Happy Renaissance Day, folks. In between listens of Beyoncé’s long-awaited new album, get a palette cleanser from some of 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 King Princess’s gorgeous new LP to Hayley Kiyoko’s stunning second album, check out just a few of our favorite releases from this week below:
King Princess, Hold On, Baby
Ever since her official debut back in 2018, King Princess has been aiming her sights towards becoming the next big pop-rock crossover star. On her latest album, Hold On, Baby, that dream is becoming a reality — the sweeping new project sees KP tackling suppressive emotional streaks (“I Hate Myself, I Wanna Party”), leaning on the people around you for support (“For My Friends”), and quietly suffering in your own unrequited love (“Let Us Die,” featuring drums from the late Taylor Hawkins). Hold On, Baby is a messy, melodramatic, metaphysical explosion of emotion — which is to say, it’s KP’s best project yet.
Hayley Kiyoko, Panorama
Perspective is important; the way you look at the world around you often shapes how you interact with it. On her new album, Hayley Kiyoko has nothing but perspective: Panorama explores the very depths of Kiyoko’s despair (songs like “Underground” will pull at your heartstrings) as well as the peaks of her personal triumphs (early single “Found My Friends” is an ever-present reminder about self-love), but the whole time, Kiyoko will ask that you keep an eye on the world around you. As she puts it herself, “I don’t have to be on the top to see.”
Rina Sawayama, “Hold the Girl”
Trying to parent your inner child is never an easy task, but it’s one that Rina Sawayama is willing to take on. With “Hold the Girl,” the titular new single off of Rina’s forthcoming album, the pop singer takes on her own childhood trauma by delving inward and trying her best to love herself. The equal parts orchestral and technological production provide an enthralling backdrop to the singer’s metaphysical journey, making for a song that will have you calling your therapist ASAP.
Tove Lo, “2 Die 4”
Beyoncé’s not the only one in the middle of a full-blown dance-era right now — Swedish superstar Tove Lo is gearing up for the release of her new Dirt Femme, and if her new song “2 Die 4” is any indication, we are in for an all-time moment. The stunning dance track — which includes a deep-cut lift from Hot Butter’s 1972 banger “Popcorn” — is perfectly suited for a night out clubbing. Her stacked vocals, mixed together with the track’s euphoric production, make for a must-listen.
Jordy, “IDK SH!T”
Someone needs to give Jordy a hug — on their latest single “IDK SH!T,” Jordy falls back down the rabbit hole of toxic dating scenes, being stuck with the wrong person and feeling generally lost in the world of modern romance. This time, though, he embraces the fact that not having all of the answers is just the way things work sometimes. “I’m just fakin’ it till I make it, that’s all I do/ Every single damn day,” he sings on the instantly catchy chorus.
Lava La Rue, Hi-Fidelity
Rising West London star Lava La Rue is ready to serve you pure vibes for the weekend. On their new EP Hi-Fidelity, La Rue flows effortlessly between the effortless flow that first grabbed audiences’ attention on their 2021 Butter-Fly EP, only to switch gears mid-song on each of the five tracks to give them a disco-flavored R&B breakdown. It’s on the titular track, featuring Biig Piig, that places La Rue firmly in their element; creating the kind of atmospheric single that will have you grooving along for the rest of the week.