Openly LGBTQ+ artists are releasing tons of great music, now more than ever. To help you with this extremely good problem to have, them. is selecting the best songs released by queer musicians on every New Music Friday. This week, we’re highlighting tracks by Tommy Genesis, VTSS and LSDXOXO, Kele, Boyish, Bachelor (Jay Som and Palehound), k.d. Lang, and Asiahn. Scroll down below to see our regularly updated playlists on Spotify and Apple Music, and see earlier music roundups here.
Tommy Genesis: “Peppermint”
On “Peppermint,” the serpentine new single from Tommy Genesis, the rapper deepens the brand of “fetish rap” that made her famous on her 2019 self-titled debut album. Her first release in two years features Tommy delivering brash rhymes about sex. Though the beat is filled with snaps and wriggles, listen closely for cheeky, yet self-assured lines like “I can bleach my hair, but I can’t change my roots.” In the self-directed music video, Tommy writhes on a car in the desert, making “Peppermint” double the fun: It’s a refreshing reintroduction to a woman more fully stepping into her power. — Michael Love Michael
Asiahn, the rising lesbian R&B star whose dexterous voice recently earned her a co-sign from Halle Berry, is out today with a sumptuous new single, “OMW.” The track is laden with gliding harp and warm boss, providing a lush backdrop for Asiahn’s effortlessly stunning voice, which drips in sensuality as she encourages herself to keep moving forward on the path toward her dreams. “It’s hard to feel I’ll make it out alright/But I gotta find the light even on my darkest days,” she sings. Given her mastery of vocals and her determination, it’s hard not to believe her when she says, “I’m on my way.” — Michelle Kim
k.d. lang: “If I Were You (Main Mix)”
makeover is the new remix album from k.d. lang, featuring dance reworkings of the queer icon’s fan favorites, all created from 1992 to 2000. It includes “If I Were You (Main Mix),” a 1995 remix by famed producer Junior Vasquez, who turns lang’s original sophisticated pop song into a gay club banger. lang may be an unlikely dance diva, but the pairing of driving piano-stabbed house beats with her soaring and powerful voice is queer bliss.
The track is exemplary of the larger ‘90s trend of transforming somber pop songs into exhilarating and pumped up club tracks, resulting in dancefloor catharsis. (See: the iconic Todd Terry reimagining of Everything But The Girl’s “Missing.”) lang states in a press release, “Dance clubs were a key to a world, which was still called ‘underground’ in the ’90s.” Just in time for Pride 2021, makeover celebrates the community and history of queer nightlife. — Juan Velasquez
VTSS: “Goin Nuts” [ft. LSDXOXO]
London producer VTSS and Berlin dance producer-artist LSDXOXO team up on “Goin Nuts,” a hard, driving track about voyeurism and raunchy sex. The beat loops around synths and thumping bass seemingly put through a meat grinder, as LSD growls the refrain, “Make me bust a nut/I could be a dirty fucking slut.” In the video, Berlin street scenes of people in suits represent a Big Brother kind of surveillance — the sort that renders queer people of color unsafe or even invisible. The track, then, seems like a judgment-free reclamation of expressive queer bodies through carnality, in all its forms. — MLM
Kele: “From a Place of Love”
Kele’s song “From a Place of Love” is so enchanting, it must be inspired by a fairytale. Indeed, the new track from the Bloc Party leader derives its sound and lyrical content from the animated remake of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, he explained in a press statement. The song is built on hypnotic guitar riffs, as Kele croons lines like, “I’ll stay by your side/through the night if you like,” with a melancholy voice. Above all, “From a Place of Love” is a statement of commitment to another human being, especially when one half is unsteady. — MLM
Bachelor (Jay Som & Palehound): “Sick of Spiraling”
Bachelor, the buzzworthy indie supergroup of Jay Som’s Melina Duterte and Palehound’s Ellen Kempner, releases their debut album, Doomin’ Sun, today. Standout track “Sick of Spiraling,” is the duo’s ‘70s AM Gold tinged pop masterpiece. Recorded in Topanga Canyon in the Santa Monica mountains, you can almost feel the California sun peeking through the trees on the lush production. Classic rock-adjacent guitar lines weave through gently strummed acoustic guitars as Kempner describes her nighttime anxieties of walking alone at night, almost getting hit by a car, and even doom scrolling on her phone. “I’m sick of spiraling out/And I need your touch to stop,” she sings, calling out to a lover who can quell her anxieties. “Sick of Spiraling” exemplifies Bachelor’s penchant for blending doom and infatuation with gorgeous pop hooks. — JV
Boyish is the ethereal indie duo of Brooklyn singer-songwriter India Shore and guitarist Claire Atendahl. Today, they share their new EP, We’re all gonna die but here’s my contribution, featuring the single, “Howls,” a sweet bop inspired by Hayao Miyazaki’s classic anime film, Howl’s Moving Castle. The track permeates with ghostly atmospherics and twinkling guitar reminiscent of Cocteau Twins, as Shore tenderly sings of longing and sadness. “Find me in the future/Don’t know why you had to go/Wanna eat your heart out/I don’t wanna be alone,” she croons, seemingly channeling Sophie Hatter, the time traveling lead of the movie. Boyish sonically captures the dreamlike essence of Miyazaki’s vision, while touching on the melodrama of heartache. — JV