Welcome to February! Time to ring in a new month with some tracks by 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 Daya’s sensual new single to Julien Baker’s stunning lead-in to her new album, check out just a few of our favorite releases from this week below.
Daya, “Bad Girl”
Daya has never been one for playing by the rules, and her new song sees her taking yet another rebellious stance. On “Bad Girl,” Daya takes back the narrative of women finding themselves falling for the “bad boy.” Instead, she goes on the prowl for the song’s titular heroine, looking for a woman who can give her what she needs, considering “the bad boys just don’t cut it,” as she sensually sings.
“To me, the lyric of ‘bad girl’ can be used in an almost ironic way to play out the ‘problem child’ or archetypal rebel, flipping the script so that a ‘bad girl’ can be anyone who is confident and asserts themselves boldly in the world and doesn’t necessarily have to adhere to the stereotypical bad girl ‘look,’” Daya said of the song in a statement. “But rather can appear anywhere on the binary from leather jackets & boots to red lips and dresses and pearls, in the case of the song’s music video.”
Julien Baker, “Favor”
In the first verse of her new song “Favor,” Julien Baker makes an honest confession. “I used to think about myself like I was a talented liar,” she sings. “Turns out that all my friends were trying to do me a favor.” In the case of her new song, that is quite literally the case – the lo-fi track off of Baker’s upcoming album Little Oblivions features two of her very close friends and Boygenius bandmates, Lucy Daucus and Phoebe Bridgers. The chill-yet-disorienting new song takes the relaxed feel of Boygenius’ work and reinterprets it for a song in which Baker ponders some of her deepest insecurities — in short, it’s one of Baker’s best tracks to date.
Victoria Monét, “F.U.C.K.”
In a global pandemic, everyone has been stuck ruminating on the nature of modern love. Victoria Monét is sharing her take with “F.U.C.K.,” a stunning R&B slow-jam in which Monét takes a look at relationships today. Her voices glides over the stirring orchestration as she pines for a “friend you can keep” (get it?) who’s here for a good time, not necessarily a long time.
“F.U.C.K.’ is a nod to the Millennial and Gen Z mindset,” she said of the song in a statement. “We do not have to be confined to traditional commitment ideals, and instead, embody the freedom to be intimate when and with whom we mutually, please! I wanted to give that non-binding friendship intimacy an official name…the way we see it, if you’re never in a relationship, you technically can never break up.”
Marina, “Man’s World (Empress Of Remix)[ft. Pabllo Vittar]”
After collaborating with Muna on the last remix of her stunning single, Marina is keeping the ball rolling with a brand-new queer femme remix of her single “Man’s World.” Repurposed by electropop singer-songwriter Empress Of, and featuring new vocals from Brazilian drag phenom Pabllo Vittar, Marina’s new “Man’s World” remix sounds like it belongs in queer clubs of the ’90s with it’s muffled house beats and morphing synths. Vittar’s voice brings a perfect balance to the song’s chorus, while Marina’s remaining vocal is only further accentuated throughout the verses. Who would’ve thought that dismantling the patriarchy could sound this fun?
Trixie Mattel, “Blister In the Sun (Violent Femmes cover)”
Trixie Mattel has made a music career out of unexpected moves — she put two successful folk albums, before transitioning into a beach-rock sound for her third, all while dressed in full dazzling drag. So it’s no surprise that she’s surprising fans yet again with a cover of Violent Femmes’ cult classic track “Blister in the Sun.” Fully embracing the fuzzed-out indie sound of the original, while still keeping her own vocals and style intact, Mattel walks a delicate line perfectly, creating a cover that you simply have to listen to immediately.
Rezz, “Sacrificial (ft. PVRIS)”
Canadian DJ extraordinaire Rezz has already proven that dance music can fit perfectly with rock. But why not prove it again with Lynn Gunn of PVRIS? On “Sacrificial,” Gunn waxes poetic on the nature of love, and the willingness to risk everything in its pursuit — a sentiment only further bolstered by Rezz’s insane production, mixing in dubstep-esque drops with a grinding bass that will put you in a trance you won’t be keen on getting out of. “When PVRIS sent over the vocal I immediately had an idea for the song,” Rezz said of the track in a statement. “I love her music, so I’m really glad we were able to make it happen.”
Rostam, “These Kids We Knew”
With the crisis of global warming simply continuing to get worse, Rostam has been thinking about the future. On “These Kids We Knew,” the singer offers a simple allegory of a future in which those who did nothing to curb the effects of global warming finally get their comeuppance at the hands of those whose futures they’ve made worse. Add in some simple drums, an acoustic guitar, and his stunning vocals, and you’ve got an excellent new single.
“I was thinking of three generations while I was writing this song,” Rostam said in a statement. “There’s a generation of adults who don’t see global warming as their problem because they think they won’t be impacted by it. Then there’s a generation younger than mine, who will certainly have to deal with what is happening. In the song I have a fantasy of the younger generation arresting the adults and putting them on trial in the streets of cities around the world.”