As you continue to work on those New Year’s resolutions, why not soundtrack them with some fabulous new tunes 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 Sam Smith’s sexed-up new single to Vagabon’s infectious new track, check out just a few of our favorite releases from this week below:
Sam Smith feat. Koffee & Jessie Reyez, “Gimme”
Innuendo is cool and all, but Sam Smith is ready to be a bit more overt with their latest track. “Gimme,” the latest offering from the singer’s forthcoming album Gloria, is a sensual, tropical slow-burn that will make you want to move your hips from the moment you press play. The wordplay on display in the new track marks new territory for the “Unholy” star, as they croon about voyeurism, taking things slow, and playfully requesting that “I need you to come … closer.” They’re joined by Jessie Reyez, offering an instantly hypnotic hook, and Koffee, whose verse gives us a new flavor with the same saucy message.
Growing up means taking accountability, and Vagabon is doing exactly that on her delectable new track. “Carpenter,” singer Laetitia Tamko’s first new music in three years, sees her at her most grown, taking accountability for the mistakes of her youth and giving herself permission to move on. The production, meanwhile, refuses to be pinned down, as Tamko and Rostam Batmanglij craft a pitch-perfect vibe through a truly delicious, bass-driven melody that, mixed with a scattered drum beat, makes for one of the most infectious tracks of Vagabon’s career.
May-A, “Sweat You Out My System“
May-A’s ready for a new chapter, and “Sweat You Out My System” is the perfect palette cleanser for her. The new, pop/rock-meets-semi-rap track brilliantly recontextualizes the indie-pop stylings fans have grown accustomed to from the Australian phenom. Where old songs tended to step back, May-A now leans all the way in with punchy guitars and blown-out drums. Her lyricism remains top-shelf, as she lets her ex know that she’s done, singing, “Now I’m itching in my skin because I can’t forget the feeling/ And I’m living in the sin of what I cannot ignore, before.”
Dreamer Isioma, “F–k Tha World”
Rebuking the cosmic reality of our existence has never sounded quite so fun. Dreamer Isioma’s undulating new track “F–k That World” may participate in the nihilism that its title suggests lyrically (“It’s all gonna blow up anyway,” they aptly point out), but it lets you enjoy the ride towards oblivion all the same, courtesy of some very groovy production on their part. If you’re not in the mood to be told how everything’s going to turn out fine, but you still want to enjoy your weekend, then “F–k That World” is required listening.
Xiu Xiu, “Maybae Baeby”
The word “haunting” sometimes gets thrown around to describe certain styles of song — so Xiu Xiu wants to make sure that you know what “haunting” actually sounds like. “Maybae Baeby,” the new single from the experimental indie act, is a fascinating study in the macabre — designed to unsettle rather than be “understood,” this disquieting song never lets go of your throat. As you listen to the trembling, cacophonous bass that permeates the track and the jumbled voices trying to communicate with you, don’t be surprised if you start to feel that spine-tingling dread that comes with any good horror movie. That’s the point.
Mya Byrne, “It Don’t Fade”
In need of a pick-me-up? Mya Byrne is here to help — “It Don’t Fade,” Byrne’s new track, is a ray of light at a time where things can often feel a bit dark. The flaring guitar licks and simple drum pattern give this song a steadiness and ease that feels almost as soothing as the gorgeous alto tones of Byrne’s voice, as she asks that you look for the silver linings where you can. In short, “It Don’t Fade” is exactly the “just keep going” anthem we could all use right now.
Check out all of our picks on Billboard’s Queer Jams of the Week playlist below: