As the party keeps going this Pride Month, keep your playlists up-to-date with some new music from your favorite queer artists. Billboard Pride is proud to present the latest edition of First Out, our weekly roundup of some of the best new music releases from LGBTQ artists.
From Demi Lovato’s rebellious punk single, to Halsey’s return to pop, check out just a few of our favorite releases from this week below:
Demi Lovato, “Skin Of My Teeth”
Welcome to Demi’s pop-punk era. “Skin Of My Teeth,” the lead single off of Lovato’s highly-anticipated new album Holy Fvck, sees the star leaning into their dark side, as they sing practically through gritted teeth about just wanting to be left the hell alone. Raging guitars and laser-focused drums evoke bands like Hole and Bikini Kill, but Lovato’s voice remains perfectly intact, making way for her next era of raucous, raw music that much more exciting to wait for.
Halsey, “So Good”
After a few weeks of lots of drama, including a conspiracy-theory-creating spat between Halsey and their label, “So Good” is finally out. Gone are the alternative, industrial musings from her critically-lauded, Reznor-and-Ross-assisted album If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power, and returning are the alt-pop sensibilities that made songs like “Without Me” and “Eastside” such massive hits for Halsey. With production from pop soothsayer Max Martin, Halsey is making their definitive return to top 40 stardom, and having a blast while doing it.
Cat Burns feat. Sam Smith, “Go”
It’s been two years since Cat Burns unveiled her heartbreak anthem “Go” — but now, the song has been given a second life on TikTok. While posting a series of remixes has certainly helped the song grow bigger over the last few weeks, it’s the latest edition of the song where Burns found someone who can perfectly embody the energy she hoped to create; one Sam Smith. Together, the pair’s voices blend perfectly, painting a heartbreaking portrait of infidelity and love lost, all over the smooth, echoing strains of a plaintive guitar and some poignant vocal harmonies.
King Princess, “Too Bad” & “Cursed”
Why only get one single when you can have two? That’s the energy King Princess brought to the release of “Too Bad” and “Cursed,” off of her forthcoming LP. The two singles bleed perfectly into one another — “Too Bad” sees KP embracing self-sabotage, as blown-out guitars and a ground-shaking beat join her on the chorus to intensify the song’s dour lyrics. “Cursed” picks up in the “hangover” of the previous track, with a lighter, airy production joining the singer’s more tender lyrics. If they’re any indication, then the star’s sophomore album has been well worth the wait.
Saucy Santana feat. Latto, “Booty”
Looking for something to shake your money-maker to this weekend? Saucy Santana has you covered with “Booty,” his twerk-celebrating new single featuring star rapper Latto. With a key interpolation of the iconic horns from the Chi-Lites’ “Are You My Woman (Tell Me So)” (most familiar to modern audiences from their sample in Beyoncé’s pop classic “Crazy in Love”), Santana and Latto shake their way through this burning rap single, asking the listener at home a very simple question: “Who else got a ass like this? Who else throw it back like this?”
The Aces, “Girls Make Me Wanna Die”
If you’re not really trying to twerk, but are more interested in a “It’s summer and I want to twirl and feel something” vibe, then the new track from The Aces is really what you’re looking for. The sparkling, indie-pop jam “Girls Make Me Wanna Die,” despite the title’s suggestion of a darker tone, is pure summer fun. Clocking in at a brief two minutes, the song follows the girls of the group on some dating misadventures, as they extoll the vices and virtues that make them fall even harder for the titular women. “She’s killing me with desire for someone else,” they sing. “Oh, these girls that make me wanna die.”
Allison Ponthier, Shaking Hands With Elvis
Following up her folk-inspired, cinematic debut EP Faking My Own Death from last year, Allison Ponthier is ready to plug in. Shaking Hands With Elvis, the latest from the indie-pop phenom, is a transition of sorts. Half the songs on the 6-track project sound like sonic cousins of her previous work, still embracing themes of loneliness and isolation. But the other half of the songs, including standout single “Autopilot” and the high-camp fantasy “Hollywood Forever Cemetery,” sees the singer getting more experimental and dreamy with her sound — it’s a welcome surprise from an artist with seemingly unlimited potential.
Chloe Moriondo, “Hell Hounds”
Feeling chaotic? So is Chloe Moriondo — with “Hell Hounds,” the spiritual successor to her 2021 song “I Eat Boys,” the singer is leaning into the glitching, haywire confusion of hyperpop to help drive her point home. Filled with staccato synths and pitched-shifted vocals, Moriondo gleefully describes to prospective lovers that she has some fun tricks she’d like to teach them, including leashes, bones, and neck cones. To simplify, she’s ready to take control, singing “You’re tall, but/ In my boots, I’m taller/ And I think you’d look better in a collar.”