If you find yourself yearning for the early-2010s sound of acts like Icona Pop or Charli XCX, take a look at English singer Girli’s “Deal With It.” Complete with a catchy hook, some fuzzy guitar riffs and a message of self-assurance that can’t be ignored, the star’s opener to her masterful Odd One Out album will have you up and dancing in no time. -- S.D.
Kodie Shane, “2 Many”
There’s something inherently empowering hearing Kodie Shane brag about how many girls she’s able to take to the club when she’s driving a Porsche. Mustering up all of the bravado usually reserved for straight male rappers, the star takes the concept of a flex and reconfigures it through a queer lens on “2 Many,” as she spits bars about not being tied down by any one woman. -- S.D.
Maddie Ross, “Liv Tyler”
Maddie Ross' debut album, Never Have I Ever, nailed the sounds of early-2000s pop-punk bands and the tropes of the classic teen movies they soundtracked. But the LP and its standout single, "Liv Tyler," also captured a particular kind of longing familiar to young queer people — that intense cocktail of desire, loneliness, fluctuating self-esteem and grand visions of adulthood that don't quite line up with the realities of your present. "How could a girl like me/ become the beauty queen? I'm stuck inside this body," Ross laments before ooh-oohing her way to one flawless coda: "My parents were right, MTV ruined my life." Yet in 2019, "Liv Tyler" only made our lives better. -- N.F.
Michael Medrano, “Fluids”