7 queer artists making empowering music right now

As November kicks into gear, we've compiled a list of the best new queer music to check out this month.

Split screen with three artists from the queer artists empowering music article: PureGrand on the right, Tom Chinarro in the middle and Devon Cole on the left
Image: @puregrand, @tomchinarro and @devonmcole via Instagram

As the end of the year approaches, many playlists are in need of a little freshening up. With that in mind, we’ve selected the coolest upcoming queer artists that recently released new music projects aiming to empower the LGBTQ+ community.

‘Is This The Guy For Me’ by Michael Runswick

Michael Runswick is a Dublin-based multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and songwriting student who recently released a new single called ‘Is This The Guy For Me’. In this uplifting dance-pop song, Michael wants to celebrate queer culture.

“This song is important to me for various reasons, it’s the first song where I talk about being openly gay and give people an insight into some of my experiences as a LGBTQ+ artist. It’s the first song that I have written about any of my relationships since coming out as gay. I am so beyond proud of how the track turned out and that I got to work with such incredible people to get the track produced. I hope that this song helps and inspires other gay people to become more comfortable with being openly gay and those who may not be out yet but need some encouragement,” said Runswick regarding ‘Is This The Guy For Me’.

‘Banana Boy’ by Monsieur Pompier’s Travelling Freakshow

Monsieur Pompier’s Travelling Freakshow is a Dublin-based band that describes themselves as “weirdos”. They recently released a music video for their song ‘Banana Boy’, which is part of their debut album Teatime Terrors.

“‘Banana Boy’ is a cautionary tale about a naughty little scamp whose fingers transform into a certain yellow fruit every time he commits an evil act,” explains Paul, one of the members of Monsieur Pompier’s Travelling Freakshow.

‘Hey Cowboy’ by Devon Cole

Singer-songwriter Devon Cole is a Toronto-based alt-pop artist whose musical education consists mostly of show choirs and rodeo appearances. The singer went viral after releasing a remix rectifying the lyrics of the song ‘Blurred Lines’.

Now, Devon is back with a new single titled ‘Hey Cowboy’, and while commenting about her newest release, she revealed: “‘Hey Cowboy’ is a song where I’m embracing my sexuality (and my affection for cowboys). I love songs that are a little flirty, a lot flirty. It’s downright fun to own my sexual appetite and sing freely about it. I get fired up (in a good way) hearing women sing candidly and unapologetically about sex. Especially when it’s raunchy. ‘Hey Cowboy’ is the first song of mine where I’m stepping into that.”

‘The Best Of Life’ by Lamph

‘The Best Of Life’ is an autobiographical song by Lamph, a pop duo from Waterford. In it, they share their experience of being a queer teenager in Ireland during the early 1990s.

Lamph explains that ‘The Best Of Life’ “is a huge theatrical flamboyant, unashamedly queer anthem about the agony and ecstasy of being an adolescent enraptured by another boy at school, yet the whole world around you screams from the rooftops that your desire is sinful, and will doom you to a lonely life as a social outcast.”

PureGrand: The Video! by PureGrand

An unconventional entry to this list is PureGrand: The Video!, a new LGBTQ+ documentary made by Irish musician, filmmaker and photographer, PureGrand (Luke Faulkner). Throughout the documentary, he talks about his experience as an independent pop artist trying to make it into the queer music scene in Ireland.

“I feel its a perspective of the modern Irish music scene that hasn’t really been shown in much detail as it’s not one that’s linked to the usual avenues like gigging and I think it would resonate especially with other bedroom producers and musicians. Also to illustrate the thriving queer music scene we have in Ireland,” says PureGrand.

Euphoria (EP) by Jack Madden

Jack Madden is an Irish musician who recently released his self-produced EP titled Euphoria. The artist spent months working on and perfecting the 7-track project, and it has been extremely well received by the queer community.

Madden recently wowed audiences at LGBTQ+ performance night Queermania in Dublin’s The Sound House.

‘Violets’ by Thomas Chinarro (ft. Mac Gray)

Thomas Chinarro, an independent singer-songwriter based in Dublin, will release a song in collaboration with Mac Gray titled ‘Violets’ on November 18. ‘Violets’ is an indie and folk track “written from the perspective of a boy who progressively reveals details of his lover’s story to the listener”.

Speaking about the meaning behind the song, Thomas revealed that: “Mac & I decided to use flowers, or more specifically violets, as a metaphor for violence & bruises – the ones on his lover’s shoulders, caused by his father. The narrator is willing to accompany his partner through ‘hell’ as long as he is by his side. This song is one of suffering, longing and passion – but also one of hope.”

‘Asking For It’ by M(h)aol

CW: Sexual Assault. 5-piece band M(h)aol has released a brand new single and music video ‘Asking For It’, that packs a powerful punch. The track is intensely raw and personal, exploring one of the members ‘experiences and feelings surrounding r*pe culture.

The song will feature on M(h)aol’s upcoming album Attachment Styles, set to release on February 3, 2023. The record is about social connection, queerness and healing, and it follows the group’s critically acclaimed EP Gender Studies.

So there you have it, seven incredible examples of queer music to add to your playlist this winter!

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