The bop factory does not take breaks during the summer. And thank goodness, because our thirst for new tracks is real as we approach the dog days of the season –– and Mercury going into retrograde on August 23, mark your calendars!
There’s a little something for every LGBTQutie, whether you plan to lose yourself at the club, or talk yourself through a mental crisis this weekend. Looking to become the main character at a party (or on Gay Twitter™)? We’ve got a soundtrack for that. Even the country girls are getting fed with an aching ditty to croon while you ride your horse into town.
Don’t believe us? Check out the sprawling assortment of tunes we’ve assembled from our favorite LGBTQ+ musicians and allies for this week’s queer music roundup “bop after bop“….
“Sorry (Franky Rizardo Remix)” by BLOND:ISH, Madonna, Eran Hersh, Darmon
May the Confessions on a Dance Floor era never die! Since last year’s Finally Enough Love: 50 Number Ones compilation, Madonna has been blessing us with remix after remix. This funky new bop is rising producer Franky Rizardo’s spin on a reimagining of “Sorry” that Madge, BLOND:ISH, Eran Hersh, and Darmon dropped back in February. Basically, we’re living in Madonna’s Remix Multiverse of Madness. What’s striking about this version is the way it leans into both cerebral and clubby. Rizardo fills every second of the track with layers of synths and sirens, creating an endless beat and trancelike effect, heightened by Madonna’s looped vocals: “I heard it all before / I heard it all before.” Circuit gays, get ready to hear this one!
“This Masquerade” by Orville Peck
If there’s one thing Orville Peck knows how to slay (besides a fringe mask, a Shania Twain collab, and a brooding country ballad), it’s a cover song. With his signature haunting vocals, Peck puts his spin on “This Masquerade” for upcoming Leon Russell tribute album A Song for Leon. The late songwriter was known as The Master of Space and Time, and his introspective and disconnected lyrics make it clear why. With its slow-moving heartbreak and masked metaphors, “This Masquerade” could very well be an Orville song. The crooner makes it his own with a heavy helping of steel guitar, suspense, and flavors of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly theme. He can’t start this romance over, but we’re keeping this one on repeat.
“Paint the Town Red” by Doja Cat
Oh, Doja! The internet’s meme-loving, trolling, and occasionally problematic R&B songstress is back with what’s sure to be a controversial banger. The “Say So” singer made headlines last week for fighting with fans on social media and losing nearly 300,000 followers. But perhaps the move was calculated, because “Paint the Town Red” addresses her celebrity head-on. The chorus comes in hot –– after a sample of Dionne Warwick’s ’60s classic “Walk on By” –– with quite the statement: “B*tch, I said what I said / I’d rather be famous instead / I let all that get to my head / I don’t care, I paint the town red.” The track is a braggadocious middle finger to critiques from fans and the media, but the gory video reveals that she’s comfortable being cast as the Devil. Doja not only hooks up with the Grim Reaper, but dons dark makeup and horns as a demon herself. Slay? Expect more buzz when her untitled fourth album drops later this year.
“Kiss Ur Face Forever” by Orla Gartland
You might recognize this bisexual Irish singer-songwriter from her YouTube days or the Heartstopper Season 1 soundtrack. But on her new single “Kiss Ur Face Forever,” Orla Gartland trades in her typical self-deprecating lyricism for a banging, indie-pop confession of love –– and a demand for commitment. With shredding guitars and peaking vocals, she invites a lover to “play a game of emotional monopoly / in the name of monogamy” before admitting, “I want to kiss your face forever.” It’s the kind of song that will have you yearning for Converse, early aughts pop-punk, and hanging at the skatepark… even though you don’t know how to ride. Though Orla definitely came for the gays when she said, “Come on coward, commit, commit, come on.”
“Cinnamon Bread” by Ryan Beatty
Ryan Beatty dropped his latest album Calico back in April, and tickets for the dreamy singer-songwriter’s tour went on sale this week. If you weren’t able to snag a seat at his already sold-out shows in San Fran, L.A., New York, or Toronto, you can thirst over his sad-boy vibes with the homoerotic video for “Cinnamon Bread.” Beatty sits at a table and takes turns arm-wrestling a group of men, but it’s clear the real battle is within. The song is a lovelorn slow-burner, as Beatty delivers some exquisite turns of phrase over acoustic guitar: “When you open up, you close me in / And cut me to the bone.”
“We Can Be Anything” by Baby Queen
Even if you haven’t binged Season 2 of Netflix‘s Heartstopper, you can revel in queer existential joy with this silly but empowering Baby Queen bop from the soundtrack. With the help of a charming girl at a party, Baby Queen is able to transform nihilistic dread into a euphoric epiphany: “We can be anything / That’s awesome, don’t you think?” It’s a tall order –– weaving lyrics like “A life devoid of meaning / Is a life of total freedom” into a pop song. Still, the bisexual London-based singer pulls it off with a dose of psychedelic sound. We can’t wait to see how it plays into Joe and Charlie’s love story.