It’s Friday, which means it’s time to check out some new releases from your favorite 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.
From Shura’s psychedelic new single to Isaac Dunbar’s hotly-anticipated new EP, check out just a few of our favorite releases from this week below:
Shura, “Obsession (feat. Rosie Lowe)”
“I’ll be your obsession.” Those jolting words, sung by indie-pop auteur Shura on her latest single “Obsession,” feel like a warm hand on your face. The English singer — who is prepping to release a deluxe edition of her 2019 album Forevher next month — embraces close, intimate tenderness in a way that feels brand-new for her. Her voice never raises above a soft coo as she lists the reasons she’s committing to her significant other. The addition of rising alternative artist Rosie Lowe only adds greater depth to the new track, with the “Birdsong” singer’s voice melding perfectly into Shura’s, for a swoon-worthy love song that you will regret not listening to.
Isaac Dunbar, Evil Twin
Even at 17-years-old, Isaac Dunbar is torn about what direction his career should take. On the one hand, he’s attracted to weird, genre-breaking, experimental music; on the other, he has a deep appreciation for a good pop song. “So I had my evil twin sing the experimental records, and I sang the pop records,” he said of his new EP. On Evil Twin, Isaac Dunbar embraces this duality — tracks like “Pink Party” and “Rendezvous” see Dunbar embracing a brooding, dark sound, while later songs like “Intimate Moments” and “Kissy Kissy” take on the form of anthemic pop ballads. We didn’t need any further evidence that Dunbar was a star on the rise, but Evil Twin still goes out of its way to prove itself as a tour de force for the pop wunderkind.
Jordy, “Long Distance”
For the last few months, rising pop artist Jordy has been having a moment, surpassing 100 million streams across platforms, garnering more than 100,000 followers on TikTok and recently appearing on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. With his new song “Long Distance,” it’s easy to see why: The up-and-coming star’s ode to far-off queer love is a sugar-sweet jolt of dopamine to the system. Jordy’s crystal-clear vocals are the star of the single, as they sail atop a collection of understated synths, pining for a love off in another part of the world. “I would rather be distant with you,” he sings, “Than feel distant with someone who is living right down the street/ But don’t feel close to me.”
May-A, “Time I Love to Waste”
Australian singer-songwriter May-A garnered plenty of attention for singing about unrequited, queer love on “Apricots.” Now, she’s back with another single about the same person. On the new chillwave anthem “Time I Love to Waste,” the singer is less interested in who the object of her affection is interested in; she’s just happy she gets to hang out with her. “She’s so far out of my league, she’s a hurricane, I’m just a breeze,” she sings. “She’s the time I love to waste.”
“I was sure she liked me when I was writing it,” she said of the song’s subject in a statement. “But I’d personally never been interested in someone the way that I was into her. I was completely enamored. I wanted to give her everything that she wanted and I truly felt like she was completely out of my league.”
Serpentwithfeet, “Same Shoe Size”
Whenever someone wants you to empathize with their struggles, they’ll tell you to “walk a mile in my shoes.” But on his new single, rising R&B star Serpentwithfeet is making it clear that he’s trying to find someone with the “Same Shoe Size.” Throughout the gleaming melodies of his new single, Serpent paints a gloriously illustrated portrait of Black, queer love, and the importance of finding a partner who understands your point of view implicitly. Simply put, it’s some of the singer’s best writing yet. “I prefer to date and love on Black men,” Serpent said of the song in a statement. “I don’t want to be with anyone who can’t go to my barber or walk a mile in my shoes.”
Dizzy Fae, “360 Baby”
Take a spin of Dizzy Fae’s delirious new single “360 Baby,” and you’ll find yourself feeling nothing but pure, sexy confidence. The newest track from the self-described “sex-pop” artist is a thrumming club jam, where Fae makes it very clear that she’s manifesting what she wants, by whatever means she deems necessary. “I’m not this body, but I’m making it worth it,” she sings in a delicate falsetto. “And every time you see me it’s a gift/ It’s a blessing.”
Lava La Rue, Butter-Fly
London-based rapper Lava La Rue is out of their cocoon, and ready for you to see them fly. Their new mixtape, Butter-Fly, serves as an introduction of sorts — La Rue shows that they’re more than capable of laying down some rapid-fire flow (“G.O.Y.D.”), while later proving that they can also take on lo-fi indie-pop if they feel like it (“Magpie,” “Lift You Up”). What’s important is that you take notice, because Lava La Rue is ready for takeoff.
“The whole project was made in a transitional time where I felt like I had finally found my wings and settled into a place where I was able to practice a lot of the things I believed in,” they said of their new EP in a statement. “I musically had pushed myself further than I had done before, to capture a dreamy emotion of falling in love, entering my 20s, shrugging off the insecurities you carry through your teens and recognizing the kind of person I want to be in this world.”