With a three day weekend ahead of us, what better way to get ready for it than with some new tunes from some of 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 King Princess’s long-awaited new single, to Years & Years’s latest synth-pop jam, check out just a few of our favorite releases from this week below:
King Princess, “Little Bother (feat. Fousheé)”
King Princess is back and ready to put you right in your feelings with her stunning new single, “Little Bother.” The new indie rock ballad, featuring KP’s contemporary Fousheé, sees the pop-rocker wrestling with a relationship left behind, as she struggles with the thought of intruding on her former flame’s life, while also wishing she could go back and fix what was broken. Plaintive guitars and a relentless beat only add further weight as King Princess coos on the song’s chorus, “Didn’t make me feel good/ I was just a little bother.”
Years & Years, “Sooner Or Later”
Continuing down his newly-carved path of lovesick synth-pop bangers, Years & Years’s Olly Alexander is letting his love shine through with his latest offering. “Sooner Or Later,” the latest single off of Years & Years’s forthcoming album Night Call, sees Alexander flirting with a house-adjacent beat and his signature futurist pop production, as grinding beats and choirs of his own falsetto voice accompany his determined lyrics. “Love chaser, you’re chasing it out of me,” he sings to the object of his affection. “But I’m gonna break ya, sooner or later.”
Upon first hearing “Reproductive,” the dream-like new single courtesy of indie favorite Shamir, you would be forgiven for being a bit confused. The track’s sound fits squarely within Shamir’s pantheon of unpolished-yet-unforgettable songs, defying most genre identifiers that would attempt to place it. But the lyrics, expertly written by Shamir himself, glide from one point to the next, never allowing themselves to be contained to one idea, as the star touches on “highly personal grievances such as generational curses, karma, and love” with a deft hand. It’s the kind of beautifully penned, deliciously produced song that fans have surely come to expect from Shamir, and he continues to deliver on those expectations.
Carlie Hanson, “F–k Your Labels”
Feeling entirely over it? Let Carlie Hanson give you the rallying cry you need. The aptly-titled “F–k Your Labels” sees the rising alt-pop phenom embracing her rebellious status as she lifts a giant middle finger to everyone and everything that would try to pigeonhole her into a singular, neat category. The pop-punk production, courtesy of pop-punk mainstay John Feldmann, brings a modern edge to the throwback feel of the pounding guitars and skittering drum beats throughout, while Hanson wails in the song’s chorus, “Don’t blame me ’cause you’re unstable/ Don’t judge me, no, f–k your labels.”
Hippo Campus, “Ride or Die”
Everyone needs that person who’s willing to put it all on the line for you — and with their new song “Ride or Die,” Hippo Campus is taking a moment to celebrate them. The lo-fi new single off of the groups forthcoming third album sees Hippo Campus taking on the role of the ride-or-die, despite whether or not the person they’re riding-and-dying for is at all interested. The chilled-out, lighthearted guitars and strolling drums make for the kind of serotonin-inducing track that we could all use right now.
Whoever said that you can’t turn video games into beautiful songs have clearly never met Cavetown. On “Squares,” one of two new singles released by Robin Skinner today, the singer-songwriter takes the music, themes and world of the mega-popular game Minecraft, and uses them to build a lush soundscape that will leave you in awe. Interpolating pieces of the game’s soundtrack (composed by Daniel Rosenfield), Skinner retrofits them into a wistful song about becoming one with his own character within the game, muses about seeing “ones and zeros in the air” as he goes about his tasks in a block-covered world of his own making.