Queerblr Pride Party Playlist: Miscellaneous Mixtape Vol. 2
Our fourth and final playlist for The Queerblr’s 2020 Pride Party Playlist is highlighting fifteen LGBTQ+ artists, culminating in our Miscellaneous Mixtape, volume 2. This list features several “American Top 40” artists, but I still wanted to highlight them because they are LGBTQ+ musicians who are doing their part to normalize being queer. As always, if you find an artist that you enjoy and haven’t heard before, I hope you go support their work so they can keep creating content for our community.
Just like previous posts we have not flagged any artist for explicit content because your listening platform of preference will do it for you. We also don’t want an “explicit song” stamp to deter anyone from giving any of the artists a listen.
Tegan & Sara
Tegan & Sara are twins from Canada who have been creating music since 1998. This sibling band has had their music featured in film (Everything is AWESOME!!! featuring Lonely Island from The Lego Movie, and their song So Jealous in season three of The L Word for example). From their about page in Spotify: “Tegan and Sara have been openly identified as queer since the beginning of their career in 1998 and have been outspoken feminist advocates for LGBTQ equality and gender justice.”
Sam Smith is a non-binary artist hailing from England. They have been releasing music since the late 2000’s but shot to fame after their performance as a feature artist on Disclosure’s song Latch in 2012. Sam Smith has an impressive range backed by a powerful voice that commands attention – from the dance songs they’ve released to the songs about heartbreak. They’ve released music with other musical heavy hitters, like John Legend, Demi Lovato, and Normani to name a few.
Brandi Carlile is a Washington based singer-songwriter who began releasing music in 2005 after working the Seattle gig scene with long time band mates, Tim and Phil Hanseroth. Carlile has multiple Grammy awards and her music spans multiple genres. As of 2020, Carlile has released six studio albums and earned eleven Grammy Award nominations. Carlile was the most nominated woman at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards (six nominations) in 2019. Carlile also formed an all-female quartet with Amanda Shires, Maren Morris and Natalie Hemby called The Highwomen in 2019.
SOAK is the stage name for Irish singer songwriter, Bridie Monds-Watson. Monds-Watson began her musical career at the age of 14 and released her debut album some years later in 2015 after completing school. Monds-Watson has a unique voice paired with intricate lyrics that tell deep and personal stories.
Adam Lambert is an American artist who got his start in theatrical performance before making his debut on American TV in the 8th season of American Idol in 2009. Lambert was ultimately the runner up, but if you ask me – I couldn’t tell you who won that year because I only remember him. Since then, Lambert has released four albums and has toured with the iconic band Queen four times. Lambert’s music ranges from pop dance hits and soulful ballads, and he’s an artist that I’ve been a fan of in his unapologetic queerness since I was in college.
Hayley Kiyoko has been in the music scene since 2007, but blew up as a queer music icon in 2015 with the release of her song, Girls Like Girls. Her music is unapologetically queer with her women loving women lyrics. According to Rolling Stones, with Kiyoko’a debut full length album EXPECTATIONS, released in 2018, placed her “at the forefront of an unapologetically queer pop movement.” Kiyoko’s music videos are the first that I recall seeing where the love between women was front and center and not subtle at all.
Halsey is the stage name of Ashley Frangipane, a New Jewsey native who broke out in the music industry in 2015. Since debuting, she has blended the genres lines, staying mostly in the general pop category but has songs that have influences from the likes of country (You Should be Sad) and rock (Experiment On Me from the Birds of Prey official sountrack). Halsey is unapologetic in her bisexuality in her music, her songs often including male and female pronouns of the “love interests” in the verses of the same song.
Lauren Jauregui is an American singer, songwriter, and humanitarian. She’s a former member of Fifth Harmony but started on her solo career in 2018 after the group split. Not only does she have a powerful voice, she is a vocal advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and uses her platform to bring attention LGBTQ+ issues and other humanitarian issues she’s passionate about. Jauregui’s voice is smokey and husky, more so than other artists of her age (born in 1996). Her sound is mature and captivating. She sings in both English and Spanish with club hits and slower ballads. She’s an artist I’m eager to hear a full album from.
