Ben Platt Says His New Album Is His 'Most Authentic' Yet — and It's Inspired by Fiancé Noah Galvin (Exclusive)

Ben Platt's third album, "Honeymind," is out now

<p>Vince Aung</p> Ben Platt

Vince Aung

Ben Platt
  • Ben Platt released his new album, Honeymind, on Friday

  • The actor and singer recently kicked off a three-week residency at the Palace Theatre in New York City

  • He's also preparing for his upcoming wedding

Like one of his inspirations, Beyoncé, Ben Platt is entering a new era — and showing a new side to himself.

The multi-hyphenate's third studio album, Honeymind, is out on Friday, May 31. And days earlier, he kicked off a three-week residency at the Palace Theatre in New York City, where he brought out country star Kacey Musgraves for the opening night.

Unlike his past work, Honeymind finds Platt, 30, in a love-drunk state of mind, singing Americana folk-inspired ballads. At the start of this interview, Platt is shy and soft-spoken, but if there’s one thing he’s confident about, it’s that this album was meant to share his most authentic self.

Though folk traditionally tells the story of straight experiences in relationships, Platt’s goal was to turn the genre on its head and give it his own “queer bend” while still maintaining the “classic” feeling of the music.

“I think a lot of times queer music can be very — not that I don't love like Troye [Sivan] or Lil Nas X — very aggressive, sexuality forward elements, and I think that is amazing and also very important in life in being represented,” he tells PEOPLE over lunch in an Upper West Side restaurant a month before his residency kicked off. “But I really was excited about getting to do something that is a little softer and more geared toward love and still be queer.”

<p>Vince Aung</p> Ben Platt

Vince Aung

Ben Platt

Platt accomplishes just that in sweet, butter-soft songs like “Andrew,” which tells the story of an unrequited gay crush, and the all-too-relatable tune, “Right Kind of Reckless,” about taking exhilarating but comfortable risks in a relationship. The romance in the lyrics doesn’t just come from Platt’s imagination: many of the songs are inspired by his fiancé, Noah Galvin.

Related: Ben Platt and Noah Galvin's Relationship Timeline

The Dear Evan Hansen star tells PEOPLE that his relationship with Galvin lent itself to his music as he came to realize that his partnership was what he had been looking for since he was a child, yet unexpected in many ways.

Honeymind is a culmination of years of being out and proud, but also finally stepping into his own of who he is — without caring what others may think.

“It’s such a different feeling that I didn't expect.... [and I was] very inspired by just trying to figure out as I get older how to make things that feel authentic to me and fulfilling to me,” he says. “And creating art that is moving forward and trying to filter out outside perception of what people think I should be doing.”

Platt started writing Honeymind in the spring of 2022 after spending time in Nashville, where he says he felt very “removed” from N.Y.C. and Los Angeles. He intended to work continuously on the album but then began rehearsals and performances for Parade, which took him through the rest of the year.

The break gave Platt an opportunity to step away from the album and come back to it, tweaking it to match what felt most authentic to him at the moment — especially as he turned 30 in September 2023.

<p>Vince Aung</p> Ben Platt

Vince Aung

Ben Platt

While many of the songs touch on love, Platt also includes tracks like “Fear of Missing Out,” singing about how he used to worry he would miss moments like parties and work events and disappoint the people around him.

Still, as he’s gotten older, he’s found other priorities. “I’m afraid of holding myself back from who I’m meant to be/I’ve got the fear of missing out on me,” he sings. “It’s so hard to tell the pressure and the desire apart/What comes from them and what’s inside my heart.”

“After turning 30, you have to sort of balance what are sort of the criteria and considerations at the end of the day and how you feel,” he says. “I mean, you don’t want to be a careless, abrasive person in any way, but also, you have to prioritize what feels authentically you and what kind of person you want to be. I think 'FOMO' is about accepting that.”

Beyond coming into his own, Platt delves further into his deepest anxieties, including having children. On “Home of the Terrified,” he sings that while he looks forward to raising kids of his own, he’s scared of the world they’ll grow up in.

The song paints a portrait of how Platt can help his kid with various tasks, from homework to how to ride a bike, but some things — like gun violence — he can’t shield his future child from. The vulnerability and political lean of the song made it the hardest on the album to write, he says.

“It’s talking about something that can easily veer into like preachiness or feeling holier than thou,” Platt says. “I wasn’t trying to get political, but I’ve been thinking a lot about like I'm now going to get married, and we’re going to have children someday, and what will that be like? When I think about that — I'm a very anxious person — one of the many things that makes me question it is just the state of our country and guns at school.”

<p>Vince Aung</p> The cover of Ben Platt's third album, "Honeymind."

Vince Aung

The cover of Ben Platt's third album, "Honeymind."

While kids are hopefully in the future, Platt and Galvin’s current focus is on a big event coming up soon: their wedding. The Grammy-winning artist says that Galvin is in charge of the aesthetics while he helms an arguably more pivotal role: the music.

Platt describes the playlist as “super gay,” followed by “everything else we have to do.” Like the rest of the world, he’s listening to a lot of Beyoncé and Chappell Roan (a wedding essential, he says), but his ultimate goal is just to get people dancing.

Related: Ben Platt and Noah Galvin on Their Double Proposal and Wedding Plans: ‘Just a Dance Party’ (Exclusive)

<p>Jenny Anderson</p> Ben Platt performs opening night of his residency at the Palace Theatre on May 28, 2024

Jenny Anderson

Ben Platt performs opening night of his residency at the Palace Theatre on May 28, 2024

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“For me, the only real judge of how the vibe is how many people are on the dancefloor,” he says. “We’re going to have a band at one point and a DJ at a different point. So that’s my focus. I’m not someone who needs to focus on the place settings like, beyond food, I’m chilling.”

Between a wedding, a residency and a new album, the year has much in store for Platt —  but he’s not anywhere near slowing down.

Three-quarters of the way to an EGOT (he just needs an Oscar!), Platt still has plenty more on his career bucket list: Touring in Europe, writing his own musical and starring in a “more grounded film.”

Just a few years ago, Platt wasn’t this sure of himself. But with Honeymind coming out at this point in his life, he’s ready to claim his place.

"I think this is a story of arrival, not only about this specific moment in my life but how I’m finally starting to sound and feel like myself,” he says of the album. “Obviously, when you’re writing and living what I’ve been, I’m kind of locked in, and I think this is the one that feels the most like an arrival.”

And arrive he has.

Honeymind will be available on streaming platforms on Friday, May 31. Platt will perform his residency at the Palace Theatre for 18 shows from May 28 to June 15.

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