With a hot and sticky summer comes our latest picks of hot songs from your favorite queer artists. Billboard Pride is proud to present the latest edition of Queer Jams of the Week, our roundup of some of the best new music releases from LGBTQ artists.
From Troye Sivan’s sweaty return to dance-pop to Reneé Rapp’s self-talk anthem, check out just a few of our favorite releases from this week below:
Troye Sivan, “Rush”
No, Troye Sivan’s new single is not explicitly about your favorite brand of poppers — at least not directly. With “Rush,” the Australian pop superstar unleashes a half-decade of pent up energy, released in a flurry of relentless dance beats, chunky synth chords and Sivan’s crystal-clear voice. Celebrating dopamine-fueled 3 a.m. dance parties, Sivan soaks every single second of the song’s two and half minutes in beatific dance floor ecstasy, delivering this year’s most definitive queer anthem right when we need it most.
Reneé Rapp, “Talk Too Much”
It’s hard to stand a chance when self-sabotage is your love language, as Reneé Rapp masterfully points out on her excellent new single. Throughout “Talk Too Much,” the soon-to-be-former Sex Lives of College Girls star goes searching for flaws in her partner, only to be met with punchy guitars and the reassurance that she’s the one waving red flags. The song is as funny (her self-questioning soliloquy as a bridge is perfect) as it is irresistibly catchy.
On her latest album, Lynn Gunn wanted to create something that was both timeless and of the moment. Evergreen, the latest full-length album from her solo project PVRIS, manages to accomplish that goal with shocking effect. Singing about everything including burnout from our specific semi-apocalyptic reality (“I Don’t Wanna Do This Anymore”) to fighting off a more generalized feeling of ennui (“Senti-Mental”), PVRIS successfully taps into a new wavelength, making it clear that they are here for the long run.
Chelsea Cutler, “I Don’t Feel Alive”
Who would’ve thought that a song about dissociation could feel so good? Chelsea Cutler has always excelled at taking raw sincerity and turning it into fabulous music, and the same is true for “I Don’t Feel Alive.” Over a seemingly joyful, jangling acoustic guitar and a stomp-clamp beat, Cutler dives deep into her own self doubt, questions her reality and points out all of her worst tendencies, all while combatting an all-encompassing sense of detachment from her own life. By the song’s end, though, she’s looking at her progress, and looking to a better future.
Based on its singles alone, you would be forgiven for thinking that Claud’s sophomore album Supermodels was going to be a pretty sad album. You wouldn’t be entirely wrong — the album follows the path of a relationship in turmoil, occasionally seeing Claud own their own faults (“Dirt”) or call out their lover’s (“Every F–king Time”). But on bright spots like “A Good Thing” (which now has a music video featuring America’s Sweetheart Paul Rudd), Claud lets themselves dabble in hope and happiness, bringing a thematic and sonic variety to this excellent new album.
Maddie Zahm, “Where Do All the Good Kids Go?”
Being asked to be a grownup while actively growing up can leave a person feeling robbed of their childhood. Maddie Zahm, for one, is ready to talk about that experience on “Where Do All the Good Kids Go,” her heartwrenching new single. Pairing her sensitive voice with a moving piano melody, Zahm recounts years of adults expecting more out of her while her peers kept their distance, and the endless recursion loop of confusion and hurt that came as a result. It’s a stunning piece of confessional songwriting that manages to break you down while also giving you just an ounce of hope by the time the final chord is struck.
Palehound, Eye on the Bat
El Kempner always excelled at writing insightful and poetic lyrics as a part of Palehound — but not ever like they do in Eye on the Bat. Throughout this vulnerable, chaotic new project, Kempner strips away much of the edifice surrounding their past music, now letting themselves get vulnerable and be seen through get real about people pleasing (“U Want It U Got It”), breakups (“Independence Day”) and much more. It’s all done through the star’s singular indie rock style, making Eye on the Bat a must-listen album.
Shamir, “Our Song”
Shamir is feeling nostalgic for the good ‘ol days on his latest song. Performing through the lens of looking back on the bitter ending of a relationship, the singer-songwriter spends much of “Our Song” wishing things were different — wishing he was a bigger person back then, wishing that his ex hadn’t managed to “infiltrate” his mind, and so forth. To fit the stirring lyrics, the song’s sound manages to smartly straddle the line between dreamy pop music and grittier rock offerings, making “Our Song” a fascinating must-listen.
If you somehow haven’t listened to rising singer-songwriter Idman yet, allow us to introduce you with their fabulous new EP. Risk sees the star-in-the-making mix together pop, R&B and hip-hop into a eclectic mix of must-listen bangers talking about heartbreak (“Hate”), infatuation (“Still”), and pure confidence (“Beach”). With beats and melodies as versatile as the blissful riffs they regularly sing throughout each song, Risk is exactly the kind of project that makes us want to hear more and more from Idman.
Check out all of our picks on Billboard’s Queer Jams of the Week playlist below: