Pride Month is just over a month away, so get yourself prepared for the season with some new jams 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.
From Sam Smith’s groovy new single, to Kehlani’s hotly anticipated new album, check out just a few of our favorite releases from this week below.
Sam Smith, “Love Me More”
After taking a break following their 2020 album Love Goes, Sam Smith is officially back with their latest, groove-heavy new song. “Love Me More” sees the star giving themselves a confidence boost, boasting lyrics about how they’re learning to let go of any lingering self-loathing and replace it with self-assurance. Set to a grooving bass line and a slick drum pattern, Smith lets themselves know that they are worthy: “Lately, it’s not hurtin’ like it did before,” they sing. “Maybe I am learning how to love me more.”
Kehlani, Blue Water Road
If she had somehow not already managed to cement her status as an all-time R&B legend, Kehlani certainly does so on her third studio album. Blue Water Road, the moving new album from the 27-year-old superstar, sees the singer embracing a middle ground between the fierce badassery of her 2017 debut LP SexySweetSavage, and the emotional vulnerability displayed on her 2019 mixtape While We Wait, filled with a calm, zen understanding of itself. With some major assists from Justin Bieber, Syd, Blxst and more, Kehlani owns every second of her stunning new work, and making sure that you know to remember her name.
Tegan and Sara, “F–king Up What Matters”
Tegan and Sara are ready for a change. Along with signing to Mom + Pop Music for their upcoming releases, the iconic sister duo are ready to simultaneously look backward and forward on “F–king Up What Matters,” their glitchy, angsty new single, as the two reflect on their punk roots while also channeling some turbo-pop vibes. Singing about what it means to realize that you’ve accomplished everything you set out to do and yet are still scared of it all going away, Tegan and Sara make their return with as much fun as they can muster — and we’re all the better for it.
Muna, “Kind of Girl”
Most people know Muna for their hook-laden, vibe-inducing electro-pop singles — so when the trio dropped a baleful country song earlier this week, fans were certainly shocked. But listening through “Kind of Girl,” you will hear a moving, important piece of rebellious music dedicated to celebrating the changing and fluid nature of life, gender, sexuality and love, all rendered through a medium in which that viewpoint so often goes unrepresented. From the production, to the vocals, to the incredible gender-bent music video, “Kind of Girl” is kind of amazing.
Mxmtoon, “Victim of Nostalgia”
Ever thought to yourself “I wish everything would just slow the f–k down?” Then Mxmtoon has the perfect song for you — “Victim of Nostalgia,” her ’70s pop-inspired new single star, sees the singer-songwriter wondering how, in a set of years that have felt like decades, she can possibly feel like time is slipping through her fingers. Set to an instantly-catchy set of guitars and drums, “Victim of Nostalgia” will have you simultaneously considering the rapid passage of time and dancing your heart around your bedroom.
Zolita, “I F–king Love You”
The completion of her long-running “trilogy” of songs (preceded by “Somebody I F–ked Once” and “Single in September”), “I F–king Love You” is Zolita’s finest yet. Completing the story of love and breakups, “Love You” sees Zolita coming back into contact with her ex-girlfriend, and slowly letting her know that her feelings haven’t faded. Pair that with a synth-heavy hook and a stacked-harmony chorus, and you’ve got an instantly memorable pop song on your hands.