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We are diving into the past with MIKA’s new music video “Sanremo” off the queer artist’s new, full-length album My Name is Michael Holbrook.

The pop artist is serving old Hollywood realness, and this black-and-white video feels more like a film short—the journey of a gay man from an undefined past era, the fantasies of a queer person hidden. It’s the story of a straight, married man, who is anything but that in his heart.

“Sanremo” shows us isolating memories and portrays how desire and shame coexist when living with the secret of same-gender attraction. “I can no longer hide it,” says a whispered voice through a telephone. This is a sentiment that most of us who identify as LGBTQ have felt at some point in our coming out journey.

Moments flash before our eyes: beautiful men with sculpted bodies, men grouped together in spaces that are close in proximity and far from public scrutiny. We keep coming back to our star, though, surveying the weight of the ring on his left finger as he pines over the fantasies of sharing space with those men.

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“This album has been a rich and intense journey inspired by life in all its glory and all its dark challenges,” MIKA said in a press release. “It’s also inspired by love, starting with an idea that was born in a cemetery in Savannah, Georgia and ending [with] the writing in a 650-year-old farm house in Italy. My intention was to write about life as it happened.”

Through a baroque “Sanremo” and other videos from MIKA’s catalog, his hope is to provide audiences with stories that transport and remind us to live with whimsy.

“Writing and recording this album was a form of medicine for me and my family. It is so deeply personal but also universal. I have come to realize that the only thing that matters in life are the people we love and the stories we tell,” MIKA said.

This tune combines a playfulness that is reminiscent of our favorite dance songs from the 80s while providing a depth and melancholy intensity of a lonesome and longing party of one.

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