March 2018 Alt Col Picks

Lots of great albums were released in March, so here are our favorite records of the month! (In no particular order.) Want a Spotify playlist? Click here!

  • Fickle Friends – You Are Someone Else

The colorful, glistening indie pop rock of Fickle Friends’ You Are Someone Else is entrancing and undeniably fun. This debut full-length is characterized by ’80s-influenced guitar timbre and catchy songwriting, blending the ever-present throwback elements with fresh, modern-day production. Standout tracks include “Glue,” “Brooklyn,” “Say No More,” and “Paris.” You Are Someone Else will appeal to fans of The Aces, Paramore’s After Laughter, and Scavenger Hunt. Click here to listen.

  • Moose Blood – I Don’t Think I Can Do This Anymore

The emo-tinged pop punk/pop rock outfit Moose Blood has unleashed their third studio album titled I Don’t Think I Can Do This Anymore. I Don’t Think offers the four-piece’s trademark brand of poignant lyricism and upbeat musicality, continuing to efficiently blur the lines of emo and pop punk. Standout tracks include “Have I Told You Enough,” “It’s Too Much,” and “Pull Me From the Floor.” I Don’t Think I Can Do This Anymore is sure to satisfy followers of A Will Away, Knuckle Puck, and The Wonder Years. Click here to listen.

  • Jack White – Boarding House Reach

Jack White, formerly one half of The White Stripes, branches out on his third solo record Boarding House Reach. Boarding House Reach is experimental and vivid between its psychedelic atmosphere and artificial instrumentation. Standout tracks include “Over and Over and Over,” “Connected By Love,” “Get In the Mind Shaft,” and “Corporation.” Boarding House Reach is sure to attract listeners of The White Stripes, The Kills, and The Dead Weather. Click here to listen.

  • The Vaccines – Combat Sports

The Vaccines recrudesce on Combat Sports with their signature rock ‘n’ roll mixed with electronic elements to craft a record that is catchy, fun, and endlessly replayable. From the plucky guitar melodies of the opener to the roaring distortion of the closer, this album is sure to get stuck in your head and is well-deserving of repeated listens. Standout tracks include “Put It On a T-Shirt,” “Your Love Is My Favorite Band,” and “Nightclub.” Combat Sports will appeal to followers of The Libertines, Phoenix, and Ra Ra Riot. Click here to listen.

  • Camp Cope – How to Socialise & Make Friends

Hailing from Australia, Camp Cope melds lo-fi indie rock with heartfelt libretto and enthusiastic vocal performances on their sophomore full-length titled How to Socialise & Make Friends. The honest singing and sparse instrumentation are simultaneously personal and intimate and yet still enough to rattle concert halls and stadiums. Standout tracks include “The Opener,” “The Face of God,” and “How to Socialise & Make Friends.” How to Socialise & Make Friends will capture fans of Varsity, Waxahatchee, and Quarterbacks. Click here to listen.

  • Naked Giants – Sluff

New West Records signees Naked Giants deliver energy and excitement on their debut long-player Sluff. Sluff is defined by raucous guitar intonation and chanted choruses, animated percussion and stellar solos. It’s angsty and fiery and undoubtedly entertaining. Standout tracks include “Everybody Thinks They Know (But No One Really Knows),” “We’re Alone,” and “TV.” Sluff is sure to satisfy followers of Remo Drive, Daddy Issues, and Lady Legs. Click here to listen.

  • McCafferty – Yarn

After releasing a handful of EPs and singles, McCafferty finally provides their freshman full-length album titled Yarn. Intertwining hauntingly dark lyricism with granular guitar tones, Yarn spins a spellbinding listen, weaving between more buoyant occasions and slower, grimmer sentiments. Standout tracks include “Paper, Pencil, Copyright,” “Sauerkraut,” and “Westboro Sadness.” Yarn will interest listeners of Modern Baseball, The Front Bottoms, and Joyce Manor. Click here to listen.

  • Hot Mulligan – Pilot

There’s a particular rawness and vivacity captured on Hot Mulligan’s latest record Pilot that sounds original and refreshing. With aspects of pop punk, Pilot offers up shredded guitar solos and plenty of memorable hooks but also stripped-down, more experimental moments, like the oddly-named tenth track “How Do You Know It’s Not Armadillo Shells?” Standout tracks include “The Soundtrack To Missing A Slam Dunk,” “All You Wanted By Michelle Branch, and “How Do You Know It’s Not Armadillo Shells?” Pilot will appeal to fans of Seaway, Coldfront, and Neck Deep. Click here to listen.