Troye Sivan was born in South African but raised in Australia. He’s a singer-songwriter, actor, and YouTuber. He began doing YouTube videos when he was quite young in 2008. Although he did some acting and singing work as early as 2007, he released his debut EP in 2014 and currently has two albums out and has released music with the likes of Arianna Grande (Dance to This). Sivan came out on his YouTube channel in 2013 and his music doesn’t shy away from his queerness and attraction to men. His music is predominately pop/dance, but his voice is smooth and an enjoyable easy listen.
Tyler Glenn is the singer/frontman and keyboardist of the band Neon Trees. In 2016, Glenn released a solo album titled Excommunication where his songs explore his lived experience growing up gay within the Mormon faith. I have always been a fan of Glenn’s voice, no matter what band title he’s singing under. Excommunication is a wonderful album, especially for queer folkx who grew up in similar circumstances. On July 24th, 2020, Neon Trees is set to release a new album after six years since their last album. I’m happy to see the band back together but would always be happy to see more solo work from Glenn.
Lil Nas X
Lil Nas X is the stage name of Montero Lamar Hill, an American singer/rapper who might be best known for blending the country and hip hop genres to create his 2019 hit, Old Town Road. Hill is an incredibly creative artist and there is no one who sounds like him or his music. And if his music isn’t for you, I bet his Twitter is.
Years & Years
Years & Years are a British synth-pop band, founded in London, England. The band consists of the vocal lead of Olly Alexander, Mikey Goldsworthy and Emre Türkmen. Years & Years’ music mixes R&B and 1990’s house elements to make their own unique version of electopop. Alexander is queer and the band has queer lyrics in most of their music. They are a wonderful band to listen to and will make you want to get up and dance.
Uzoechi Osisioma “Uzo” Emenike, professionally known as MNEK, is a British recording artist, songwriter and record producer. His writing and production credits range from people including Dua Lipa, Christina Aguilera, Selena Gomez, Years and Years, Beyoncé and Madonna, just to name a handful. He’s been releasing his own singles since 2011 but had a full debut album in 2018. His sound is R&B meets dance pop. His lyrics and music videos are unapologetically queer. I’m honestly surprised I hadn’t heard of him prior to doing research for the Queerblr Pride Party Playlist, but I’m happy my research introduced me to his music! His voice is smooth, his beats are on point, and his lyrics are down right catchy, but in the best possible way.
Mikaela Mullaney Straus, known by her stage name King Princess, is a genderqueer and gay American singer, songwriter. Straus released a debut album, Cheap Queen, in 2019. Straus’ music is described as “soulful vocals over warm, atmospheric synth pop.” Straus’ debut single, 1950, is said to be a tribute to the 1952 novel The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith, to the LGBT community and to queer love. The compilation of their songs is artfully done and an absolute joy to listen to. Each song is unique and interesting, blending genres and styles throughout the same album.
Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta is more commonly known as Lady Gaga. Although she was working on music in the early 2000’s, she became a household name with the release of her debut album, The Fame in 2008. Since then, she has released one amazing song and album after another. Her song, Born this Way, was an instant LGBTQ+ Pride anthem. She is an outspoken LGBTQ+ advocate (proudly self-identifying as bisexual) and does so much outside of her music in the name of advocacy.
We hope that you’ve enjoyed this playlist sampling. Check out the Queerblr Pride Party Playlist 2: Miscellaneous Mixtape Vol. 2 where we’ve created a 30 song playlist for this week highlighting the above artists!
Thank you so much for reading along during pride month and being patient with us last week for missing the post. As we are all aware, a lot is happening in the world right now, from the COVID-19 pandemic resurgence in various countries, the continuation of the Black Lives Matter protests and marches, as well as general anxiety from politics.
Next week we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled review programming. We’re going to try and maintain a weekly review, but as we just went over, there is a lot going on in the world and we’re just a small team who write reviews in our spare time because we enjoy it. There will be some weeks that we miss but we hope that you keep coming back to read our reviews as we promote more and more LGBTQ+ media. We’re looking forward to diversifying who we’re reading and recommending a wider range of authors, creators, and content. If you have a book, graphic novel, TV show, or movie that you really enjoy send us your recommendation through our Contact Us page so we can add it to our review list!
We’ll see you next week!