Years & Years, “If You’re Over Me”
Navigating the complications of young love has never been so fabulously charming. Continuing the dystopian narrative of the forthcoming album Palo Santo started by “Sanctify,” the song’s music video follows Olly Alexander as he puts on a glitzy performance with fantastical outfits and marvelous showmanship, all tinged with the singer’s signature sly attitude.
Troye Sivan, “Heaven” (feat. Betty Who)
Sivan tweeted that this song is the most important song he ever made. The accompanying video features footage from LGBTQ protests throughout history. The visual’s release date, one day before President Trump was inaugurated, was no accident either.
Ariana Grande, “No Tears Left To Cry”
“I’m picking it up/I’m picking it up,” Grande announces, delivering a mantra for persevering through the hate in the world. “I hope to create anthems for you that wrap you up with comfort and make you get your best life for as long as I live,” she wrote in her love letter addressed to the LGBTQ for Billboard. The rainbow on the cover art is no coincidence.
Shea Diamond, “I Am Her”
“If you had to wear my shoes, you’d probably have to take them off too,” Shea states in a voice-over that opens this song’s visual. This track is about self-love, realization and acceptance all rolled up into one soulful gem.
Tyler Glenn, “Midnight”
The Neon Trees frontman delivers an emotional track that confronts his departure from the Mormon church, but not from God. The ballad is accompanied by a symbolic video that shows Glenn removing his garments -- which is considered blasphemous -- and replacing them with a glittering jacket.
Tove Lo “Bitches (Remix)” (feat. Charli XCX, Alma, Icona Pop & Elliphant)
Tove Lo delivers a club-ready track that’s just as seductive as it is catchy -- something we’ve come to expect from this steadily rising alt-pop staple. When other LGBTQ anthems dive deep into the confusing minutiae of the queer experience, Tove Lo renders a more approachable, gut-driven take. “Why complicate it?” she asks. “Know your own love.” Devilishly simple.
An incredibly personal record, “Princess” is all about empowerment looking fear in the face and overcoming. The video tells the stories of three women that Fletcher said are inspired by some of her friends. Speaking about those friends, she revealed to Time that “One was kicked out of the house for being gay, another left home because their parents didn’t understand their gender identity, and another dear friend almost lost her battle with bulimia.”
MNEK, “Colour” (feat. Hailee Steinfeld)
This bubbly electronic song sweetly recites the vibrancy that comes with finally finding someone special after years of wading through the darkness of loneliness. For LGBTQ people, this can be the most liberating of discoveries: to not only be seen, but to be loved.
Sia, “The Greatest” (feat. Kendrick Lamar)
This video, largely interpreted as a tribute to the victims of the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting victims, features 49 young dancers led by the wigged one’s favorite collaborator, Maddie Ziegler in what appears to be a nightclub. At the end of the video, Ziegler smears rainbow paint on her cheeks.
In 2018, it’s not a LGBTQ playlist without CupcakKe. This rapper’s explosive entrance onto the music scene was instantly met with open arms by the queer community, who resonated with her scandalously forthright lifestyle. Since then, CupcakKe has reciprocated that support with quite a few undeniably LGBTQ bangers and “Crayons” is no exception.
Sakima, "Daddy" (feat. YLXR)
Though listeners may quickly write this song off for its forthright sexual nature, Sakima explained in an interview with Billboard that he’s not just being suggestive for the sake of it. Rather, he wants “queer people to feel more connected to the mainstream culture.” With help from electronic producer and frequent RuPaul collaborator YLXR, Sakima crafts a chorus begging listeners to dance along.
Cakes Da Killa, "Gon Blow" (feat. Rye Rye)
As soon as Cakes da Killa (born Rashard Bradshaw) starts to the whisper, “Just pump the beat,” you know you’re in for wild ride. Neither his verses, nor that of featured rapper Rye Rye, disappoint.
Mykki Blanco, “Loner” (feat. Jean Deaux)
This emotional-yet-danceable track dives into the intense feelings of isolation and sadness Blanco felt after discovering that he's HIV positive. “I don't need your pity please leave me alone/ I been feeling feelings that I don't condone/ Feeling like I'm about to break my f---ing phone all these followers around me.”
Gia, “Only a Girl”
This one’s for the girls. The song is about appreciation for the physicality of a female and the video features plenty of sapphic moments.
Tegan and Sara, “Boyfriend”
We’ve all been there, right? This anthem tells the exhausting story of someone you’re basically dating, but they won’t come out in the open and admit it. Whether they're scared or confused -- or a mixture of both -- this song deals with the migraine-inducing frustration of dating someone who is insecure about their sexuality.
This beautiful track is about home being wherever you’re comfortable with yourself, most importantly in your own skin. The cute-as-a-button subject of this video finds himself in a gay bar, voguing amongst other queer characters.
Frankie Simone, "War Paint"
With “War Paint,” Portland-born Frankie Simone is impervious to the piercing words of those who try to bring her down: Lesbian Bullshit. Tomboy. Freak. “We should be reclaiming those words and using them as fuel to fire us up in a positive way,” she explained to Billboard.
Dizzy Fae, “Booty 3000”
With a name like “Booty 3000,” this track was tailored to be a LGBTQ staple. This queer newcomer is sure to garner some attention with this boldly alluring release. Don’t miss her championing imagery, positioning herself as a royal Pharaoh deserved of any love she wants.
Halsey, “Strangers” (feat. Lauren Jauregui)
This song is groundbreaking in its unabashed usage of same-sex pronouns. Never before had two openly LGBTQ artists of this caliber collaborated on a love song. Not only did this song get released as a single, but it’s a Hot 100 hit.
SOPHIE, "It’s Okay To Cry"
More frequently behind the scenes, this trans producer is the literal face of her recent single “It’s Okay To Cry,” a confessional devotion to the emotional conviction she has found through her journey. A queer mantra in the making, this dreamy and delicate song is a sharp divergence from her more hard-hitting beats.
Peaches, “Dick in the Air”
“We’ve been shaking our tits for years/ So let’s switch positions, no inhibitions,” Peaches sings as a sort of thesis to track. The accompanying video is pure hilarity, as the outspoken feminist runs around LA with partner-in-crime Margaret Cho in fuzzy costumes with male genitalia.
Janelle Monáe, "Make Me Feel"
The lead single to Janelle Monáe’s Dirty Computer is a glimmering groove that spotlights the singer’s style and distaste for convention, which has resonated with so many LGBTQ youth weary of labels. “Feels like I’m powerful/With a little bit of tender,” Monáe muses. The Prince-inspired track coupled with a equally stunning video have given Monáe’s unpinnable queerness a whole new life -- and we’re living for it.
Hayley Kiyoko, “Girls Like Girls”
It’s Ms. Steal Yo Girl. Hayley Kiyoko did the damn thing in this track -- she turned the tables and made a song about what so many men sing about: taking someone’s girlfriend. She completely normalizes it as well with the line “Girls like girls like boys do, nothing new.”
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