Looking for some new tunes from queer artists? Look no further; Billboard Pride is here to help with First Out, our weekly roundup of some of the best new music releases from LGBTQ artists.
From Mykki Blanco’s brand-new single on a brand-new label to Sam Smith’s legendary live album, check out just a few of our favorite releases from this week below:
Sam Smith, Love Goes: Live at Abbey Road Studios
Sometimes, it’s good to take a look back on all of your hard work and smile — which is exactly what Sam Smith is doing with their new album Love Goes: Live at Abbey Road Studios. The project includes Smith’s most recent work as well as their back catalog, including new live versions of hits like “Stay With Me,” “Lay Me Down” and “Too Good at Goodbyes,” while also offering the occasional cover, like Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time.” Regardless of what’s being sung, Love Goes: Live at Abbey Road Studios shows off Smith’s phenomenal vocal talent yet again.
Mykki Blanco, “Free Ride”
Listening to the genre-bending sounds of Mykki Blanco’s newest song “Free Ride,” it’s completely understandable why a label like Transgressive Records would jump at the opportunity to sign them. The new track sees Blanco blending soul with hip-hop with indie rock, with some folk thrown in for good measure, all to make a sound that is, simply, undeniably Mykki Blanco.
“Some of the most intimate moments and conversations I have ever shared were with my mother on long drives in the Southern countryside when I was a teenager,” Blanco told Billboard of the song. “The music that soundtracked these memories on our daily journey’s was the stuff of my mother’s generation. I would find myself daydreaming, reflecting and envisioning the kind of life I would like to create for myself. These memories and the music of Luther Vandross were the first inspirations behind the creation of my new song ‘Free Ride.'”
Starrah, The Longest Interlude
Starrah is on a roll — hot off of her first-ever win at the Grammys for writing Megan Thee Stallion & Beyoncé’s “Savage (Remix),” the superstar songwriter is letting the spotlight shine on her with a surprise LP, The Longest Interlude. Told through some of Starrah’s most incisive songwriting to date, the album deals with every stage of a relationship in impressive detail and precision. Her lyrics are only further bolstered by her stunning vocals, which will simply leave you wondering why you hadn’t stopped to listen to her before.
“I put everything into this album because it’s my diary, the raw soundtrack to my life,” Starrah said of the new album in a statement. “The Longest Interlude describes a love story from the highs in the beginning, to the lows and hardships that most can relate to so I am super excited to share this with you all. This is a moment in time and a period of transition and possibilities.”
Teddy Geiger, “Love Somebody”
For the first ever release of the Spotify Singles x Notables release series, singer-songwriter Teddy Geiger is getting real about the nature of love. Their new single “Love Somebody” is an entrancing, disjointed reflection on what it means to actually be in love. Spinning out into reversed beats and melodies, alongside ethereal (and sometimes spooky) vocals from Geiger, “Love Somebody” will send you into a pure state of bliss.
“I am so proud of what I see in both of them (Ricky Reed and Dan Wilson, who helped write and produce the track) in their family lives and how that affects who they are as creators and what they hold to be valuable,” she said in a statement of the new song. “‘Love Somebody’ is a challenge to myself to keep growing and learning and being able to relate in new ways and really be with the people around me.”
Asiahn, The Interlude (Orchestral Performance)
Ever wanted to listen to some expertly-written R&B songs with full, orchestral production? Asiahn has got you covered with her brand new EP, The Interlude (Orchestral Performance), in which the singer reinterprets every track off of her critically acclaimed EP into lush, ascendant pieces featuring blissful string sections, sending the series of songs to a new level of pure euphoria.
“It’s important that as an artist I not only sing about love,” Asiahn said of the new project in a statement. “There’s more to life than just being in a relationship and falling in and out of love with others, we also have to fall in love with ourselves and discover what we like and don’t like, explore our sexuality, get drunk and have fun! We have to live!”
Nasty Cherry, “Her Body”
The girls of Nasty Cherry are not interested in what a cheating ex has to offer — so they made a song letting them know that they’re through. “Her Body,” the latest single off of the group’s forthcoming EP The Movie, tracks a hazy, bitter kiss-off to an unfaithful lover. The moody synths and laid back guitars paint a calm, collected picture, while lyrics (co-written by their mentor Charli XCX) like “Breakin’ hearts and crossin’ lines/ Your solo cup was full of lies” show a much different, angry side of the story. Word to the wise — listen to this song if you’re in need of some catharsis.
Twinkids, “I Know”
For their latest release, Twinkids (made up by singer-songwriter Jin Fukui and producer Matthew Young) are ready to move on. “I Know,” the premiere single off of Twinkids’ upcoming debut album Nobody Likes Me, welcomes listeners to a synth-laden landscape where they acknowledge to a lover all of the problems in their relationship, and conclude that despite not wanting it to, it’s time for the romance to end. “I know things are right and wrong,” Fukui mournfully sings. “I know you and I are done.”
“We imagined the song as coming to terms with the fact your relationship just isn’t working anymore,” the duo said of their new song in a statement. “You’ve both grown up, and things are different. The common tragedy of being deeply incompatible with a partner you already love. In the verses it’s the things you say to your lover, and maybe to yourself too: I can change, I’ll do better, I’ll be better. And then the chorus of realizing the other shoe has already dropped, knowing it’s already over, soberly, if you really ask yourself.”