bop after bop

Kylie holds on to now, Conan Gray is dying, Kevin Abstract pays tribute to Madge: Your weekly bop roundup

Three-panel image. On the far left, Bentley Robles, with bleach blonde hair cut short stands shirtless wearing a gold chain. Glittery tears run from his face as he looks up crying. In the middle, Kylie Minogue, wearing long sleeves and with red-looking hair, stands shading her face from a sparkly light design. On the far right, Conan Gray wears big, dark sunglasses covering his eyes. He has long black hair that falls over his shoulders and purses his pink lips.

This is urgent. Our time is running out! Soon, Spotify will stop analyzing your streams and begin spitting out their annual Wrapped playlists. You know, that questionably detailed recollection of your entire listening habits for 2023. And unless you want another year of RuPaul Drag Race UK‘s “UK Hun?” topping your charts, you’ve got to find some new music. And fast!

Thankfully, you won’t have to look far because we’ve rounded up the best in new queer music this week. These bops are seasonal, synthy, and sexy. And even if the above graf doesn’t apply to you because you’re an Apple Music user or still burn CDs, we’re sure you’ll find something fresh to pop into your playlists.

Get ready to expand your mind, spice up your listening, and probably dance alone in your apartment with this week’s edition of “bop after bop”….

“Hold On to Now (Extended Mix)” by Kylie Minogue

With its celestial builds, empowering lyrics, and typical Kylie Minogue shine, “Hold On to Now” has quickly become a fan favorite from the Aussie queen’s most recent LP Tension. But if you ever felt shafted by its 4-minute runtime, we’ve got good news for you! Mother Minogue just announced Extension (The Extended Mixes), a remix album dropping on December 8. While the art of a good remix is largely lost on the modern pop star, the “Hold On to Now (Extended Mix)” is proof that its power is not fully forgotten. With a cerebral and house-infused intro, the mix adds even more energy to the upbeat anthem without outstaying its welcome, nor sacrificing Kylie’s inspiring lyricism.

“Killing Me” by Conan Gray

Conan Gray ups the theatrics of heartbreak on new single “Killing Me.” The track starts with haunting piano as he reflects on an irresistible lover who keeps playing with his emotions. However, things really get moving once the ’80s-inspired, “Sunglasses at Night”-esque chorus rolls in. Over a throbbing beat and jump-scare synth hits, he admits: “Though I am cryin’ and bleedin’ and barely breathin’ / I can’t let go of your heart.” It’s a captivatingly dancey storm of emotion, which is no surprise considering Swedish pop masterminds Max Martin and Oscar Holter served as producers. And it comes from a very real place. “Sometimes in life you get your heart broken so badly you become physically ill for six months and have to get your tonsils surgically removed,” Gray explained in a post about the bop on Instagram. Ouch!

Madonna” by Kevin Abstract

After teasing us with a taste of new tracks, Kevin Abstract‘s latest album Blanket is here. Channeling his indie grunge and alt-pop references, the former Brockhampton leader weaves a tapestry of candid observations, off-the-radar stories and head-bobbing tunes. However, one of the record’s biggest standouts takes it name from the poppiest queen known to man: Madonna. In the song, Abstract sings of a woman exuding BME –– Big Madonna Energy –– who’s most comfortable at the club, breaking hearts, and running solo. “She thinks she Madonna / She don’t wanna let us down,” he sings. Being an icon is a lonely road!

“I Just Wanna Dance!” by Bentley Robles ft. Lexxe

Queer Latin singer-songwriter Bentley Robles is ready to be the next main pop boy, as evidenced by his debut EP Ugly Crier (which dropped today). The collection’s title is a nod to his emotional pen and devotion to crying on the dance floor. Fittingly, one of its most liberating tracks is “I JUST WANNA DANCE!” featuring Lexxe. Taking cues from Kylie, Cher, and the pop icons he grew up on, Robles crafts an unforgettable going-out bop that demands your attention. The vibes: immaculate!

“Immah Have Your Back (This Christmas)” by Matt Rogers ft. Leland & VINCINT

Finally, a schmaltzy Christmas tune about fighting with your conservative family! Comedian Matt Rogers just released his debut album Have You Heard of Christmas?, featuring tracks from his hysterical Showtime special. But one of the standouts has to be this ridiculous collaboration with LGBTQ+ music faves VINCINT and Leland. What starts as a kiki between the girls (“I know that when you address me as ‘girl’ / You know that I’m a man,” Roger clarifies) turns into a possible plot to cover up arson, inspired by a political disagreement. But you’ll just have to listen!

“8 Bit Lover” by Space Kiddettes

In a world filled with minimalistic aesthetics and narrow sonic visions, queer pop duo Space Kiddettes have always veered for a more authentic, less refined, and neon-colored approach. Their latest single, “8-Bit Lover” is the perfect showcase for their obsession with ’80s pop and rogue synths. Over thrashing guitar, Devin Will and Trent Lira sing about an electronic and glitchy romance, harnessing a Devo-esque authority. And there’s plenty of game-centered quips for their fellow 8-bit lovers: “You don’t have to pause it, baby, just restart.”

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