We’ve got a long weekend ahead, which means plenty of time to enjoy some new jams 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 Ashnikko’s incredible new mixtape to Perfume Genius’ brand new remix, check out just a few of our favorite releases from this week below.
Especially these days, it’s always important to escape from reality for a little bit. Luckily for us, Ashnikko’s stunning new mixtape Demidevil provides just that — an eccentric, breathtaking trip out of our daily life and into a strange, sexy and fantastical pop landscape. Playing like an acid trip that gets better and better over time, Demidevil refuses to be confined to one sound. One moment, Ashnikko is swearing off a former lover alongside a sample from Kelis’ classic track “Caught Out There” on “Deal With It”; the next, she’s completely reworking Avril Lavigne’s “Sk8r Boi” into an anthem of independence; she even submits her own idea for a Broadway musical on the EP’s final track centered around men who have no idea how to please a woman. From front to back, Demidevil is definitive proof that Ashnikko is a musical force of nature, and she’s here to stay.
In his new music video, Shamir travels to as many places as it takes for him to feel something. “Diet,” a fan-favorite song off of the singer’s self-titled 2020 album, explores some pretty park themes — “And I just wanna see his insides and the colors they could be/ And maybe taste his blood because I always wanted to try it” stand apart as some truly gory lyrics inspired by the film My Friend Dahmer — but the star makes clear throughout the simultaneously whimsical-and-fabulous video that the song is about more than bloody satisfaction.
“‘Diet’ is a song I never thought I’d make a video for — it wasn’t a single, nor was it planned to be one, but it’s a song that instantly resonated with everyone when the album came out,” he said of the video in a statement. “The song is less about the gore or even Jeffrey Dahmer and more about the battle we all have with our darker urges and/or neurosis that tend to appear during our adolescence/pubescent years and how that plays a part in developing our moral compass.”
Perfume Genius, “Your Body Changes Everything (Boy Harsher Remix)”
Every now and then, an artist will release a “remix” of one of their songs, and barely anything is different. That’s simply not the case for Perfume Genius’ new collaboration with Boy Harsher — the pair’s remix of the singer’s 2020 track “Your Body Changes Everything” is a complete departure from its source material. Subbing in a new melody concocted with moody synths and ’80s drum beats, the track transforms itself into an avant-pop phantasmagoria that blends perfectly with Mike Hadreas’ otherworldly vocals. The song also comes with some good news: The new remix is just one of several set to come off of Hadreas’ upcoming album, Immediately Remixes.
Asiahn, The Interlude
For most of her career, Asiahn has been comfortable singing some lovely songs about love. But on her brand-new EP The Interlude, the singer takes a bold step away from those tracks, choosing instead to write on everything else that’s important to her. The R&B singer-songwriter turns her focus inward throughout the EP, where the singer gasses herself up (“Gucci Frames”), embraces her sexual freedom (“Messed Up”) and even plots out her ideal future (“Get Away”), while never letting herself get tripped up over some lost love along the way.
“It’s important that as an artist I not only sing about love,”Asiahn said in a statement. “There’s more to life than just being in a relationship and falling in and out of love with others, we also have to fall in love with ourselves and discover what we like and don’t like, explore our sexuality, get drunk and have fun! We have to live!”
Julien Baker, “Hardline”
When it comes to brutally honest lyricism, Julien Baker knows how to cut to your core with a well-placed turn of phrase. That’s certainly true of “Hardline,” the new track from Baker’s upcoming album Little Oblivions, which explores Baker’s relationship with substance abuse and love. But the song’s new sound — a rollicking rock departure from her quiet, lo-fi beginnings — and its stop-motion, inventive new video force the song apart from Baker’s catalog, allowing it to stand alone as a step in a bold new direction for the Tennessee star.
“I saved all my travel stuff and made a little collage of a house and a van out of it. I wanted to incorporate it into the record,” Baker said of the new video in a statement. “I don’t know why I have the impulse to write songs or make tiny sculptures out of plane tickets. But here it is anyway: a bunch of things I’ve collected and carried with me that I’ve re-organized into a new shape.”
G Flip & Mxmtoon, “Queen”
On paper, a collaboration between G Flip and Mxmtoon makes perfect sense — both artists have a sense of pared-down, chilled-out ambiance to their sounds that would very easily complement each other. So when the first notes of “Queen” come blaring through, listeners will be surprised to hear a disco-pop single, where the stars take their laid-back sound and mix it into a ’70s-inspired jam about queer love.
“I’m also super stoked to have Mxmtoon on the track with me, she is an absolute queen,” G Flip said of the new collaboration in a sstatement. “I first was introduced to her when I was trying to find ukulele chords to a Khalid song and found her cover on YouTube years ago. She makes awesome music and her voice has such a cruisy timbre to it so I was thrilled to have her jump on Queen with me. She is also an avid croc lover and part of the LGBTQIA+ community, so obviously it just made sense!”
Isaac Dunbar, “Pink Party”
He may be relatively new to the scene, but Isaac Dunbar is quickly proving to be a musical chameleon, changing his sound as frequently as he pleases. “Pink Party,” the 17-year-old’s latest single from his upcoming EP, is perhaps his boldest departure yet. The track takes pop, hip-hop, emo and screamo all into its stride for an intense trip into a wild night out in Paris. Dunbar is at his most confident, as he spills out lyrics like “I’m your new icon, I could answer your prayers/ I could take ‘em on like a God,” flexing his skills yet again.