The holidays are approaching fast, and the only way we can know for sure is, of course, Mariah Carey declaring that it’s TIME! But, before the Christmas songs and seasonal classics take over the airwaves and our playlists, we’ve been gifted some early presents this year by way of some prolific queer artists’ latest releases.
Take a gander at the gift that keeps on giving: your weekly queer music roundup “bop after bop”…..
“Black Mona Lisa” by Billy Porter
The icon and legend we know and love, Billy Porter, has unleashed his fifth studio album Black Mona Lisa, proving once again that this multi-talented entertainer can do it all. The album is a departure from the artist’s beloved Broadway roots and explodes into the pop music sphere laced with notes of funk and soul for good measure. The record’s title track encapsulates not only this project as a whole but Billy as an artist: loud, proud, and full of joy. It’s both a vocal showcase and a groovy celebration of self that commands you to dance with its brazen horns and jazzy, infectious rhythm. As Porter’s most personal creative endeavor to date, we are reveling in this project’s inspiring self-assured nature, providing a joyous look into the life of one of the most important queer voices of our time. 10s, 10s, 10s across the board!
“sweatshop” by LIE NING
LIE NING, the versatile 26-year-old artist based in Berlin, has unveiled their latest EP, sweatshop, an exploration of emotions—sensuality, desire, fear, boredom, and pain—aiming to reclaim their sexuality and delve into the diverse facets of sex beyond the physical act. The title track is brooding, seductive, and introspective indie-pop euphoria, paired with a video that showcases artsy cuts of intimacy that will leave you in a trance. Recently featured as Spotify’s GLOW artist for November, this rising Black queer artist offers a necessary voice to the scene, one that we anticipate will continue to shine.
“Drive” by Gregory Dillon
Indie queer pop boys are kind of having a moment right now, and Gregory Dillon is ready to race his way into your heart with “Drive”. The Connecticut-based artist is swerving into the darkcore electropop lane that we haven’t seen in the mainstream since the 2010s, but this nostalgic touch works as this self-produced adrenaline-infused anthem utilizes these elements to capture the spirit of rebel queers and reckless souls. Directed by Daniel Luis, the cinematic music video complements the sonic collision of electropop, new wave, and post-punk sensibility, featuring Dillon on a motorcycle racing against time, simultaneously yearning for and rejecting the allure of big city life. “Drive” is a high-velocity anthem, offering a face-numbing rush into Dillon’s baddie era.
“Girl With No Face” by Allie X
Alt-pop savant Allie X is back as the “Girl With No Face” with her new track and album of the same name, out February 23, 2024. This new era from Allie is eXtraordinary, as this album is the first self-produced album she has done, an impressive feat for an era of pop that is fueled by collaboration. This track in particular is another synth-heavy groove that will leave your head spinning, laced with haunting operatic vocals and thrashy bass lines. Inspired by the hedonism of the early 80’s new wave scene, we’re captivated by this alluring artist’s approach to pop and will be eagerly awaiting her next move.
“lost cause” by Wrabel
Today marks the release of Wrabel’s sophomore album based on a true story, and in following this prolific songwriter’s artistic journey over the course of this year, we find him at his most vulnerable and powerful position yet. The track “lost cause”, originally appearing on P!nk’s latest album, showcases Wrabel’s masterful songwriting, so good we had to hear it from his own voice. And we’re glad we did, because much like his previous drops this year, this painfully penned ballad about the end of a relationship is a gift, and this 13-track release will keep on giving to soundtrack your winter.
“My Body” by Sarah Walk
Singer/songwriter Sarah Walk (she/they) unveils the raw and liberating anthem, “My Body,” via One Little Independent Records. Produced by Stella Mozgawa of Warpaint, the hypnotic track delves into Walk’s initial dysphoria before undergoing top surgery last year. Over mysterious synths, dynamic percussion, and layered vocals, Walk chants the powerful refrain, “my body’s not my own”, providing a thematic glimpse into their upcoming 2024 record that explores their transformative journey with top surgery.