  • blessthefall – Hard Feelings

blessthefall’s sixth studio LP Hard Feelings is impactful and ebullient metalcore that truly stands out from the pack. Through face-melting guitar melodies and rousing screaming, Hard Feelings discharges intensity and emotional fervor while also expanding upon electronic factors. Standout tracks include “Wishful Sinking,” “Cutthroat,” and “I’m Over Being Under(rated).” Hard Feelings is bound to attract followers of Memphis May Fire, I See Stars, and Saosin. Click here to listen.

  • Oceans of Slumber – The Banished Heart

The Banished Heart, the third full-length release from Oceans of Slumber, superbly advances the band’s delectable mixture of metal, progressive rock, and psychedelia. Frontwoman Cammie Gilbert displays her soulful vocal talent and emotion all throughout the record, supported by brooding, viscous instrumentals. Standout tracks include “The Decay of Disregard,” “The Banished Heart,” and the chilling cover of “Wayfaring Stranger.” The Banished Heart will attract fans of In This Moment, Epica, and Gemini Syndrome. Click here to listen.

  • Martha Ffion – Sunday Best

The rosy indie folk rock of Martha Ffion’s Sunday Best is characterized by earnest lyricism and velvety instrumentation; the hazy vocals are complemented by buttery guitar tones and effervescent percussion, making for an enticing listen perfect for an easygoing Sunday afternoon. Standout tracks include “Record Sleeves,” “We Make Do,” and “Take Your Name.” Sunday Best will interest listeners of Spinning Coin, Anna Burch, and Olden Yolk. Click here to listen.

  • Teenage Wrist – Chrome Neon Jesus

Teenage Wrist smoothly amalgamates elements of alt-rock, emo, and shoegaze on their debut long-player via Epitaph Records interestingly titled Chrome Neon Jesus. Chrome Neon Jesus calls back to the ’90s grunge era while also staying fresh and contemporary through its reverb-laden distorted guitars, synthetic drum components, and captivating vocal performances. Standout tracks include “Dweeb,” “Rollerblades,” and “Supermachine.” Chrome Neon Jesus is sure to intrigue fans of Superheaven, Secret Space, and Nirvana. Click here to listen.


MORE GREAT ALBUMS
  • Hayley Kiyoko – Expectations

I would’ve placed this higher up but it’s not exactly alternative. (I suppose one could consider it alt-pop?) Still, amazing music! Standout tracks include “Feelings,” “Curious,” “What I Need (feat. Kehlani),” and “Sleepover.” Expectations is for fans of Betty Who, Troye Sivan, and Matilda. Click here to listen.

  • The Neighbourhood – The Neighbourhood

Standout tracks include “Flowers,” “Scary Love,” and “Too Serious.” The Neighbourhood is for fans of Jaymes Young, BØRNS, and Arctic Monkeys. Click here to listen.

  • Mt. Joy – Mt. Joy

Standout tracks include “Silver Lining,” “Dirty Love,” and “Astrovan.” Mt. Joy is for fans of Mating Ritual, Yoke Lore, and Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors. Click here to listen.

  • Queen of Jeans – Dig Yourself

Standout tracks include “More to Love,” “U R My Guy,” and “Clever Hands.” Dig Yourself is for fans of Varsity, Diet Cig, and Ratboys. Click here to listen.

  • Preoccupations – New Material

Standout tracks include “Disarray,” “Espionage,” and “Solace.”  New Material is for fans of Iceage, The Smiths, and Alvvays. Click here to listen.

  • Casey – Where I Go When I Am Sleeping

Standout tracks include “The Funeral,” “Needlework,” and “Bruise.” Where I Go When I Am Sleeping is for fans of Movements, Being As An Ocean, and To the Wind. Click here to listen.

  • Gulfer – Dog Bless

Standout tracks include “Florida,” “Doglife, and “Baseball.” Dog Bless is for fans of Prawn, Pet Symmetry, and American Pleasure Club. Click here to listen.

  • The Voidz – Virtue

Standout tracks include “Leave It In My Dreams,” “Pyramid of Bones,” and “ALieNNatioN.” Virtue is for fans of Temples, Oh Sees, and MGMT. Click here to listen.

