In need of some new bops from queer artists to listen to while stuck in quarantine? Billboard Pride is here to help with First Out, our weekly roundup of some of the best new weekly music releases from LGBTQ artists.
The term “kiss and make up” has never been quite as clear as it is on Kehlani’s sexy new single “F&MU,” where the star makes clear that whatever fight she’s in with her lover has an easy solution: “We f–k and make up like it’s Maybelline.” What makes the track, off of her upcoming sophomore album It Was Good Untill It Wasn’t (due out May 8), even better is its “quarantine style” video, which sees the star and her quarreling lover stuck in an apartment together, finally making up exactly the way she wants to.
Todrick Hall, Quarantine Queen
While some artists are releasing new music that lightly refers to the situation we’re all currently living in, Todrick Hall isn’t interested in subtlety. So, he released a full 6-song EP titled Quarantine Queen, filled to the brim with songs about the struggle to pay “Rent,” staying fit (“Werk Out”), and everyone’s favorite new social media app (“Tiktok”). He even created an official remix to his viral track “Nails, Hair, Hips, Heels,” called “Mask, Gloves, Soap, Scrubs,” encouraging fans to stay indoors and turn the party from inside.
Max & Hayley Kiyoko, “Missed Calls”
On this soulful new bop, Max teams up with Lesbian Jesus herself, Hayley Kiyoko, to tackle the feeling of emptiness that comes right after a breakup. The duo pine after their respective lovers, saying that maybe breaking up was the wrong thing to do. “I used to have so many missed calls/ Now I just sit around and miss your calls,” the pair sing. “I had the chance when I was with you/ Now I’m hoping that you’ll pick up.”
Chaz Cardigan, “S.O.S”
If you’re feeling like your self-destructive tendencies are beginning to take over during quarantine, you’re not alone — pop singer Chaz Cardigan’s new single “S.O.S” sees the star struggling with his own inner saboteur, as he attempts to move on from a difficult breakup. “”I wanna get over it/ And not pull the same old shit/ But I’ve got a way of getting in my way,” he sings.
Bright Light Bright Light & Jake Shears, “Sensation”
While sadness and frustration are valid emotions to be dealing with right now, Rod Thomas, a.k.a. Bright Light Bright Light, wants you to look for that light at the end of the tunnel. He accomplishes just that with “Sensation,” an infectious new dance single featuring the Scissor Sisters’ Jake Shears, which sees the two trading lyrics back and forth about the feeling of finding aa relationship, or a community, where everything instantly clicks.
Softee, “Princess & Pauper”
“This is a story of girl meets girl,” the robotic narrator of Softee’s new single “Princess & Pauper” states. The atmospheric new song sees the rising dance producer taking on gendered stereotypes as she declares to her lover’s boyfriend that, at the end of the day, she’s the one in control. “I’m the princess, you’re the pauper/ Heard your b–ch wants me to top her/ If I were you, I wouldn’t stop her,” she raps.
Experimental electronic producer Arca is done with being defined by any notion of category — on her new single “Nonbinary,” the star starts off with a simple statement, claiming “I do what I wanna do, when I wanna do it.” The song’s simple beat structure with distorted synths only last for so long, before the track gives way to erratic gunfire beats, as the star declares her independence: “Speak for your self-states.”
Jodie Harsh, “Filthy Rich”
Money isn’t everything, and that’s something that drag DJ extraordinaire Jodie Harsh wants you to remember. Teaming up with Hayley May for her new song “Filthy Rich,” Harsh makes it abundantly clear through her crisp clean production and poignant lyrics that, at the end of the day, you are the only one who can be responsible for your own happiness.