As we begin the annual transition from Halloween season to the winter holiday months, why not freshen up your playlists with some new tunes 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.
Lauren Jauregui, Prelude
Despite its name, Prelude is exactly what Lauren Jauregui’s fans have been waiting for since 2016. The singer’s official debut solo project, Prelude shows a side of Jauregui that fans have only ever gotten to see a glimpse of. The seven deeply personal tracks follow the star as she deals with losing someone she loves (“Colors”), confronting herself in the wake of said loss (“Scattered”), and putting herself on the defense as she re-enters the world (“On Guard”). Prelude is a re-introduction to Jauregui as a new artist, ready to make you want to cry, dance and think all at the same time.
“This is truly my child. I’m continuing to change. These songs mean a lot to me and speak to a very real part of myself I’ve been working on,” Jauregui says of the project in a statement. “They feel good. I’ve sat with them. I’m comfortable with them … I found out what I sonically wanted to say. It was a beautiful process to understand I have my own voice as an artist. 2021 Lauren is a whole new bitch.”
Slayyyter feat. Big Freedia, “Stupid Boy”
Sick of men and in need of a good dance track? Then “Stupid Boy” was made for you. On the bouncing new club single, Slayyyter sighs over a glitching beat about how boys tend to be so … well, stupid. As the song picks up steam, it eventually slams into a synthetic house breakdown, giving fans the perfect opportunity to dance their boy troubles away. If you’re still craving for some booty-shaking lyrics, the Queen of Bounce Big Freedia comes in hot with her verse, mixing her usual pump-you-up antics with some truly savage bars. Within the first two verses, “Stupid Boy” will make you forget your guy troubles and have to stomping your way to the dancefloor.
Everybody loves a sensible heel, including Venezuelan DJ Arca. On her latest single “Prada,” the rising star, spitting bars in her native Spanish once again, extolls the virtues of going out in your best Prada heels, if only to go home with someone who can appreciate them — and of course, you. Arca’s production remains as sharp as ever, with a set of blaring synths permeating the background, as the song ramps up, adding in a series of increasingly infectious dembow beats invade the hypnotic track, taking the song into the stratosphere. Much like the titular heels, “Prada” will get you feeling fabulous by the time it comes to a close.
Serena Isioma, “Crying in the Club”
“I don’t wanna die by myself, aye.” From the moment Serena Isioma utters these opening words on their new track “Crying in the Club,” you instantly know what you’re in for. Set up like an existential crisis occurring in the middle of a dancefloor, “Crying in the Club” is Isioma at their finest, mixing emotionally-affecting songwriting with top-tier production quality, as the star finds themself spiraling at the worst possible moment. Taking the phrase “crying on the dancefloor” to it’s most literal conclusion, Isioma’s stunning new single is one you ought not miss.
Jordy, Mind Games
For those that have found themselves caught in a series of bad dating patterns, singer-songwriter Jordy can sympathize. The rising star’s debut album, Mind Games, acts as a personal diary for the singer, detailing the highs, lows, successes and failures of dating today. One moment, Jordy will be stressing over dropping the L-word in a new relaationship (“Sticks and Stones”), and the next, he’ll be decrying the anxiety of feeling uncomfortable in his own skin around his partner (“Dressed Up In A T-Shirt”). From start to finish, Mind Games serves as a comprehensive guide to the minefield that is simply existing in the modern era — and it deserves your attention.
Snail Mail, Valentine
Three years after becoming the indie name on everyone’s lips, Snail Mail (a.k.a. singer-songwriter Lindsey Jordan) is ready to rewrite her own narrative. Fans of the sonic landscape of her explosive debut Lush will be happy to know that Valentine, the star’s sophomore album, manages to perfectly toe the line between old and new, with a slightly softer side taking over throughout the album. But the songwriting of Valentine sees Snail Mail doing what she does best and commenting on her surroundings; only now, her surroundings are those of an indie-pop superstar in the making. Catchy, honest and constantly switching things up, Valentine couldn’t be further from the dreaded “sophomore slump” — instead, Jordan is quickly on the rise with a triumphant new album.