  • The Black Delta Movement – Preservation

Standout tracks include “Let the Rain Come,” “Hunting Ground,” and “King Mosquito.” Preservation is for fans of LIFE, New Candys, and Desert Mountain Tribe. Click here to listen.

  • Titus Andronicus – A Productive Cough

Standout tracks include “Above the Bodega (Local Business),” “Number One (In New York),” and “(I’m) Like a Rolling Stone.” A Productive Cough is for fans of The Hold Steady, The Thermals, and Screaming Females. Click here to listen.

  • Sorority Noise – YNAAYT

A rearranged, redone, and reimagined version of Sorority Noise’s stellar 2017 record You’re Not As ____ As You Think. (I always read YNAAYT in my head as “Y’AIN’T” for some reason.) Standout tracks include “No Halo,” “Chelsea Hotel No. 2,” and “Windowwww.” YNAAYT is for fans of Modern Baseball, Moose Blood, and Pinegrove. Click here to listen.

  • Punchline – LION

Standout tracks include “Friend From the Future,” “Sensory Overload,” and “Another Tale of Remember When.” LION is for fans of Bayside, The Starting Line, and The Movielife. Click here to listen.

  • Three Days Grace – Outsider

Standout tracks include “The Mountain,” “I Am an Outsider,” and “Strange Days.” Outsider is for fans of Shinedown, 3 Doors Down, and Breaking Benjamin. Click here to listen.

  • The Decemberists – I’ll Be Your Girl

Standout tracks include “Severed,” “Everything Is Awful,” and “Once In My Life.” I’ll Be Your Girl is for fans of The Shins, The Veils, and The Mountain Goats. Click here to listen.

 


Extended Plays
  • The Wrecks – Panic Vertigo

(Sorry we didn’t include this in our February picks!) I’m not kidding when I say Panic Vertigo is one of my absolute favorite EPs of the past year or so. The Wrecks gained a lot of attention from alternative music media outlets and garnered a devoted fanbase last year after dropping only 3 tracks. This new EP is bound to leave your mouth watering for more… and have you shouting along at the top of your lungs. Standout tracks include “Revolution and “Way With Words.” Panic Vertigo is for fans of Driver Friendly, The American Scene, and Finish Ticket. Click here to listen.

  • Wavelight – Confidence Drive

Standout tracks include “Ghost Town” and “Dawn Chorus.” Confidence Drive is for fans of Varsity, Sun Culture, and Yellow Ostrich. Click here to listen.

  • Tiny Kingdoms – Realms

Standout tracks include “Cloverdale” and “Dawn.” Realms is for fans of The Starting Line, The Blonde Tongues, and Relient K. Click here to listen.

  • MILKK – Sad Girls

Standout tracks include “Less Than 3 and “Sad Girls.” Sad Girls is for fans of LANY, pineview, and The Japanese House. Click here to listen.

  • Remo Drive – Pop Music

Standout tracks include “Blue Ribbon” and “Song of the Summer.” Pop Music is for fans of Car Seat Headrest, Guide Dog, and Cheem. Click here to listen.

  • Until We Get Caught – Lost Years

Standout tracks include “The Ride and “Stranger Tides.” Lost Years is for fans of Bad Case, Send Request, and Highlives. Click here to listen.

  • Afterparty – On My Way to Hell

Standout tracks include “Luxuria” and “Hold On.” On My Way to Hell is for fans of The Story So Far, Every Avenue, and Sleep On It. Click here to listen.

  • Forever Came Calling – Retro Future

Standout tracks include “Borrowed Cars” and “Mine to Mold.” Retro Future is for fans of Like Pacific, Handguns, and Knuckle Puck. Click here to listen.

  • Tapestry – Ghost of Me

Standout tracks include “Ghost” and “Dark Shade.” Ghost of Me is for fans of Counterparts, Belle Haven, and Holding Absence. Click here to listen.

  • of Montreal – White Is Relic/Irrealis Mood

I guess this is technically an album? Standout tracks include “Paranoiac Intervals/Body Dysmorphia” and “Soft Music/Juno Portraits of the Jovian Sky.” White Is Relic/Irrealis Mood is for fans of Passion Pit, MGMT, and Perfume Genius. Click here to listen.

  • My Epic – Ultraviolet

Standout tracks include “Of Wilderness” and “Voices.” Ultraviolet is for fans of Come Wind, So Long Forgotten, and From Indian Lakes. Click here to listen.

