What a year it has been for queer music both at home and abroad, and it’s not over yet. With one more month to go, December remains as good a time as any to add some fresh Irish LGBTQ+ music to your 2021 playlist, and although they’re not all holiday-themed, these tracks are still as gay as Christmas!
No More Dancefloor – PureGrand
Dublin indie-pop artist, PureGrand, has released his new song with an accompanying music video, ‘No More Dancefloor’. The track builds upon his flirtation with turn of the millennium pop incorporating elements of eurodance and house.
Born out of a frustration in watching the club scene and cultural spaces in Dublin being eaten up by hotels and investment funds, the song acts as a lament for a time when one could lose themselves on the dance floor without the threat of it going away.
On his new release, he said, “I feel like the club scene played a huge part in my own self-discovery as a gay person and is a huge backbone for LGBTQ+ culture, so I wanted to pen something that mourned for that damage both to club goers in Ireland but especially to the queer community.”
‘No More Dancefloor’ is the fourth single from PureGrand’s upcoming album, set to be released early next year.
Ascension – The X Collective, Jess Kav, Senita, Toshín
With music, collaboration and artistic expression at its core, one of Ireland’s newest music initiatives, The X Collective, has been going from strength to strength since its launch in May 2020. ‘Ascension’ is the collaborative brainchild of three of the Collective’s members, powerhouse vocalists Jess Kav, Senita and Toshín. Together they have birthed an industrial, RnB-rock belter giving you three minutes of pure energy, in which they infuse topics of empowerment, self-love, spirituality, and emotional release.
This is the second single coming from The X Collective’s upcoming debut album, and the artists describe it as “An anthemic affirmation of coming into your power with the strength of hip-hop, gospel and hints of industrial inflections.”
Heart of Gold – Blend Bold
Spurred on by the eternal quest to journey inward and uncover life’s true meaning, Blend Bold is a multifaceted artist who draws on a deep well of musical influences. This is epitomised in his latest track, ‘Heart of Gold’, a gloriously upbeat cover of the Neil Young classic.
Handling the original with love and sensitivity, Blend Bold injects energy and excitement into one of his favourite songs of all time, honouring this timeless piece of art while introducing it to a whole new audience.
Speaking on returning to music after a five-year hiatus, the Irishman said: “When it came to making my first solo project in five years, I wanted to cover a song that has depth, heart and which reminds me to look within myself to find my gold.”
Soap Girls – Clara Tracey
Hailing from Fermanagh, Clara Tracey has just released her first single since signing with Pizza Pizza Records. ‘Soap Girls’ also has an accompanying music video featuring themes of sex and body positivity, queerness, S&M… and farmhouse cheese!
Having spent seven years living and performing in Paris’ Montmartre district, Tracey’s music certainly displays its French influence. Classy, playful and dreamy, ‘Soap Girls’ also has a sapphic quality that can not be missed.
Hate To See It – Emét
Northern Irish indie-folk musician, Emét, has released a new country-inspired track, ‘Hate To See It’, which is the first song to be revealed off their upcoming debut album.
The Irish artist has previously been described by Yeo Magazine as someone who “truly captures the emotions of the helpless hopefulness that so many of us have accustomed to,” and as an LGBTQ+ singer, their music is not-to-be-missed.
Emét’s debut album, Carlin’s Farm, is due to come out on April 8, 2022, and it follows their critically-acclaimed EP Cheers & All the Best which was released earlier this year.
In My Head – Xona
Last month, rising artist Xona released his debut EP, ‘In My Head’ – a seven-track Pop/R&B record. The musician is a triple threat, combining a special talent for songwriting and production with a truly beautiful voice to deliver sensual, soulful pop music.
Speaking on the EP’s release, Xona said: “In my Head it is sentimental, very melodramatic, and just fun. I can’t put into words how proud I am of the tiny little world we created.
“I learnt how to really write on this project, through sitting in a particular feeling or experience and really understanding the story. and sometimes even though the stories didn’t arrive seamlessly, there was this newfound calm in the process, driving without a roadmap, to a destination you’re so sure you’ll eventually reach. I learned what sound served as the best vehicle to carry what I felt I had to say, and most importantly I found out how to mean what I said.”
Everything I Loved I Lost (That Day) – Paul Quin
Well known among the Irish LGBTQ+ community, Paul Quin returned to music after a ten-year break earlier this year, and his latest single ‘Everything I Loved I Lost (That Day)’ is out on December 17.
The artist has been releasing new songs and music videos all year as he enjoys his return to the scene. Songs such as ‘Life On Eath’, ‘A Better Place’, and ‘Be Yourself Girl’ are influenced by Quin’s experiences of growing up gay in Ireland, and the state of the nation today.
All I Want For Christmas Is Nudes – Ariana Grindr
Our December 2021 music list wouldn’t be complete without at least one queer Christmas carol, and Ariana Grindr’s ‘All I Want For Christmas Is Nudes’ is the gift that keeps on giving. The Irish drag queen is a professionally trained singer putting her vocals to good use on this hilarious holiday bop written by Trixie Mattel.
The song follows on from her 2020 release of ‘Santa, Come Thru’, and she encouraged her Instagram followers to stream and download the track by promising to “say a prayer that your ex falls down the stairs” if you do!
BONUS PICK: I YOU SHE – Godford
Although not an Irish artist, Godford is creating glorious music for the LGBTQ+ community, and with their album coming out on December 3, we couldn’t not include it in the list. I YOU SHE is the second studio album from the Parisian musician who looks to inspire the next generation of non-binary artists.
The songs shapeshift from quietly enthralling dancefloor hymns that captivate in their ephemeral rhythm before unfolding to more forlorn spaces. At times both reactionary and empathetic, the record’s far-reaching lens loops together a scope of contrasting emotion that reflects the deeply personal circumstance of experiencing music at its most personal.
Godford describes the album as “a new chapter, a new story, a new emotion.”
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