Summer is in full swing, which means there’s no better time to find some new tunes from your favorite queer artists to jam out to. 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 latest pop-punk anthem to Omar Apollo’s silky-smooth new love song, check out just a few of our favorite releases from this week below:
Demi Lovato, “Substance”
After two years spent constantly adapting and changing our lives to live through a pandemic, Demi Lovato knows what we’re dealing with: “I know we’re all fucking exhausted.” So, on their new single “Substance,” Demi lets loose — thrashing through a classic late-2000s pop-punk banger, Lovato takes aim at the collapse of meaningful connection in a world where doing so has been virtual, and therefore virtually impossible. Sick of feeling lost in her feelings, Demi wails the question so many have been asking: “Am I the only one looking for substance?” Add onto that her better-than-ever vocals, and you’ve got a proper anthem on your hands.
Omar Apollo, “Archetype”
After wowing audiences and critics with his stunning LP Ivory earlier this year, Omar Apollo is taking a victory lap with his hazy, gorgeously written new single “Archetype.” Oozing with the sensual presence of Marvin Gaye while pulling from his own slick R&B sound, Apollo woos his lover, letting him know he’s “so pretty that you kill me softly,” and asking him to “kiss my collarbone.” It’s an excellent sound for the rising star, and one that will certainly be added to may a date night playlist in the days to come.
Tegan and Sara, “Yellow”
Tegan and Sara are no longer the 15-year-old twins who decided to start playing music together. They’re older. they’re wiser, and they’re ready to let the scars of their childhood go. “Yellow,” the latest single off of their upcoming new album Crybaby, sees the sisters arriving at an echo of the quirky pop that helped them break through years ago, now tinged with indie-rock sensibilities as they sing about the powerful process of healing your bruises from the past.
Cavetown, “Grocery Store”
Cavetown’s Robbie Skinner has made a habit out of singing about self-sabotage. While their new single “Grocery Store” may not be an exception, it certainly is a reinvigoration of the concept. Fully embracing the lo-fi, indie-pop aesthetic — complete with hazy guitars, simple drum beats and layered vocals — Skinner gets very real very quickly in his lyrics, viscerally describing what happens when a shopping trip turns into a panic attack. It’s a stunning addition to their repertoire, and one you ought to be listening to.
Mykki Blanco feat. Kelsey Lu, “French Lessons”
Let’s all say it together now — Mykki Blanco is back and ready to take on the spotlight. After years of sporadically releasing singles, mixtapes, EPs and the like, Blanco’s latest track “French Lessons” brings with it the announcement of their sophomore album Stay Close to Music. If “French Lessons” is any indication of what we can expect, then fans ought to prepare for a good time. Teaming up with vocalist Kelsey Lu for an ethereal, moving single about love and loss, “French Lessons” is the perfect amuse bouche for an artist we cannot wait to hear more from soon.
G Flip, “Waste of Space”
To honor International Non-Binary People’s Day (July 14), rising Australian star G Flip wanted to release a song they wish they had growing up. That song is “Waste of Space,” a heartbreaking new anthem from the singer in which they describe the feeling of growing up non-binary and feeling completely isolated from the rest of the world. But as the song goes on, as in life, G Flip’s confidence is boosted — proudly declaring that they are not the titular waste of space. It’s a message everyone, especially in the trans and non-binary communities, deserves to hear right now.