At long last, Pride Month has arrived! Celebrate the season by getting into these new jams 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 Panic! At the Disco’s bombastic return, to 070 Shake’s moving new LP, check out just a few of our favorite releases from this week below.
Panic! At the Disco, “Viva Las Vengeance”
After three years away, Panic! At the Disco is coming in hot with a brand new song. “Viva Las Vengeance,” the lead single off of the project’s upcoming album of the same name, sees Brendon Urie embracing a high-camp, frenetic energy to let his fans know that he’s close to a breakdown. His signature extravagant voice switches effortlessly throughout the song between confident crooning and frantic belting, as he traces a path through the highs and lows of fame. Accompanied by a freshened-up pop-rock sound, Panic! At the Disco is ready for their new era — the only question that remains is, are you?
070 Shake, You Can’t Kill Me
Consider 070 Shake, the enigmatic, fast-rising R&B star, as an onion — she’s got lots and lots of layers. If she’s the aforementioned bulb, then her sophomore album You Can’t Kill Me is the knife, cutting through her exterior and rapidly unraveling the tiers of personality within. Throughout the meditative, occasionally-harrowing project, Shake reflects on everything from toxic relationships (“Medicine”), to drunken revelations of the self (“Wine & Spirits”). What stays throughout is Shake’s penchant for ethereal, flexible R&B production, honing in on a sound that can only be described as distinctly hers.
Tove Styrke, HARD
At the end of the day, Tove Styrke is just a Swedish girl looking for love, regardless of where she finds it. That’s the ethos of HARD, the singer’s fourth studio album, where Styrke delivers anthem after anthem about everything from sexual liberation (“Free”) to the existential dread of entering your 30s (“Millennial Blues”), Styrke exudes confidence and pure pop bliss on this stunning album.
Lava La Rue feat. Biig Piig, “Hi-Fidelity”
Lava La Rue isn’t trying to be subtle about transitioning their sound — on “Hi-Fidelity,” the West London-based singer-songwriter switches up the lo-fi-meets-rap sound that put her on the map for a more pop-focused new song. Getting an assist from fellow U.K. transplants Biig Piig, La Rue’s voice shimmers over the grooving track, singing “Don’t you hold back now baby/ Hit it louder ’till they complain.”
Vincint feat. Hayley Kiyoko & MNEK, “Taste So Good (The Cann Song)”
Sometimes, even a commercial jingle can just sound great. With Vincint, Hayley Kiyoko, MNEK & surprise guest Kesha all singing on one song in a collaboration with Cann & Weedmaps, “Taste So Good” is a refreshing dose of pop euphoria. Everyone’s vocals are perfectly on point, the production (courtesy of queer songwriting superstar Leland) hits all of the right beats, the star-studded video (featuring appearances from Patricia Arquette, Gus Kenworthy and the cast of Drag Race season 14) is a multicolored fantasy, and it is just so queer. “Taste So Good” does, in fact, live up to its title.
Kim Petras “Running Up That Hill” (Kate Bush cover)
Stranger Things has already given this classic Kate Bush song a massive bump in streams over the last few days — but now, Kim Petras is ready to offer yet another new version of the track. Covering “Running Up That Hill” for a collaboration with Amazon Music, Petras doesn’t change much about the beloved ’80s jam; the synthesizers and ethereal vibe are still there, but now the drums hit harder, and the star’s piercing vocals shine throughout the glimmering rendition. You don’t have to “make a deal with God” to get the feels this weekend — all you have to do is press play.