The temperatures might not be budging just yet, but the end of summer has come again, and with it an abundance of music from queer artists. From comedian Jaboukie Young-White’s musical debut to a new track from queer rap veteran Mykki Blanco, LGBTQ+ artists musicians have brought the August heat. Want a sampling of these queer hits? We’ve assembled them into a convenient playlist just for you.
Things kick off with Jaboukie’s peppy hip-hop banger “not_me_tho.” The accompanying music video shows the 28-year old posing on Wall Street’s Charging Bull statue with a bright-eyed grin, and walking in high heels on a portable treadmill all over New York City. It’s refreshing to see that the talented artist has taken this leap into pop music without losing his irreverent joie de vivre.
“Holidays in the Sun,” Mykki Blanco’s lead single from the forthcoming EP Postcards From Italia, is an odd (but welcome) offering from the rapper, a quirked-up track with manic Europop energy. Produced on Christmas Eve in a basement in Portugal, Blanco says ”the song is a feel good summer anthem about lazy summer days swimming in the sea, hopping from one music festival to the next, feeling good about life and living la dolce vita.”
Vocalist and songwriter Samantha Urbani (formerly of the 2010s Brooklyn indie pop outfit Friends) has broken out on her own with her debut album Showing Up, out now. The title track is an ’80s-inspired pop song that proves Urbani still has that cool “it girl” factor over a decade after Friends disbanded. The song opens up with Urbani singing, “I’ve walked through a thousand fires. So don’t act like it’s not a miracle I’m even alive,” a confident declaration that she’s ready to take on the alt-pop world yet again.
This month also brought us some rock anthems. Philadelphia’s own Mannequin Pussy returned with “I Got Heaven,” an equally acerbic and tuneful grunge pop track featuring the iconic line “And what if Jesus himself ate my fucking snatch?” (The song has a larger message about how Christianity is politically weaponized in this country to divide and marginalize people.) There has not been an album announcement yet, but fingers crossed that this is not the last we hear from one of the most unique punk bands in current memory. And not far from Philly, New Jersey group Teenage Halloween dropped the brief but brash “Supertrans.” Clocking in at only a smidge over a minute, the power-pop track has anthemic guitars and abrasive pop punk vocals by nonbinary guitarist / songwriter Luk Henderiks.
Rounding out this month’s playlist are some incendiary hip-hop tracks by Bayli and Heartthrob Robb. Bayli’s addictive bass-boosted track “Both" is “pure bad bitch music” according to a statement from the rapper. HearThrob Robb, a bold voice in the Los Angeles rap scene, dropped the aptly named new single “Manifesto” about the state of queer inclusion in the genre, specifically about the “homophobia and transphobia running rampant in the genre.” It’s a confident statement that provides the perfect exclamation point for the summer.
For these and other hot tracks by queer musicians check out our 21-track playlist below.
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