If the summer heat is leaving you thirsty for new music from queer talent, look no further. Billboard Pride is here to help with First Out, our weekly roundup of some of the best new weekly music releases from LGBTQ artists.
From Troye Sivan’s fiery new single to The Aces’ vulnerable new sophomore album, check out some of our favorite new releases this week.
Troye Sivan, “Easy”
After announcing his new EP, In A Dream, Sivan gave his fans the brand new single that they’ve been waiting for. A crying-on-the-dancefloor anthem, the new song boasts a synth-heavy earworm melody and heartbreaking lyrics that will have you dancing and dreaming about your ex. “I can’t even look at you/ Would you look at the space just next to your feet?” he sings. “The wood is warping/ The lines distorting.”
The Aces, Under My Influence
For their sophomore LP, alt-pop quartet The Aces took an inward, soul-searching journey to discover emotionally resonant lyrics, a diversity of sonic landscapes and a cohesive, excellent pop album. On songs like “New Emotion,” “Lost Angeles” and lead single “Daydream,” the group firmly plants their flag back into the sugary guitar pop that gave them their start. But other tracks, like the entrancing “801” or the club-thumping dance anthem “Can You Do,” see the group breaking into new territory, while baring it all with heart-on-your-sleeve lyrics that see The Aces delving into the emotional depths fans are sure to gladly swim around in.
Shamir, “I Wonder”
The second single off of his newly-announced self-titled album (due out Oct. 2), Shamir’s “I Wonder” follows the star on a hypnotic journey tackling what he describes as issues like love and climate change. The accompanying video, with visuals directly inspired by the legendary Keith Haring, stars Shamir and two reflected images of himself, as he pines toward his lover with beautiful natural metaphors. “I tried to live in my cocoon/ Keep me wrapped up in you,” he sings. “And I wonder/ If you’ll be the death of me.”
Chaz Cardigan, “Everything’s Wrong”
With many of his latest singles, including songs like “S.O.S.” and “Not OK,” rising pop star Chaz Cardigan has dealt directly with what it’s like to live in the cycle of a panic disorder. But with his new single, he’s discovering what it’s like to get out of the cycle — “Everything’s Wrong” is Cardigan’s musical declaration that things are messy, and he’s perfectly happy with that. “‘Everything’s Wrong’ is about not letting a breakdown keep you broken down,” Cardigan said in a statement about his new single. “It’s me saying, ‘I accept the chaos, I accept that everything is always changing. I’m going to ride the dragon and change with everything around me.’”
Joy Oladokun, In Defense of My Own Happiness (Vol. 1)
With her latest album, singer-songwriter extraordinaire Joy Oladokun is ready to talk about acceptance. The stunningly emotional collection oscillates between heartbreaking (“Who Do I Turn To?), fearful (“Sunday”) and contemplative (“Bad Blood”), but never fails to leave a stirring imprint on your heart. “Volume 1 is about the search for happiness within,” Joy said in a statement released with the track. “It is the story of how I started taking ownership of the ways I have participated in my own suffering. Volume 1 is the exhale before a new beginning.”
Alextbh, The Chase
On his brand new EP The Chase, Malaysian pop singer Alextbh perfects the lo-fi pop sound that’s given him his rise over the last four years, culminating in a gloriously hazy new project. Especially on the standout track of the same name, the singer combines gentle vocals with entrancing instrumentations that leave listeners wanting more. “I usually write songs that come from a place of hardship and pain,” Alextbh said of his latest single. “But for ‘The Chase,’ I felt empty. There was this void in me I was trying to understand after spending a good amount of time in casual relationships and finding myself shutting out guys who were well-intentioned though I couldn’t bring myself to explore something deeper with them.”
Ellen Krauss, Pearl
Swedish pop artist Ellen Krauss is here to bring you some much-needed euphoria. Her brand new EP, Pearl, sees the 19-year-old rising star installing herself as your newest pop mainstay, whether through unbelievably catchy pop singles like “Bali,” or introspective looks at complicated relationships like “Silver Spoon.”