For Hits and Gigs © 2018

  • Jeanette Beirne

13 Underrated LGBTQ+ Artists to Watch This Summer


June is LGBTQ+ pride month, and this year marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. Why not take a deep dive into some indie artists on the rise, and get ready for the summer with this pridefriendly playlist!

Here we go! As always, make sure to stick around and check out our Spotify playlist with all these amazing artists at the end of the article.

Caroline Rose

“Jeannie Becomes a Mom”

Caroline Rose is a queer-identifying singer-songwriter, musician, producer, and fearless indie rock frontwoman originally from Burlington, VT. She took over 2018 with her album 'LONER,' bringing her mixture of pop sensibilities and synth-rock anthems all across the globe. Her song “Jeannie Becomes a Mom” landed #15 on NPR’s “The Best Songs of 2018” list and tells the story of a friend who got pregnant and moved to the suburbs.

Mal Blum

“I Don’t Want To”

Fighting depression with clever, relatable lyrics and gritty punk rock melodies, Mal Blum is a talented singer-songwriter, musician, and performer based out of NYC. In their song “I Don’t Want To” Mal sings about rebelling against the things society expects us to do, like work a 9 to 5 job, or pay the bills on time. Mal identifies as non-binary and uses they/them pronouns.

Thin Lips

“My Mouth is Skinned Like an Apple”

Thin Lips is an indie rock band based out of Philadelphia, PA whose signature sound is a mixture of hard rock melodic riffs, and honest, introspective lyrics. Lead singer and guitarist Chrissy Tashjian identifies as queer, noting that “it’s definitely heavily influenced the way I make music and where I play music and what I want to write about."

A.W.

“Different Now”

A.W. is a “Lovesick Pop” singer-songwriter based out of Los Angeles. Formerly known as Allison Weiss, A.W. now identifies as a queer, non-binary trans boy and uses they/them pronouns. They have an impressive catalog of indie pop/rock tunes and an underdog spirit that can’t be matched. In their song “Different Now” A.W. delves into the leftover feelings of a past relationship, singing “I love you, but it’s different now."

Ryan Cassata

“Daughter”

Ryan Cassata said it best in his video description for the song “Daughter,” saying it’s “a song about my personal experience transitioning from female to male and my transformed relationship from being my dad's daughter to being his son.” Ryan is a pop singer-songwriter, YouTuber, trans activist, and notably the first trans artist to ever perform at Van’s Warped Tour Festival. He identifies as a trans man and uses he/him pronouns.

Grayson

“Brother”

Grayson is a Los Angeles based singer-songwriter, model, stylist, and one-half of Seattle-born synthpop group Neu Yeuth. Grayson identifies as non-binary and uses they/them pronouns. In the song “Brother,” Grayson creates a gorgeous soundscape comprised of looped vocals, percussive elements, lush synth, and deep bass layers; comparable to the electro-pop duo Sylvan Esso.

JORDY

“Just Friends”

JORDY is a Los Angeles based indie-pop artist who identifies as gay. On his recently released EP 'Welcome to the Friend Zone' he sifts through moments of loneliness and rejection with a lens of optimism. JORDY was named by Billboard as the #1 LGBTQ artist to watch for in 2019. In his song “Just Friends,” you are immediately pulled in with his smooth vocals, and upbeat pop production. JORDY told Billboard that “Every song isn’t a celebration of happiness, but every song is masked by really happy production,” a true reflection on life, and love.

Worriers

“Chasing”

Brooklyn based melodic punk band Worriers has been releasing music since 2011. The band’s music is centered around the songwriting of Lauren Denitzio, their lead singer and guitarist. Denitzio identifies as queer and uses they/them pronouns. Their song “Chasing” features zippy melodic guitar lines and the high energy rock n’ roll energy that encompasses Worriers’ sound.

Adult Mom

“Drive Me Home”

Adult Mom singer Stephanie Knipe identifies as non-binary and uses they/them pronouns. The name Adult Mom came from a friend’s username and stuck with them as they tended to be the “mom” of their friend group. The band describes their sound as “queer-indie-bittersweet-romantic-pop-music”, and their track “Drive Me Home” is a perfect example of that.

Rae Spoon

“Do Whatever the Heck You Want”

Rae Spoon is a Canadian musician and writer. Rae Spoon identifies as non-binary and uses they/them pronouns. Their musical style has varied from country to electronic-influenced indie rock and folk punk. The lyrics of this song are perfect for anyone struggling with their sexuality, or gender. Encouraging the listener to follow their hearts and live their best lives. “Should I date men or women?, Should I date non-binary?, Should I date no one and make my friends the thing? Do whatever the heck you want.”

Palehound

“If You Met Her”

Palehound is the musical project of introspective singer-songwriter Ellen Kempner. Kempner identifies as queer embraces her sexuality through music. On the song “If You Met Her” Kempner’s voice is distinctly sincere, singing “I’m with someone new, and I know that you would love her if you met her." Describing the memories of a past lover, as she begins to date someone new.

Lowell

“The Bells”

Toronto based singer-songwriter, musician, producer, and performer Elizabeth Lowell Boland is not shy when speaking up about social issues. Lowell uses her music platform to shed light on women’s rights, equality, LGBTQ+ rights, sexual abuse, and more. In a recent interview, she said, “...Turns out you can still dance while confronting social norms; you can still have fun while defending equality.”

Julien Baker

“Sprained Ankle”

It wouldn’t be an indie playlist without the songwriting powerhouse, Julien Baker. In her song, “Sprained Ankle,” she describes herself as a marathon runner with a sprained ankle while also contemplating why she can’t write songs “about anything other than death. Julien makes up one-third of the indie supergroup boygenius, with Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus. Julien identifies as a lesbian.

Here is our playlist where you can listen to all of these amazing artists!

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