Looking for some new tunes by queer artists to add to your playlists? Billboard Pride is here to help with First Out, our weekly roundup of some of the best new music releases from LGBTQ artists.
From Lil Nas X’s long-awaited debut album to Kehlani’s stunning new single, check out just a few of our favorite releases from this week below:
Lil Nas X, Montero
Put simply, Lil Nas X’s debut album is a masterpiece. Montero takes in the collective joy of songs like “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” and “Industry Baby” and sets them into an emotional narrative that is as complex as the 22-year-old bringing them to life. Throughout his phenomenal debut, Lil Nas X oscillates between hip-hop, pop, R&B and rock deftly, as he brings up his past on songs like the moving “Void” or the heartbreaking “Dead Right Now,” while also aiming for a newer, better future with songs like “Dolla Sign Slime” (featuring Megan Thee Stallion) and the earth-shaking “Don’t Want It.” Montero is a stunning portrait of an artist finally coming into his own after years of struggling to make it. We hope Lil Nas X is somewhere celebrating his achievement.
After months of collaborations with plenty of other artists, Kehlani is finally ready to step back into the limelight, with her new solo album Blue Water Road coming sometime this winter. In the meantime, the star blessed fans with her shimmering new R&B single “Altar,” a moving, infectious new track that sees the singer-songwriter embracing her spiritual side, as she looks to call out to those that she’s lost. “So I put you on the altar, stay just a little bit longer,” she sings on the song’s beautiful chorus. “Laid it out for ya’, thought I felt you before.”
Sam Smith & Summer Walker, “You Will Be Found”
For the new film version of Dear Evan Hansen, Sam Smith decided to lend vocals to the show’s moving Act I closer, “You Will Be Found.” With their reimagined version of the single, alongside R&B star Summer Walker, Smith dials the inspirational anthem up to 11, flexing every muscle of sincerity they can muster to bring the song of sheer affirmation to life. Walker, for her part, brings gorgeous melodies and her otherworldly vocals to give the single a breathtaking quality that otherwise would not have been there. If you’re in need of a good old-fashioned pick-me-up today, look no further than “You Will Be Found.”
Snail Mail, “Valentine”
You ever get the feeling that your significant other is getting ready to move on with the relationship, leaving you in the dust? Snail Mail certainly does, as they make abundantly clear on their brand-new single “Valentine.” The angsty, thrumming indie-rock single sees singer-songwriter Lindsey Jordan switching between quiet bewilderment at her love for her significant other, before bursting out into a guitar-fueled rage at the idea of being removed from their life. “So why’d you wanna erase me, darling valentine?” she wails on the song’s rocked-out chorus. “You’ll always know where to find me when you change your mind.”
Noah Kahan, “Someone Like You (feat. Joy Oladokun)”
For his sophomore album I Was/I Am, singer-songwriter Noah Kahan embraces the idea of growth and change in a variety of gorgeous tracks. But one in particular that stands out is “Someone Like You,” featuring queer singer-songwriter Joy Oladokun offering an assist. The gorgeous, stomp-clap single sees the pair reminiscing on relationships that could’ve been great, had neither of them gotten in their own way. It’s a beautiful ode to taking ownership of your mistakes and moving on, even if, as they sing on the song’s chorus, “all I want is someone like you.”
soul, classic soul, motown,