First Out: New Music From King Princess, Shaed, Rostam and More

King Princess

King Princess

Time to pep up your Friday with some brand new songs from your favorite queer artists! Billboard Pride is here to help with First Out, our weekly roundup of some of the best new music releases from LGBTQ artists.

From King Princess's pulsing new club song, to Shaed's slice of pop perfection, check out some of our favorite releases from this week below.

King Princess, "Only Time Makes It Human"

King Princess may be best known for her moody, moving pop ballads, but on her newest single, the star is taking it directly to the club. "Only Time Makes It Human," produced by KP herself and Mike Malchicoff, sees KP embracing dance-pop as she struggles with getting over her ex over one of her catchiest hooks to date.

In the video for the track, King Princess adds yet another layer to the song, using a crying 3D avatar of herself (created by artist Pastelae) as a stand in, while video clips of her singing the song play in the background. It's trippy, it's fun, and it's far from anything you would have expected from her.

Shaed, "No Other Way"

After breaking through to the mainstream with their hit single "Trampoline," Shaed is officially back and ready to blow fans away again. On "No Other Way," the group keeps their alt-pop sound intact (while adding in a slight disco twist for good measure) as they send the message to their fans that even in the dark times we're all experiencing, "We could die a million ways, but we’re alive another day."

In a statement released with the track, the band said that they wanted to make a song that gave their fans some much-needed hope. "These past 6 months have been a struggle for us all, filled with anxiety, disappointment, and uncertainty. We wrote this song as a reminder to live in the moment, which is the only thing we can control.” The song is the first taste of the group's debut album, which will arrive on April 16, 2021.

Rostam, "Unfold You"

On his woozy new single, indie pop hero Rostam is ready for whatever comes next when he sings, "Might be taking a risk, but I’m okay with it." That's the message at the center of "Unfold You," the singer/songwriter/producer's dizzying, jazzy new song, where he accepts the things he cannot change and embraces the unpredictability of life with wide open arms.

"In the summer of 2016, I was sitting on a park bench on Commercial street in Provincetown, Massachusetts. I found myself in conversation with a stranger who left me with a piece of advice that has stuck with me," Rostam said in a statement about the song. "'Change is good,' he said. 'Go with it.'"

Dorian Electra, My Agenda

If there's any artist who's going to give you a full "agenda" with each new project, it's Dorian Electra. The avant-pop artist's new album, properly titled My Agenda, sees Electra doubling down on the topics that fueled their 2019 debut Flamboyant, but this time through a much darker lens.

Whether they're taking on toxic masculinity ("M'Lady"), queer identity ("My Agenda") or much more, Electra is doing it through layers of grinding beats, shattering synths and expert songwriting that will leave listeners baffled and utterly pleased. Plus, Electra teamed up with talent like the Village People, Rebecca Black, Pussy Riot and many more to join in their campaign for a new agenda.

Cavetown, "Sharpener"

For bedroom pop singer-songwriter Cavetown (a.k.a. Robbie Skinner), life is all about learning how to live with pain. On his new single "Sharpener," Cavetown explores "unhealthy coping mechanisms, the shame surrounding them, and how sometimes the need for them never truly goes away," all over a soothing, steady stream of lo-fi guitars and Skinner's stunning voice. "Why am I ashamed to look the way I do/ All ‘cause an escape to me was just a sharpener to you?" he pines on the song's chorus.

Tayla Parx, "Residue"

Ever felt like you're being haunted by the ghost of your last relationship? Tayla Parx knows the feeling, as she explains on her acoustic, eclectic new track "Residue." Throughout the song, Parx tries to escape the thought of someone but keeps finding that "no matter what I do, you leave your residue," before busting into an exceptional dance breakdown.

“It’s about one of those moments when you try to get somebody off your brain or heart,” Parx said in a statement about the track. “You’re confessing, 'I'm trying to get rid of you,' which is another one of my unhealthy coping mechanisms. In certain cases, you’re being avoidant and acting like it was never there versus finding solutions to the problem head-on.”

Peppermint, A Girl Like Me: Letters to My Lovers

RuPaul's Drag Race alum Peppermint is ready to show you exactly what she's made of. A Girl Like Me: Letters to My Lovers, the star's brand new album, shows Peppermint flexing each of her creative muscles to create a beautiful picture of past relationships. Whether she's serving full pop fantasy ("A Girl Like Me"), sultry R&B realness (album standout "Best Sex"), or even covering Carole King ("Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?"), Peppermint continues to prove that she is a musical force to be reckoned with.

Brittany Campbell, "Champion (feat. Phil.)"

For National Coming Out Day, Brittany Campbell wanted to make sure that she expressed some queer love. On "Champion (featuring Phil.)," she did just that — the disarming R&B single sees Campbell expressing exactly how she feels, being with a woman, holding nothing back as she croons "Believe me, I just wanna be your champion, girl."

"I’ve written a few songs about making love but none that were inspired by making love to a woman," Campbell said of the song in a statement. "The song and video is my attempt at capturing some of the feelings it inspires in me....the euphoria and joy in making love.”

Mamalarky, "You Make Me Smile"

On "You Make Me Smile," Mamalarky is here to ask their fans to put on a happy face with them. Accompanied by their signature grooving guitars, the band paints a picture of a touching crush, where you just can't stop grinning when you're near the object of your affection.

"It's really obvious that you have big feelings for someone when you can't stop smiling around them and looking at them and getting all flustered no matter what they're doing," the band said in a statement. "Those simple interactions become so magnified and impactful, which is kind of what the chorus is trying to get across."

NEO 10Y, "Unrelatable Autosexual"

When it comes to an anthem of self-love, NEO 10Y decided to take a much more literal route. On their latest single "Unrelatable Autosexual," the London-based artist examines what it actually means to love yourself over layers of trap beats and trembling electric guitars, for what they call a "moody and tongue in cheek grunge-trap ethereal self love uber-amplified vibe conversation with the universe, because I do feel we need some of that energy right now."

Malia Civetz, The Flip

Whatever your pre-conceived notions of rising pop/R&B singer Malia Civetz may be, she's ready to subvert them. On her new EP The Flip, Civetz focuses on taking concepts that fans think they understand and then flipping them on their head. On a song like "Broke Boy," Civetz doesn't deride men without money, instead singing about how's she's actively looking for someone she can pay for.

"When I make music, I think of a concept, and from my own perspective, it’s generally a flip of whatever that concept is," she said of the new EP in a statement. "It kind of came together as we were writing the songs, and I was driving one day, and I was thinking of how all of the songs could interweave, and that title just popped into my head.”

Serena Isioma, "King"

When it comes to alternative rock, Serena Isioma is ready to be crowned the "King." In the new video for her single, Isioma enlists a cast of black femme folks to throw a house party of drunken debauchery, as she rocks out to her lo-fi alternative jam.

Speaking about the video, Isioma said in a statement that she wanted to see more representation in the genre, so she went ahead and got the ball rolling. "I’m sick of seeing white cisgender people dominate the alternative world simply because there is nothing alternative about that,” she said. “I’m so happy that I was able to showcase black femmes as the stars of the ‘King’ music video. Black femmes deserve the world."

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