As we inch closer toward the end of summer, it’s time to take another look at those summer playlists and add some new music from your favorite queer artists. Billboard Pride is here to help with First Out, our weekly roundup of some of the best new music releases from LGBTQ artists.
From L Devine’s excellent new single to the latest dark-pop banger from Pvris, check out just a few of our favorite releases from this week below:
L Devine, “Priorities”
Of all the new singles off L Devine’s new EP Near-Life Experience Part One, one stands out as aa perfect example of why the British pop phenom is turning heads in the industry. “Priorities,” a simple, scintillating single following the singer through a complicated love story, is as effective a pop song as it is fun to listen to. The thudding bass mixes perfectly with the singer’s ethereal vocals, as she questions why her lover refuses to put her first.
“I just wanted to get my frustrations in a relationship out, as I was so maddened that this person wasn’t putting me first, like I was with them,” Devine saidd of the new single in a statement. “Over time, the song’s meaning has changed for me. Now it makes me think of the journey I’ve been on with myself since I wrote it. I’ve realized all the things I list in the song that this person is prioritizing over me, are things I should be doing for myself.”
“Seein’ red flags in the mornin’,” Pvris frontwoman Lynn Gunn croons on the group’s new single. “It’s a warnin’, a warnin’.” That phrase marks the eerie calm that comes before the storm of the chorus on “Monster,” the rollicking, burn-it-down new single from the alt-pop stars. The twitching, fuzzed-out beat gives the listener a sense of unease throughout this deliciously dark song, where Pvris take on a crisis of identity, and transform it into a sonic euphoria.
“‘Monster’ is a song about reckoning with outside opinions and expectations put upon oneself,” Gunn said of the single in a statement. “It can be easy to take on the weight of negative situations/opinions, this is about the struggle of releasing those inhibitions and internalizations and returning back to yourself.”
Wrabel & Duncan Laurence, “Back to Back”
With his latest single “Back to Back,” Wrabel continues his latest trend of writing emotionally-wraught pop singles intended on arriving at happiness, or at least contentment. The singer-songwriter’s signature style remains intact, with boisterous vocals met by beautiful piano melodies. The not-so-secret ingredient that puts “Back to Back” over the top, though, is the inclusion of rising singer-songwriter Duncan Laurence, whose verse adds just the right kind of perspective.
“In relationships, it’s wild to me how sometimes the smallest things can cause the biggest rifts. I’ve often heard it said ‘never go to bed angry,’” Wrabel said of the new single in a statement. “Whether it’s anger or sadness or something from the past bubbling up to the surface, it’s a terrible feeling. Even while sharing the same bed, you can feel a thousand miles apart. But the hope is that all it takes is a nudge, a turn, even a single word to reconnect and close the gap.”
Serena Isioma, “Really, Really”
Get ready to just vibe out with this new single courtesy of Serena Isioma. On “Really, Really,” the rising star perfectly fuses their lo-fi, bedroom-pop sensibilities with the need for a good self-love anthem. Declaring themself as “fresh to death” throughout the hypnotic track, the video sees Isioma embodying the new persona of “Dreamer,” a happy, carefree version of themself whose main desire is to live their damn life — which means it’s the perfect song for you to bliss out to this summer.
“People need to listen to this song because it’s hella affirming,” Isioma said of their new single in a statement. “Like yes, I am fresh to death. I am the coolest person in my own world. Self love is cool.”
Violet Chachki & Allie X, “Mistress Violet”
Leave it to Drag Race season 7 winner Violet Chachki to make a song that, even when you only hear it, makes you say “fashion” out loud. “Mistress Violet,” the new single from the drag superstar, sees Chachki reveling in her status as the domineering fashion star, while recruiting alt-pop star Allie X to deliver the chorus’ haunting-yet-beautiful message; “Mistress Violet/ I’m your other life/ Your pain and pleasure wife.”
“The song and video explore power play and transformation through the intimate relationship between a dom and a sub,” Chachki explained of the song in a statement. “Costume is a significant part of visually defining roles in dom/sub relationships and is very important to who I am as a drag artist and it’s also how Allie and I first bonded.”
Jordy, “Till It Hurts”
Continuing his work of bringing out crying-on-the-dancefloor bangers, viral pop singer Jordy is here to offer yet another taste with his latest single, “Till It Hurts.” The tender, grooving new pop song sees Jordy letting his lover know that he’s going to make sure that they know just how much he loves them, even if it backfires. The plucked guitars and grinding synths add a nice depth to this bubbly pop single that’ll have you up and dancing in no time.
“I think we all feel like we’re hard to love sometimes. Whether it’s our anxieties or bad habits or baggage from past relationships, there are moments where we all ask ourselves if we’re even worthy of love in the first place. But I think a lot of us that struggle with those feelings are ones who have an incredible amount of love to give.”