In recent years some incredible LGBTQ+ artists have been emerging and making strides within the music industry. The five different artists featured in this article have been producing ground-breaking music lately that only reflects the start of exceptional careers.
King Princess broke into the music scene back in 2018 with her debut single ‘1950’. Referencing the 1952 novel The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith, King Princess used the song to explore the restrictions queer people have experienced throughout history. Some of her other notable songs from the past couple of years include ‘Talia’, ‘Ohio’, Upper West Side’, and ‘Only Time Makes It Human’. King Princess’ soulful voice and ethereal instrumental arrangements contribute to the simultaneously modern and nostalgic sound she has managed to achieve.
Arlo Parks has been making headlines in the past month with the release of her new album Collapsed in Sunbeams. Some of the best examples of Parks’ poetic song writing include ‘Sophie’, ‘Eugene’ and ‘Black Dog’. Her latest album deals with themes of
mental health and self-discovery as she cleverly combines her passion for both poetry and music to make each song feel like a perfectly formed short story. Before Covid-19, Parks was on track to go on tour with Haley Williams but, obviously, the pandemic hindered these plans. If anything, Arlo Parks has been able to use the enforced solitude of lockdown to write some of her most meaningful songs, clearly making her an artist to watch.
Frances Forever started out as a musical project for Frances Garrett, who didn’t expect their hit song ‘Space Girl’ to become quite so popular. With an indie-pop style similar to the recognisable bedroom pop of artists such as Clairo, Frances Forever manages to combine happy melodies with more complex themes and lyrics to create truly enjoyable music. ‘Space Girl’ is one of Frances Forever’s most recognisable hits, having reached over 10 million streams on Apple and Spotify after going viral on TikTok last year. Having recently collaborated with Chloe Moriondo on a new version of ‘Space Girl’, the outstanding success that Frances Forever has had so far highlights the potential for their future music to receive further accolades.
Although some have described Dizzy Fae’s music as a fusion of RnB and jazz, her genre is better understood as lacking definition. Her 2018 mixtape Free Form gave her the opportunity to go on tour as a supporting act for Lizzo whilst working on her second mixtape No GMO. Her music is full of contrasts; from dance hits like ‘Life- style’ to more mellow tracks such as ‘Her’ or ‘Indica’, each song captures Dizzy Fae’s almost ethereal exploration of her own queer identity. Fae was classically trained and whilst she brings to the table a new sound that is in many ways reflective of Generation Z, she also effectively incorporates elements of the music she grew up listening to, from Prince to Billy Joel. All of these various influences make for an evidently well-considered sound that many are intrigued to see progress.
The past few years have been central to the discovery of mxmtoon’s musical identity. The success of her 2019 song ‘prom dress’ established mxmtoon as an artist who effectively utilises dreamy bedroom pop to encapsulate authentic teenage experiences. A recent collaboration with Ricky Montgomery on a new version of ‘Line Without a Hook’ truly exemplifies how mxmtoon’s sound is becoming something more and more artists want to feature and engage with. Some of mxmtoon’s best songs, like ‘unspoken words’ or ‘fever dream’, explore her childhood, Chinese-American identity and sexuality. Her two connected EPs from last year (dawn and dusk) signify the development of a more mature sound.
What might have previously been viewed by some as quite bare arrangements have transformed into rich acoustics accompanied by beautifully simplistic lyrics. Every single one of the artists mentioned above are redefining the music industry through their distinct lyrics and exciting arrangements. Many of them incorporate their LGBTQ+ identity into the music they create alongside broader themes of adolescence and self-discovery. Not only are these musicians crucially paving the way for a more inclusive industry, but also demonstrating that their already remarkable music is on track to improve and develop with time.
Featured Image: Sam T via Creative Commons