Deeply rooted with influences from Childish Gambino, Amy Winehouse, and John Grant, Paul Usher’s debut single ‘Jesus is a Preston Boy’ is an uplifting, heartfelt number that puts faith into question in a tongue-in-cheek yet poetical manner.
The track tells the story of Usher’s first encounter with love within the Northern landscape and how his first love could be shone in a religious light. “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.”
Jesus Is a Preston Boy, a song by Paul Usher on Spotify
‘Jesus is a Preston Boy’ is a dazzling and slick piece of R&B-tinged pop that showcases a talented songwriter packed with potential. Cheeky one-liners (such as “get on your knees and worship him / That ain’t different from what I’ve been doing”) blend seamlessly together with catchy pop hooks and a raw honesty to create a well-imagined debut that will leave you wanting more.
Paul Usher describes himself as “working-class, gay, and from Manchester,” and the Northern references stem far beyond the song title and Usher’s upbringing. The track also features nods to Manchester’s staple gay venue The Thompson’s Arms and even, more impressively, manages to namecheck the M61 Northbound (not enough songs reference motorways these days).
Speaking about the track to Attitude, Usher said: “The mainstream doesn’t have to be a monopoly for the status quo. I want to be honest, funny and romantic without censoring myself.”
Love and queer lives deserve to be celebrated and portrayed in a positive light as much as any other.
A self-directed music video for the track, featuring some of Northern England’s hot spots, was recently released. Those who have visited Manchester will be able to notice the city’s gay village making a cameo in the majority of the shots, as will fans of Crewe train station. Ooh!