Welcome to the homestretch of summer, the perfect time to listen to some new tunes 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 Victoria Monét’s return single to the ElyOtto’s long-awaited follow-up, check out just a few of our favorite releases from this week below:
Victoria Monét, “Coastin’”
With her first single since February’s “F.U.C.K.,” Victoria Monét is ready to slow it down so she can vibe it out. “Coastin’” represents a near-perfect summer jam, with Monét crooning over a slick bass line that brings ’70s funk into 2021. The top-down, sun’s-out, “let’s go on a beach trip” energy infects every note of the song, as Monét lets the listener know, “Feel like a Thursday how I’m throwin’ it back/ I’ma make it go North, South, East, West coast.”
“If sunshine and a good time (and maybe a lil drank) were a song, it would be ‘Coastin’,’” Monét said of the new song in a statement. “It’s made for people with that good, chill energy and the bassline instantly puts you in a certain feel! Shoutout to the Stereotypes for killing this production. We wanted this song to represent that freedom to finally go outside. After the year we’ve had, it feels even better to be able to finally Coast freely, make unforgettable memories and have a good ass time.”
ElyOtto wants to make sure you know that “SugarCrash!” was just the beginning for him. On “Profane,” the fast-rising hyperpop star switches up his style — gone are the saccharine, overtly sweet sounds of his breakthrough single, now replaced by dark, angst-driven production that sees him bemoaning the state of the world and his own mind. Never fear, though — the star’s glitched-out style still remains completely intact, making “Profane” one of the weirdest (and best) releases of the week.
“‘SugarCrash!’ allowed me to connect with so many fans and listeners on a musical and personal level, and I’m super excited to take them on another ride with ‘Profane’” ElyOtto said of the single in a statement. “The new song goes in a different direction. It’s a darker sound, less sweet, but I think it still has that ElyOtto feel. It’s ElyOtto with an edge and I can’t wait to share it with the world.”
May-A, Don’t Kiss Ur Friends
With her debut EP, Australian artist May-A is ready to give a master class in indie pop. Don’t Kiss Ur Friends, from start to finish, sees the young indie star offering varying meditations on adolescence — whether she’s plaintively singing about attractions at the wrong time (“Central Station”), or wailing over a pop-punk melody about her own anxiety (“Amiinmyhead?”), May-A shows off her full arsenal of musical talent, and it’s well worth a listen.
“Each song is a piece of the last four or five years of my life, the most recent track having been written last year and the earliest at 16,” May-A said of the new single in a statement. “As the music developed, so did I. You can listen to me grow up, gain confidence and understand myself through the way I approach my relationships.”
Allison Ponthier, Faking My Own Death
With a title like Faking My Own Death, you would assume that Allison Ponthier’s debut EP might be a dour one to listen to. It’s quite the contrary — the stunning project sees the fast-rising folk artist showing off her talent for storytelling-through-songwriting over a series of serotonin-inducing melodies. Some of the subject matter may sound a bit dark (the titular song in particular boasts a certain melancholy), but Faking My Own Death is a showcase of immense skill from a star in the making.
Hippo Campus, Good Dog, Bad Dream
If you’re in need of some good, chill vibes to last you the rest of the summer, then Hippo Campus has you covered. Their brand new EP Good Dog, Bad Dream is rife with the kind of dream-pop that you’ll find yourself repeating over and over again, until you’ve committed at least one of their new songs to memory. The complex, twinkling guitars, melded with lead singer Jake Luppen’s stunning voice make songs like “Sex Tape” and “Deepfake” immediately jump out and grab you, refusing to let go.
Saucy Santana, Outside
Last but most certainly not least, Saucy Santana is here to make you dance until the summer comes to an end. Outside, the rising rapper’s brand new album, is designed almost as a practical guide to taking yourself outdoors and shaking your booty until you simply can’t anymore. From his swagged-out flexing on “Here We Go,” to his fiery disses on “Neva Eva,” Santana makes sure that every song has got an earth-shaking beat that you can bounce your body to — do yourself a favor, and start bouncing to this new album now.