Pride Month has officially come to an end, but the new music from your favorite queer artists is still coming out. Billboard Pride is here to help with First Out, our weekly roundup of some of the best new music releases from LGBTQ artists.
From Isaac Dunbar’s uplifting new single to Brandi Carlile’s latest song, check out just a few of our favorite releases from this week below:
Isaac Dunbar, “Celebrate”
Sure, Pride Month may officially be done, but Isaac Dunbar isn’t satisfied with the party ending. On “Celebrate,” Dunbar distills the exaltation into a song, where the rising singer-songwriter declares that we ought to choose to celebrate each day, even if we don’t feel like we have much to celebrate. He certainly makes it easy to indulge with the track’s infectious ’80s-style synths, mixed with heart-pounding drums and his ethereal vocals, declaring over and over again, “Cеlebrate with me today, tomorrow, and yеsterday/ Celebrate all your pain to me.”
“‘Celebrate’ is about waking up and choosing happiness every single day instead of getting stuck in your own negativity,” he said of the single in a statement. “It’s sometimes easy to stay in a negative space than move to a positive one so with this song I wanted to bring awareness to that and to give people a reason to choose to celebrate each day.”
Janelle Monáe, “Stronger”
Ever wondered what Schoolhouse Rock would sound like if it were updated for the modern era? Janelle Monáe is here to help answer that question with “Stronger,” her new song off of the soundtrack of Netflix’s We the People. Joining stars like Brandi Carlile, Adam Lambert, H.E.R. and many more, Monáe’s contribution to the civic-minded educational program sees the triple threat giving a lesson in protest and civil disobedience, as she lets the listener know over a scintillating beat what marginalized communities are really asking for: “All of my friends want a legacy/ Don’t wanna be left out,” she croons. “Every time you think we get a little weak/ We get a little bit stronger.”
Snow Tha Product, “Que Oso”
If you’ve ever been at a family reunion and just felt like crawling back inside of your own skin, Snow Tha Product knows exactly how you feel. With “Que Oso,” the bilingual rapper’s latest single, Snow examines all the dynamics of her Mexican-American family members, from gossiping uncles to judgemental grandparents, before declaring after each revelation “qué oso” (a Spanish phrase that roughly translates to “How embarassing”). Her stunning flow only further punctuates her point, as she turns a cookout into a straight-up roast that you’re going to want to hear.
Flowerkid, “It’s Happening Again (feat. KUČKA)”
In order to deal with pain, you have to confront it, as Flowerkid so beautifully explores on his latest single, “It’s Happening Again.” A dizzying, heartfelt ode to processing your own grief, “It’s Happening Again” sees the rising trans Australian singer-songwriter calling out for help as he feels himself spiral downward — a sentiment shared in the excellent production. As Flowerkid confronts their trauma, the song begins to arrive at resolution, before ultimately cutting off prematurely, a fact surely intended to leave the listener wanting more of Flowerkid’s incredible sound.
“My process of healing comes in three. ‘It’s Happening Again’ is my first step,” Flowerkid said of the new song in a statement. “I need to confront the very conniving voices that circle throughout my head. They tell me I can’t say what I’m about to say. So I know what I have to do, and that’s to shout on the rooftops of every hardship I’ve ever had to climb.”
Amorphous, Kelly Rowland & CeCe Peniston, “Finally (Cannot Hide It)”
How do you take a gay anthem and make it even better? Put it in the hands of queer artists, and if possible, included Kelly Rowland. That’s exactly what Amorphous did with his reinterpretation of CeCe Peniston’s classic anthem “Finally (Cannot Hide It)” — produced by himself and queer songwriting phenomenon MNEK and featuring Peniston and Rowland, the remix adds a healthy dose of dance to the already dance-worthy single. Now transformed into an absolute banger with some truly spectacular vocals joining on, “Finally” gets the remix courtesy of Amorphous that it always deserved.
John Duff, Homo•Sapien
When it came time to make his new EP Homo•Sapien, rising singer-songwriter John Duff decided that he was going to make something deeply, unapologetically queer, regardless of how anyone else felt about it. The result is a fabulous new project that sees the pop singer delving deep into subjects like queer masculinity (“Be the Man”), religious discrimination (“Is It A Sin”) and much more, over some truly incredible, dancefloor-ready melodies. But it’s on lead single “High Heels,” featuring Broadway legend Lillias White, that Duff shines the brightest, reaching a musical pinnacle equivalent to a confetti cannon exploding as he declares “If I looked the way that I feel, I’d be wearing high heels/ Cause you’ve got me feeling elevated.”