Although we may be saying farewell to the month of Pride, the spirit of celebration, love and resilience is continually carried on through artists across the globe. Here are some of the most electrifying queer musicians making a name for themselves and putting their LGBTQ+ identity at the heart of their work.
Kicking off our queer music round-up, we have the incredible Irish talent Ailbhe Reddy who just released a new queer anthem earlier this month. A Mess navigates vulnerability while straddling the line between indie rock and pop, creating an intensely emotional track with an uplifting tempo. It’s the second single since her debut album Personal History in 2020.
Speaking about the track, Reddy describes it as: “A Mess is about not feeling good enough in a relationship and examining old patterns and habits. It’s about feeling fed up of going around in circles while focusing on a throwaway comment that ‘no wonder it was such a mess’.”
“The video was directed by Georgia Kelly of CLTV. I wanted to keep the playfulness of the music alive in the video and make sure it was tongue in cheek rather than very serious. Georgia came up with a few scenarios that were funny representations of feeling ‘not good enough’ and giving up.”
Sammy Copley is an Irish musician who first rose to fame after the release of their album Growing Pains and has stayed consistently on top of their game since. His music paints a tender portrait of queerness, love and intimacy with their sweet melodies and heart-wrenching lyrics.
They have just released their newest single Little Box, mixed by Nathan Cox who has worked with a number of other queer musicians. It’s available to stream on all platforms now. This Dublin native will also be headlining his own gig for the first time ever in Academy 2 – get your tickets here!
Clare Sands has returned with her newest release Sail On in the wake of announcing her upcoming self-titled album. This follows on from the success of her critically acclaimed EP Tírdhreacha agus Fuaimdhreacha and the subsequent single Awe na Mná. The multi-instrumentalist wrote the song to be a sensual and passionate outpouring of the heart.
Speaking of the single, Sands has discussed the significance of it being released during Pride: “I wanted to release Sail On during Pride, to celebrate the love that people share for each other, and to celebrate the freedom that we should all strive towards in our society – that people should be allowed to be exactly who they want to be. ‘Ní neart go cur le chéile’ – no matter creed, culture, colour, if we don’t all work together there is no hope; ‘there is no strength without unity.’”
Ahead of her debut album’s release, the rising Dublin star Zapho has delivered an incredibly tender track for the month of Pride. Tell Your Mother begins with a rich piano before blossoming into a soulful, hazy sound accompanied by heart-tugging lyrics. The queer musician perfectly captures the precarity of being true to yourself and the sacrifices that come with that.
A music video has been released to accompany the song, available to watch in full above. It explores the anxieties that surround telling your mother about your sexuality and the fear and vulnerability that this may damage the relationship. A closeted girl is shown navigating the love she has for her mother around the love she has found within another woman.
Chubby Cat, formerly known as it’s just Cat, is a Cork-born BIMM graduate making waves within the Irish music scene. Stamped with individuality and electro pop beats, her recent release not a vibe has been included on Spotify’s New Music Friday, Fresh Finds and Rainbow, a playlist dedicated to platforming queer voices from Ireland and the UK.
Her identity as an artist is tied to her dedication to cultivating a musical space with freedom of expression while continually creating a style of her own. Much of her visual work includes openly queer individuals at the centre, emphasising Cat’s identity as an LGBTQ+ person as an integral part of her art.
Moving on to the international part of our queer music round-up, this New Zealand-based artist Jack Panther has been making waves in the queer scene over the last few months with his most recent EP why don’t you come over? released earlier this year. His newest tracks capture a moodier and more confident aura, featuring a heavily 80s influence within the vocals and eccentric synths.
Feels Right is captures going home again and falling back into old habits with an Ex: “Sometimes things just don’t work, and you have to be honest about it. At the time I was travelling a lot, working on this new project, and felt like I couldn’t afford to be distracted by someone’s fluctuating feelings. I didn’t go into the session expecting to write this, it sort of poured out and I left feeling so empowered.”
Godly the Ruler
The Madison-based producer, rapper, singer and overall creative Godly the Ruler (Godwill oke) has been consistently releasing music and creating visuals for the previous two years. The non-binary, Nigerian-American artist is crafting a new sound with influences of hyperpop, indie, trap and electronica.
They have consistently pushed boundaries within the visual and sonic realm, with their new track Dog Days blending a light ukulele sound with harsh hyper-pop. Godly’s music creates a puzzle that bleeds into every area of their creative endeavours, making their record really come alive.
Their EP explores a variety of themes, spanning from love and love to a search for representation and the search for identity in places where they stand out.
Martina Petric and Percy Richter
Martina Petric and Percy Richter have collaborated to create an upbeat dance number, One More Night, to celebrate queer joy this Pride month. The song is inspired by stories of LGBTQ+ resilience, valuing what is most important: love is love. Petric produced the melody with the aim to convey more positive feelings about romanticism.
Speaking about the track, the duo have said: “in this single, we have decided it will be about love, intimacy, affection and understanding that we live in a complex society that most of the time we don’t allow us to love and be ourselves; a society in which we were victims.”
“If there is someone that is suffering, dealing with hate, abuse and fear, we would like them to listen to this song, understand the message, watch the video and feel a glimpse of hope, peace and affection. You are not alone, there is an enormous force that is with you.”
What better way to finish off a queer music round-up with a queer music archive?
BOUYGERHL is an archive for queer musicians, focusing on brief portraits of acts who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community. The goal of the project is to raise social awareness and promote “the visibility and self-image of queer musicians who – in the truest sense of the word – raise their voices”.
In order to be included in the database, musicians must have publically identified themselves as part of the queer community. BOUYGERL publish a range of articles about musicians within the community as well as hosting a Podcast under the same name. It features interviews with artists about their work and their identities conducted entirely in German.
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