As we head into the weekend, why not start it off right with a few songs from your favorite queer artists? Billboard Pride is proud to present the latest edition of First Out, our weekly roundup of some of the best new music releases from LGBTQ artists.
From Girl in Red’s continuation of an old classic to Tove Lo’s masterful new single, check out just a few of our favorite releases from this week below:
Girl in Red, “October Passed Me By”
Despite already having a song about the month of October in her repertoire, Girl in Red is ready to revisit the autumnal season with her latest single. “October Passed Me By,” at its core, feels like a follow-up to her breakout song “We Fell In Love In October,” reflecting on the relationship that inspired the latter with a wistfulness unbecoming of her age. The bare-bones production gives way to the singer’s high-quality lyricism, as she looks back on a love that she thought would define her.
Tove Lo, “Grapefruit”
With her highly-anticipated new album Dirt Femme due out in a week, Tove Lo is making sure her fans are as ready as possible with “Grapefruit.” The new synth-driven, infectious pop track sounds like an in-line offering from an artist making a dance-pop comeback. It’s writing marks something much deeper; Lo gets incredibly real as she sings honestly about bulimia, as she painfully counts out the reasons she despises being stuck in the abusive cycle of living with an eating disorder.
For her last few releases, alternative hip-hop star Doechii has been making sure to let fans know exactly how much of a boss she really is. On “Stressed,” though, the singer takes a step back to address a moment of insecurity. Letting her words flow effortlessly out, Doechii spits on maintaining a public image of composure and confidence, while internally battling doubt and distress. It’s a tender moment backed up by the kind of R&B production that will have you immediately vibing right along with with her.
MUNA, Live at Electric Lady
Not everyone is going to get the chance to see MUNA while they embark on the rest of their U.S. tour. So, the band is making sure everyone gets a taste of their live sound. With their new Live at Electric Lady EP, the group takes five songs — three from their latest self-title album, one from their sophomore effort Saves the World, and even a cover of a fan-loved Taylor Swift track — and interprets them live in studio. It sounds even better than you would expect, proving yet again the trio’s penchant for performance.
Hope Tala, “Stayed at the Party”
Neo-soul star Hope Tala has been singing a lot about parties lately, and it makes sense why; parties act as microcosms of human interaction, making them rife for storytelling. Enter “Stayed at the Party,” Tala’s latest track that takes a left turn at the concept and examines why she’s at the party in the first place. Set as a quiet, internal dialogue between her and a romantic interest, “Stayed at the Party” forces Tala and her audience to come to terms with the things that they’re avoiding, rather than dancing the night away.
Betty Who, BIG!
For Australian pop act Betty Who, revelation is the name of the game. On her latest album, aptly titled BIG!, Who takes massive swings only to see them regularly pay off. Whether it’s on her anthem of self-acceptance (“Big”), a sweeping ode to moving on (“Someone Else”), or a heartbroken ballad of losing friends over time (“Grown Ups Grow Apart”), BIG! never feels unwieldy — it’s always squarely in the singer’s corner.