British Frank Ocean, the title of his debut alone arrests and intrigues the listener. Achingly romantic yet strikingly defiant, the song tells the tale of Paul meeting his first love amongst his beloved Northern landscape. ‘An awe-inspiring experience mixed with profound contentment, happiness and understanding’ is what Paul supposes meeting Jesus would be like and yet, he says, ‘I found all those qualities in a Preston Boy’.
Same-sex pronouns, Pop hooks, Gospel backing vocals and rap coalesce with synths, 808s and razor-sharp one-liners. ‘Who knew love would be found / Off the M61 Northbound?’ is one such Alex Turner-esqe lyric; ‘Get on your knees and worship him / That ain’t different from what I’ve been doing’ another, which marries the tongue-in-cheek with sincerity in a way only the best pop-stars do.
A self-taught pianist from the age of 12, who has self-directed the accompanying music video, Paul Usher is an irrepressible artist. He describes his ‘Green-eyed soul’ music as ‘Like blue-eyed soul but with more lust and jealousy’ and is inspired as much by Childish Gambino as he is Oscar Wilde.
Finding salvation and redemption in love is a notion that will resonate with many. However, the brilliantly inspired simile of Jesus as a Preston boy is indicative of a songwriter who is destined to excite and compel audiences for years to come.