Happy December, folks! What better way to celebrate the winter season than by listening to some new jams 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.
Kim Petras, “Coconuts”
From the moment she begins singing on “Coconuts,” Kim Petras makes it crystal-clear that the titular drupes are much more than just a tasty fruit — although they are fruitful and tasty, as she lets you know that “you can put them in your mouth” with the song’s cheeky opening lyric. Sauntering over some groovy disco beat, Petras rings every last drop of camp out of her lyrics, as she nicknames her melons “Mary-Kate and Ashley,” “Cartier and Tiffany,” and lets you know that others’ fruits simply don’t measure up — “Strawberry, mango, lime/ Don’t compare to these,” she croons.
Ed Sheeran & Elton John, “Merry Christmas”
It wouldn’t be the holiday season without a new blockbuster Christmas song ready for your enjoyment — but lucky us, the purveyors of this year’s new yuletide bop are none other than Sir Elton John and Ed Sheeran. On “Merry Christmas,” the pair come together for some lighthearted festive music-making, while also acknowledging that it’s been a tough road getting to the holiday season in 2021. Their voices meld perfectly for this new pop hymnal, making “Merry Christmas” an instant must-have for your holiday playlists.
Dropping one album is a hard enough task — dropping four over the course of a week is damn-near impossible. And yet, Venezuelan producer Arca managed to do just that, closing out her kiCK album saga with kiCK ii, kiCK iii, kiCK iiii, and kiCK iiiii, dropping one after the other throughout the week. While all 47 tracks across the four projects bring something fresh and innovative to the table, it’s kiCK iii standout “Señorita” that manages to bring the heat that you’ll need in your life this weekend. With a stuttering, relentless beat, mixed with some gassed-up bars and a mind-shifting breakdown, “Señorita” becomes an absolute must-listen amongst the star producer’s gargantuan effort.
Hippo Campus, “Semi Pro”
On this chilled-out-yet-catchy-as-hell single off of their forthcoming album, Hippo Campus struggles with the idea of burnout. Lead singer Jake Luppen drips with dispassion as he sings about feeling weighed down by his own ambition, before coming to the conclusion that it’s okay to exist outside of his music. Thanks to the band’s expertise in toeing the line between full-on alt-pop banger and plaintive ballad, “Semi Pro” comes off as a story of internal conflict followed by eventual resolve — and it sounds glorious while doing it.
For LP’s newest LP, the singer-songwriter decided we’d had enough tragedy over the last year. Churches acts as a love letter of sorts to a world that’s been saddled with a lot of pain and heartbreak — nowhere on the album does she give into despair, instead always choosing to focus on the sweeter, kinder parts of life and love. Underscored by some subtle, moving production from Mike Del Rio, Churches also accentuates LP’s one-in-a-million voice, allowing her space to show off her skill and soulfulness on each subsequent track.
Everyone’s a sucker for a good love song — but indie duo Boyish are here to show you why sometimes, those love songs can be pretty toxic. “Smithereens,” the latest from Brooklyn-based artists Claire Altendahl & India Shore, tackles the idea of that guy — the one who listens to The Smiths and tells you “how you feel, and we kiss, then we f–k, then you shut me out” — and why he still manages to be such an alluring figure to so many. The dreamy guitars and steady drums amp up the isolation factor, as Boyish relish in the haze of a poisonous crush.