With Pride Month drawing to a close, queer people everywhere are looking for ways to support their favorite LGBTQ artists in the spirit of this time of year. So, 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 Soko’s new LGBTQ anthem, to Carlie Hanson’s mournful new ballad, here are some of our favorite new releases this week:
Soko, “Oh, To Be A Rainbow!”
With her brand new single and video for “Oh, To Be A Rainbow!,” Soko pays tribute to her LGBTQ brothers and sisters with her very own lo-fi queer anthem. Its laid back, chilled-out melody, the singer’s matter of fact lyrics like “You will never go back to the other side/ You’re a rainbow now,” and the visual’s soft, rainbow-pastel aesthetic make for the kind of Pride track that will have you vibing out in your apartment all weekend long.
Siena Liggins, “Perfect”
In her latest new song, Siena Liggins has one goal: give the women around you the respect they deserve. The song, and subsequent video, feature Liggins paying tribute to all her fellow females, as she assures them through lyrics like “Love all my women/ Who independent/ Handle your business/ Flawless flawless flawless flawless.” And even though it may sound like Liggins is singing to a love interest, she tells Billboard that the song is in fact meant for “a woman to sing this in the mirror before a big day or when she needs to be reminded what she’s made of.”
Carlie Hanson, “Stealing All My Friends”
Singer Carlie Hanson is tired of losing people she loves to addiction. On her latest single “Stealing All My Friends,” the star offers an emotional tribute to a close friend and two of her idols, Mac Miller and Lil Peep, who died by drug-involved overdoses. The simple acoustic melody aids Hanson’s searing, heartbroken lyrics, as she mourns the loss of those around her.
KC Ortiz, “Toasty”
When it comes to Pride, KC Ortiz wants to make sure that everyone in the queer community is paying tribute to their elders. On her new track “Toasty,” the Chicago-based, transgender rapper offers up a celebration of queerness, while the video highlights many of the queer icons and revolutionaries, like Marsha P. Johnson, Leigh Bowery, Harvey Milk and many others as they appear onscreen. “Even while doing research for the video, I learned that many folks had to wear masks to Pride festivities out of fear of losing careers, family, or children,” she tells Billboard of the song. “I wanted to take a trip back and show appreciation for all the hard work and sacrifices that were made by those who have paved the way for us.”
Hi Fashion, “M F A”
It’s been four years since synth-pop duo Hi Fashion released their last video — now they’re back, and they are ready to dance. With their new music video for “M F A,” the duo crowdsourced footage from their fans, including Instagram-submitted clips of their supporters dancing, lip-syncing and getting down to their club-ready new track. Even RuPaul’s Drag Race season 3 winner Raja makes a special guest cameo, making for one of the queerest (and most fun) video releases of the week. Plus, for fans who are interested in paying it forward, Hi Fashion is giving them an option to do just that — the proceeds of their new line of t-shirts will go to For the Gworls, a charity helping raise money for black trans people’s rent & gender-affirmation surgeries.
Dai Burger feat. Kidd Kenn, “Naomi Walk”
Interested in turning your quarantine into a fashion runway? Look no further than Dai Burger’s latest banger “Naomi Walk,” where the rising MC teams up with Kidd Kenn for a “slay the runway” type jam that will have you strutting up and down your own catwalk all day. “‘Naomi Walk’ is for the fiercest and the flyest. We need to go out in the world feeling like we can conquer it,” Burger says of the sickening new track. “Channel that Naomi energy and get your walk on…the world is our runway.”
Nina West & Sydney Harcourt, “A Safe Place to Land”
For their appearance during the “She’s A Riot” virtual Pride Rally on June 25, Drag Race star Nina West and Hamilton alum Sydney Harcourt decided to pull on the world’s heartstrings with a moving cover of Sara Bareilles and John Legend’s “A Safe Place to Land.” The song, which was originally written about helping those in need, transformed into a call to action among the LGBTQ community, with West and Harcourt pouring their souls out and urging listeners to support black trans lives at every turn.
Blimes and Gab, Talk About It
On their debut album, rap duo Blimes and Gab are arriving with a bang. Talk About It sees the pair putting down lyrics that drip with well-earned swaggering confidence that they’ve cultivated throughout their respective careers. Features from the likes of Method Man, Jay Park and more only serve to embolden the duo as they stake their claim on success. “We’ve always lived by the code if you’re gonna talk about it, then you better be about it,” the two said in a statement. “So it was only right we put that on record for our debut album.”
Antiboy, “Good Enough”
Before passing away at the age of 27 earlier this year, actor Harry Hains began to embark on a musical journey under the pseudonym Antiboy. Now, the first posthumous single of Hains’ career “Good Enough” is out, preceding a full album due out in July. The emotional, heart-wrenching song shows Hains’ inherent talent, as his voice echoes out with painful lyrics like “Maybe I’m not good enough for you/ Maybe it’s too much force for you.”