If you’re looking to keep dancing in September, then look no further than these new songs from 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.
Sam Smith, “Diamonds”
After months of delaying, renaming and waiting, Sam Smith finally announced that their third studio album Love Goes is coming out next month. And what better way to celebrate than with a good, old fashioned, crying-on-the-dancefloor anthem? “Diamonds” exists in the same vein as the singer’s previous hits like “Dancing with a Stranger” or “How Do You Sleep,” combining their smooth, sultry vocals with excellent dance breakdowns throughout. If “Diamonds” is any indication, then Smith’s new album is going to be one to look out for.
Teddy Geiger, “Sharkbait”
On her first single since debuting her album LillyAnna back in 2018, songwriter extraordinaire Teddy Geiger is getting vulnerable — literally. The cool, lo-fi vibes that echo throughout “Sharkbait” almost work as ASMR, shaking the listener as Geiger lets her defenses down in a song she said in a statement is about “trusting myself and knowing what’s right for me.” Add on to that the surrealist, hilarious video, in which Geiger galavants around a beach with a man wearing a shark mask, and you’ve got one hell of a good time.
Trixie Mattel, “Video Games” (Lana Del Rey cover)
When you listen to Lana Del Rey’s 2011 breakthrough single “Video Games,” you don’t immediately think, “This would make a great country song.” But leave it to RuPaul’s Drag Race alum Trixie Mattel to show you why that should have been your first thought; her official folksy cover of the track sounds like it could be off of the soundtrack to a modern Western, complete with acoustic guitars, strings, and her signature autoharp. The new version manages to both evoke the original while also re-building upon it; the classic makings of an excellent cover.
Parson James, “High Tide, Low Tide”
If you’re already starting to miss the summer months, look no further than Parson James’ hazy new pop single “High Tide, Low Tide.” This hazy confessional sees James at his best, singing about a relationship in which he’s fallen “too deep,” as the drums, horns, and grooving bass lines assist him in letting his lover know that he’s falling hard for them. “It’s a focus on me, now,” he said of the new track in a statement. “I’m at this point in my life, where I’m back at a place of total belief in myself. I’m stoked to be able to have creative control, clarity and freedom to continue telling my story.”
Flowerkid, “Miss Andry”
When 19-year-old Flynn Saint (better know by his stage name Flowerkid) sings the words “I never hated you, I don’t even hate them, I just hate myself” on his latest single “Miss Andry,” it lands like a punch in the gut. The Australian singer, who officially came out as transgender two years ago, deals with the complex, whirling emotions of not trusting and even hating men, while at the same time envying them. Paired with contorted synths and relentless drums, “Miss Andry” paints a painfully clear picture, one that Flowerkid tells Billboard “is what I wanted to say but never could.”
Brad Gibson, “Fool”
With his latest single “Fool,” Broadway star Brad Gibson is delivering some of his best work yet. The singer’s voice stands above all else throughout the pop/R&B single, with evocative melodies and a slow-jam rhythm section only serving to further bolster his exceptional vocals. It’s in the music video, though, where Gibson shines brightest — a visual ode to black queer love, the mesmerizing clip shows that Gibson’s talent extends far beyond his voice, and immediately labels him as an artist to watch.
Rett Madison, “Kerosene”
As a genre, folk and Americana have not always been the most LGBTQ-friendly. But thanks to artists like Rett Madison, that’s changing — with her latest song “Kerosene,” the 23-year-old singer holds nothing back and tells her real queer love story. The music serves as the fire at the heart of the song’s namesake, with swelling, shifting beats and melodies that slowly build to the explosive chorus, all while Madison makes clear to her lover that things aren’t going to end well. “‘Kerosene’ is a song from a time in my life when I wasn’t yet ready to accept healthy romantic love,” she said in a statement. “I wrote it almost to caution potential partners that while I craved a fun fling to pass the time, I wasn’t in the headspace for commitment.”
Mamalarky, “Schism Trek”
On the heels of announcing their self-titled debut album (due out Nov. 20 via Fire Talk), indie rock band Mamalarky are giving their fans something to jam to in the meantime. “Schism Trek” features all of the lo-fi, grungy rock aesthetic that fans have come to love from the up-and-coming band, and lyrics like “how is it fair to love someone who’s never really there” that instantly bring the listener in on the song’s message. It’s punk, it’s fun, and it’s a song you ought to listen to ASAP.
David Davis, “Ocean”
Winner of NBC’s Songland David Davis wants to make sure that you remember his name. After having Ben Platt record his single “Everything I Did To Get To You,” Davis has continued releasing his own originals, including his latest offering “Ocean.” Throughout his new “pop-soul” offering, Davis proves why his songwriting abilities won the day on Songland, as the silky tones of his voice blend perfectly with the whimsical horns, organs and guitar backing him up.