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Queer Jams of the Week: New Music from Boygenius, Arlo Parks, Kim Petras & More

todayJanuary 20, 2023 6

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Has the weather got you feeling a little chilly? Let us help you warm up with some new tunes from your favorite queer artists. Billboard Pride is proud to present the latest edition of Queer Jams of the Week, our roundup of some of the best new music releases from LGBTQ artists.

From Boygenius’s surprise return to Arlo Parks’ stunning new single, check out just a few of our favorite releases from this week below:

Boygenius, “$20,” “Emily I’m Sorry” & “True Blue”

When fans saw that Boygenius — a queer indie supergroup made up by Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker — would be a featured act at this year’s Coachella, whispers of a new album began materializing on social media. But nothing could have prepared fans for the release of three new singles, alongside an album announcement from the trio. Ahead of the long-awaited new set The Record, Boygenius returned with a Baker-led soft-punk anthem of resilience (“$20”), a Bridgers-led lovelorn apology to an ex (“Emily, I’m Sorry”), and a Dacus-led coming of age ballad (“True Blue”). Providing something for everyone with the promise of more to come, Boygenius made sure that their comeback was as triumphant as fans could’ve hoped.

Arlo Parks, “Weightless”

Ever since the release of Arlo Parks’ critically-lauded debut album Collapsed in Sunbeams, fans of the U.K. indie singer-songwriter have been waiting with bated breath for what comes next. This week, the singer delivered — alongside the announcement of the sophomore album My Soft Machine, Parks unveiled “Weightless,” a hypnotic, instantly thrilling new single off the project. Fans of Parks’ top-tier songwriting will be delighted to find it has only sharpened in the two years since Sunbeams; anyone eager to hear her sonic evolution will find themselves delightfully surprised by this chillwave, synth-pop dreamscape the singer has crafted around her. Put those together, and you have a song that magnificently reintroduces a must-listen artist to the world.

Kim Petras, “Brrr”

Time to dance, queers. Kim Petras is back at it again with “Brrr,” a hyperpop-infused pop track that sees Kim hopping back into the driver’s seat and begging her lover to prove why he thinks he’s “so cold.” With clattering production work from rising superstar ILYA, Petras sounds as good as fans would have hoped as she sings “You should pull me up closer/ Turn the heat up in your Rover/ Why don’t you take it out on me?”

Sam Smith, “Gloria”

With every new release off of their forthcoming album, Sam Smith has been giving fans a little taste of something new. With the album’s title song “Gloria,” Smith ditches the sweaty, club-ready jams that have come out of their last two singles, instead going for something soft and sweet. Joined by a full choir, this chorale of self-confidence sounds less like a pop song and more like a religious hymn to yourself, as Smith and their fellow voices resolve to “be yourself so loud tonight, they’ll hear you from the stars.” Glory to “Gloria.”

Kelela, “Contact”

With Kelela’s long-awaited new album Raven due out in a few short weeks, she wants to make sure that you’re ready for what’s coming. “Contact,” the latest single off the new project, simultaneously manages to hypnotize and fire up the listener all at once, as the pounding club beat plays perfectly off of Kelela’s sultry vocals. Things heat up quickly, as the songstress makes her intentions perfectly clear: “I’m floatin’ away, far and away/ You tryna stall and delay, but I wanna play.”

Mazie, “It’s Not Me (It’s U)”

There’s nothing worse than hearing your partner reach for the cop out when they try and end things, saying, “honestly, it’s not you! It’s me!” Turns out indie pop singer Mazie is sick of hearing it, too — on “It’s Not Me (It’s U),” the psychedelic singer dips even further into her hazy bedroom pop sound to tell her lover exactly where they can shove their fake humility. If you’re feeling a little bitter and need a song that’ll validate your anger, look no further.

Cub Sport, “Keep Me Safe”

Cub Sport has always thrived when it comes to front-facing, emotionally resonant indie pop songs. So it’s no surprise that their latest single, “Keep Me Safe,” is exactly what you want to hear from them and more. This tender, gorgeous love song immediately takes hold of your feelings with the opening chords, as a distorted voice sings about driving forever. By the time lead vocalist Tim Nelson comes in with a stirring story of forbidden romance, you’re already caught up in the song’s sonic web — and by the time it’s over, you’ll be reaching for the replay button.

Khai Dreams, “Panic Attack”

There’s something idiosyncratic about writing a song called “Panic Attack” and making it sound as calm and collected as Khai Dreams’ new single does — or at least that’s what you might think for the first few moments of the track. But as this delectable new single keeps chugging along, the production and the lyrics slowly pick up the pace, before eventually you find yourself in a chaotic chorus about bad dreams, irrational fears and intrusive thoughts — and you’re feeling exactly what Khai is talking about. “Panic Attack” won’t simulate the experience of a real-life bout with anxiety, but it will give you a fun and catchy insight into what’s flooding someone’s mind while it’s happening.

Check out all of our picks on Billboard’s Queer Jams of the Week playlist below:

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todayJanuary 20, 2023

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