In honor of Pride Month, here's your ultimate summer playlist of LGBTQ+ friendly bangers
Right now, it feels like pop music is fresher and more forward-thinking than ever, and we have today’s crop of limelight-stealing queer musicians to thank for that.
After decades of being presented with artists who fit the cookie-cutter mold when it came to singing about sex and relationships, the idea of mainstream pop being a genre that spoke solely to the masses has changed. Now, as we celebrate Pride Month around the world, is the perfect time to recognize that.
So from the shimmering queer pop of Years & Years to the funk-fuelled work of Janelle Monáe, here are 10 songs from some of our favorite LGBTQ+ artists that will make you want to keep celebrating Pride month once it’s over.
Troye Sivan – ‘Bloom’
Where better to start than with queer music’s man of the moment? ‘Bloom’, the latest track from Troye Sivan, a polymathic star who went from filming YouTube videos in his bedroom to tearing up Saturday Night Live, is a synth-heavy slice of lovestruck pop. But what might sound like a sweet song about falling for someone new is actually a coded ode to, well, shagging. Enjoy!
SOPHIE – ‘Immaterial’
Commerciality has never really been Charli XCX collaborator SOPHIE‘s forte; her esoteric and brilliant new record proves that. But for anybody intrigued by her hyper-pop sound, this track from ‘Oil Of Every Pearl’s Un-insides‘ is the perfect introduction to her more dance-led material. Cut from the same cloth as the best K-Pop records you’ve heard recently, it explores the idea of self-identification (“I can be anything I want!”) and is the most Pride parade-ready track she’s made yet. Sugary, boundary-pushing stuff.
Years & Years – ‘Sanctify’
When it comes to Top 40-dominating pop stars, few are willing to delve into seedy subject matters quite like Olly Alexander and the Years & Years boys do. ‘Sanctify’, the first single lifted from their sophomore record ‘Palo Santo’ introduced us to their seductive new sound, influenced by pop icons like Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. Just like Troye though, this song has a deeper message: it’s inspired by Olly’s sexual encounters with straight-identifying men.
Kim Petras – ‘I Don’t Want It At All’
Silly and vacuous pop music is the lifeblood of queer entertainment, and Kim Petras definitely knows that. Ever since she transitioned as a teenager in the public eye, the German singer has shaped herself into a glossy, no-fucks-given pop entity, linking up with Charli XCX and, controversially, problematic producer Dr. Luke. Her video for the cash-splash summer anthem, ‘I Don’t Want It At All’, sees Kim creating a shrine for her doppelganger and idol Paris Hilton, only for the iconic heiress to make a brilliant cameo too.
Snail Mail – ‘Heat Wave’
Anyone looking to spend their Pride month lazing around listening to breezy guitar pop instead of floor-filling, glitter-doused stuff should definitely check out Snail Mail. The queer indie rock star, who hails from Maryland, is signed to Matador Records in the States and has already dropped her debut record ‘Lush’ at the tender age of 19. Think of her as a pint-sized Angel Olsen, with just as great a flair for woozy and warm lyricism.