Autumn has officially arrived! If you’re looking to celebrate the season with some new music, Billboard Pride is here to help with First Out, our weekly roundup of some of the best new music releases from LGBTQ artists.
Elton John & Charlie Puth, “After All”
For anyone looking to get romantic with their new music picks, Elton John’s latest collaboration with Charlie Puth is the perfect choice. “After All,” a shimmering love ballad, sees the pair putting their collective expertise to good use, making good use of an electric keyboard and some gorgeous strings. Add onto that their beautiful songwriting, and you get a love song that belongs in a new rom-com ASAP. “Nothing compares to you, oh no baby/ They were just doing it wrong,” the duo sings. “I gave up on love until you made me believe in it after all.”
Daya, “What If I Told You”
“What did I do to break this?” Daya asks at the outset of her new song. “What did I say? Erase it.” The dizzying layers of vocoder and simple piano melody bring this question into full view on “What If I Told You,” the singer’s latest entry into the songbook of heartbreak. The song refuses to transform into anything other than a plaintive plea for forgiveness, as Daya offers her lover whatever they want — she’ll take back what she said, she’ll change her attitude, she’ll do anything — if they’ll just take another chance with her. Dripping with melodramatic synths, and eventually bringing in a subtle drumbeat to keep the tension ratcheting up, “What If I Told You” easily becomes one of Daya’s best songs about living in the wake of a wrecked relationship.
Wrabel, These Words Are All For You
Writing from an emotionally intelligent, highly personal perspective has always been Wrabel’s bread and butter. But with his official debut album These Words Are All For You, the singer-songwriter takes that notion to a new level, penning songs about practically every aspect of his inner life, from finding true love (“Good”), to the pain of heartbreak (“London”), to letting go of the mistakes and losses in his past (“Wish You Well”). Naturally, being the songwriter to the stars that he is, Wrabel does it all with the kind of authorship that just makes you want to dive even deeper into his complex, beautifully rendered story.
“This record is a collection of pages torn from my diary — stories and truths, like an autobiography of sorts of the past 8-10 years of my life,” Wrabel says of the new album in a statement. “My biggest dream and my biggest hope for this record is that it would reach people and make them feel less alone. If they’re in love, that it would help celebrate that love; If they lost love, that it would be a shoulder to cry on. Whoever you are and wherever you are, I hope you know that these words are all for you.”
Alaska Thunderfuck, “Red”
Alongside being one of RuPaul’s Drag Race‘s biggest stars, Alaska Thunderfuck knows how to put together a banger. Nowhere is that more clear than on “Red,” the drag star’s stunning new single. The song, which comes off of the star’s upcoming album Red 4 Filth, is a thumping electro-pop banger through and through, with Alaska offering some stellar vocals (as well as her signature talk-singing in the song’s second verse) to bring home this early-2000s-style bop.
“Red is the color of blood, and the heart, and the color of love,” Alaska says of the single in a statement. “This song and this album are dedicated to the time when I first fell in love with music — around the turning of the century. We’re drawing upon the sounds and textures of the 90s and early 2000s, with pop songs that are about love and friendship. I love the music and I can’t wait to share it with you all.”
Jordy, “If He’s In Your Bed”
After offering up singles about making relationships work, wanting to make relationships work, and understanding that sometimes, you can’t make a relationship work, up-and-coming singer-songwriter Jordy is ready to take on some of the more toxic aspects of dating.
“If He’s In Your Bed,” the newest single from the rising star, sees Jordy contemplating why he’s even courting his latest flame, opining aloud that this guy is “not as good as my ex,” and is someone who “I wouldn’t ever introduce to my mom.” Practically sung by the proverbial angel on his should, Jordy manages to talk himself down from a pernicious hookup to the sound of some fuzzy guitars and bursting drumbeats, reminding himself that “you’ll be just as lonely later if he’s in your bed.”
Gia Woods, “Next Girlfriend”
Gia Woods is tired of waiting around for this girl to make up her mind. On “Next Girlfriend,” the star’s latest single off of her upcoming EP Heartbreak County, Woods embraces the attitude of Ariana Grande’s “Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored,” and the stylings of artists like Dua Lipa and Halsey, letting her prospective exploit know that she’s ready to make it happen now. With alluring lyrics and next-level production, “Next Girlfriend” makes you wonder what took the song’s subject so long to come around.
“As a gay girl, I didn’t explore my sexuality as freely as most of my friends,” Woods says of the song in a statement. “Navigating coming out of the closet, feeling like an outsider, and not knowing how to tell if other girls were gay, all affected how I experienced growing up in LA. ‘Next Girlfriend’ continues to explore the themes of Heartbreak County.”