It’s February, which means it’s LGBTQ+ history month. But, as well as looking backwards at the musicians and artists who have shaped history as openly gay, lesbian, bisexual and queer spokespeople, it’s important to shine a light on those who are around today, standing loud and proud and making music as part of an underrepresented and marginalised group of people. Here’s a few of the artists and bands that have made an impact in today’s musical landscape.
Newcomer to the alt-pop scene, VISSIA, is a Canadian songstress who combines pop, soul, jazz and more. Her singles from her upcoming full-length album With Pleasure show her to be a shrewd and wise-beyond-her-years songwriter who doesn’t shy from honest confessions of emotions and outpourings of love in all its many forms.
Listen to: ‘On My Mind’ or ‘About Moving On’
French Fries and Margarita is the non-binary performer whose pop act is about to drop its debut track, ‘CRIME AGAINST NATURE’, an indictment of those who make it hard for people to be themselves. It’s a slick track which maintains a DIY sensibility and fuses French culture and haute couture fashion in their one-of-a-kind take on pop.
You may have heard of SOPHIE, the hyper-pop producer whose debut solo album OIL OF EVERY PEARL’S UN-INSIDES was an underground success which was set to propel her into the mainstream before her tragic death earlier this year. She truly had a huge impact on the music industry, a talent taken from the world too soon. RIP.
Listen to: ‘It’s Okay To Cry’ or ‘BIPP’
Singer-songwriter and poet, Arlo Parks, released her phenomenal debut LP, Collapsed In Sunbeams, last month. The London-based artist takes influence from Lo-fi, soul, indie folk and the end result is simply stunning. If you could only pick one new artist to listen to in 2021, it would have to be Arlo Parks. Go check her music out now.
Listen to: ‘Hurt’ or ‘Black Dog’
MUNA is an electronic-pop band from LA, comprised of musicians: Katie Gavin, Josette Maskin, and Naomi McPherson. The trio have continually pushed boundaries with their dark-pop sound. Make sure you keep an eye on them.
Listen to: ‘Number One Fan’ or ‘Stayaway’
Pale Waves is one the UK’s most exciting bands, formed by vocalist Heather Baron-Gracie and drummer Ciára Doran in 2014, the band have recently released their second record, Who AM I?. The album offers messages of hope and solidarity to members of the LGBTQ+ community and both Heather and Ciára are fantastic role models for the queer community.
Listen to: ‘She’s My Religion’ and ‘There’s A Honey’
London-based singer-songwriter, Rina Sawayama, released one of 2020’s best albums with her debut LP, Sawayama. The genre-defying artist has received universal acclaim thanks to her unique sound which blends pop, nu-rock, R&B and more. She’s set to tour the UK at the end of this year. We can’t wait to see what she does next.
Listen to: ‘XS’ or ‘Comme Des Garçons (Like The Boys)’