September 16, 2020
Queer Your Ears is back again! And there’s so much new music! This month, there are some wintry tracks for relaxing and looking out the window on a rainy day or to beat the heat, as well as some upbeat stuff for breaking out of the doldrums.
Queer Your Ears is a regular series highlighting some of the lesser-known recent releases from queer and trans musicians.
A bunch of artists released new albums this month like Kim Petras, Bebe Machete, Blood Orange, Dizzy Fae, and Dounia. There’s a lot of diversity here this month. Some really inventive indie-pop this month from Clairo, Shura, and Arthur Moon.
Here is a list of albums to look out for this Month:-
It is a new album released this year, and it’s one of the best albums by far. One of the things I love about it is that Claire Cottrill is, something incredibly unique here in that her not-quite trip-hop, not-quite indie-pop sounds warm, as though it was all recorded live. The drums feel live. The bass feels live.
She’s made the transition from bedroom pop to the big leagues without losing the charm that makes low-fi so endearing. Do check out the album.
2. Marika Hackman, Any Human Friend:
The song is potentially a breakup song. Songs about distant lovers are common, but not usually from the perspective of the distant one!
This sense of honesty, directness, and self-deprecation are hallmarks of this excellent very-much-a-breakup album. Musically, this is very solid modern, guitar-based rock n’ roll, but it does unique things lyrically
If you’re a fan of abrasive noisy punk-rap like Death Grips, this is right up your alley. It’s harsh, intense, and also gorgeous.
Ashanti Mutinta is a trans queer witch who hails from Zambia and lives in Canada, and describes the album as “confident, angry, ready to tear the heads off of oppressors.” So much of mainstream hip-hop today is about having a good time, partying, bragging, or spending obscene amounts of money.
Exquisite pop sensibility, weird singer-songwriter creativity and disdain for traditional song structures, and crunchy, rocking hooks and melodies, this album is a killer.
The deftly-applied chopping and screwing of the instrumentation, keep this album consistently fresh, exciting, and often pleasantly unexpected. She breaks all the rules so beautifully.
It is a lovely electropop. According to Shura, it’s based on her first date with her now-girlfriend, and they were at a – the attraction must have been STRONG!
“Religion” is a standout track. It’s like Shura’s a lovely lesbian angel, reminding these nuns that God is love! Including sexual, lesbian love.
The rest of the album keeps the same energy – though some tracks are more relaxed and some are more upbeat – and the religious motif shows up throughout.
According to Shura, this one is also about her girlfriend, who she wasn’t that serious about, until she moved to Brooklyn from London to be with her, which… sounds pretty gay. So does this album. I will neither confirm nor deny that I’ve had lesbian sex with this album on. It’s… a really sexy album.
6. Kim Petras, Clarity:
The album is really good. Every song is immaculately produced, with perfect swirls of synth, heavy, club-ready percussion, and harmonies that soar to heaven.
Its and incredibly sexy album. The trans woman, singing openly about sex and being desirable is revolutionary!
Lyrically, it’s pretty standard pop music fare. There are quite a few heartbreak anthems, and the rest seem to boast about Petras’ beauty and wealth.
7. Bebe Machete, There is not a Metaphor that can Contain:
Bebe Machete continues to do incredibly creative, unexpected things on this album. They modulate their voice, going up and down in the register, to spoken word, switching seamlessly between English and Spanish, to distortion and reverb, and back again, sometimes in the same song.
They play with time signatures — you never know if a song will speed up, slow down, stop completely. Their take on salsa, Latin jazz, and low-fi pop music is fresh and immediate and challenging and lovely.
8. Blood Orange, Angel’s Pulse:
Blood Orange’s album Negro Swan — released just under a year ago and is an essential listen!! Negro Swan was brutally beautiful as it explored Blackness, queerness, mental health, and existing within those intersections in Trump’s America.
Hynes has always done fearlessly original things with his arrangements and production, utilizing negative space as deftly as an EDM producer — and this is no different
While typically a Blood Orange album feels meticulously put together, the primary feeling here is loose and free — it is a “mixtape”.
This month’s releases have full-length albums. There are literally hundreds of albums releasing every month and it is difficult to decide which one to feature. There are a few other solid rocks, folk, and R&B.