  • Hold Fast Hope – Traitors

Standout tracks include “Fade” and “Ripple.” Traitors is for fans of Thrice, Thursday, and Glassjaw. Click here to listen.

 

 


Featured Singles

Let us know what you think of March’s releases down in the comments below!


Our Alt Col Picks are curated lists of the best albums and EPs for each month! We keep a schedule of upcoming releases and pick our favorite ones at the end of the month, giving them a spotlight here and on Twitter. To be featured in one of our lists, hit us up on our contact page or Twitter, though nothing is guaranteed. (We rarely make exceptions to include past releases, so if your album came out in June, we might be hesitant to include it in July or August, for instance.)

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2017 Year-End Roundup

Alright, so the big album-related lists from 2017 are out of the way (Best Albums & “Worst” Albums), so let’s jump into some more year-end lists! Let’s start with best songs. We’re gonna blow through the majority of these and then talk about the list-toppers a bit more in detail. Keep in mind this is all my personal opinion and you’re free to disagree! Let me know your favorite songs of 2017 down in the comments below.

Best Songs of 2017

  1. “All the Land Glimmered” by Julie Byrne
  2. “No Halo” by Sorority Noise
  3. “Main Attraction” by Sincerely, Me
  4. “Hiccups” by WATERS
  5. “Get By” by Real Friends
  6. “All” by Joseph
  7. “Better Off” by 7 Minutes in Heaven
  8. “Cannot Do This Alone” by Colony House
  9. “New York” by LEDGES
  10. “Take What You Want (feat. 5 Seconds of Summer)” by ONE OK ROCK
  11. “Feel Good” by Neon Trees
  12. “Apartment” by Seaway
  13. “The Last of the Real Ones” by Fall Out Boy
  14. “Paradise” by Broadside
  15. “Okay” by As It Is
  16. “Certainty” by Seasonal
  17. “What’s Wrong” by PVRIS
  18. “Sold” by Heavy Things
  19. “Caroline” by A Will Away
  20. “Everything You Want Me to Be” by Coldfront
  21. “Young for the Summer” by DALES
  22. “Celebrate the Reckless” by Magic Giant
  23. “The Fog” by LAYNE
  24. “Kids” by The Gospel Youth
  25. “Feelings” by Hayley Kiyoko
  26. “Don’t Take the Money” by Bleachers
  27. “Last Young Renegade” by All Time Low
  28. “The Breakup” by LANY
  29. “Slow Burn” by State Champs
  30. “Lookers” by The Menzingers
  31. “Fire” by The Dangerous Summer
  32. “In the Middle of It All” by Citizen
  33. “Sign of the Times” by Harry Styles
  34. “Tiger Teeth” by Walk the Moon
  35. “Daylily” by Movements
  36. “Hiding With Boys” by Creeper
  37. “Liability” by Lorde
  38. “Beautiful Things” by Grayscale
  39. “Black Butterflies & Déjà Vu” by The Maine
  40. “Fake Happy” by Paramore

That’s it! My top choice is “Fake Happy” by Paramore because I found myself constantly coming back to this song and loving it more and more every time. The lyrics are amazingly well-written and give such an awesome commentary, and the melodies in this song are absolutely stellar. “Black Butterflies & Déjà Vu” is my second pick because this song is so emotionally-charged and “gives me all the feels,” if you will. The instrumental is fantastic and the guitar melody is always stuck in my head on repeat. “Beautiful Things” by Grayscale is next on the list due to its heartfelt lyrics and spectacular vocal performance, along with that catchy hook! “Liability” by Lorde is a song that I can personally relate to and is such a moving piano ballad, which is quite out-of-the-ordinary for Lorde. “Hiding With Boys” is an epic rock tune outlined by smoky nostalgia and heart-rending lyrics that makes me feel some type of way. “Daylily” by Movements also makes me … feel something … and is such a poignant song between its raspy, impassioned vocals and raw instrumentals. I’ve been waiting for a studio version of “Tiger Teeth” by Walk the Moon for AGES and we finally got it! It definitely lives up to and even surpasses the live recordings of this atmospheric, emotional tune. “Sign of the Times” by Harry Styles isn’t what most fans expected from him, but my God, this monumental power ballad the best thing we could’ve ever dreamed of getting from this former boy band member. All of my top picks have something in common: they all made me feel. I don’t mean to get sappy, but that’s why I love music, it makes me feel things.

Best EPs of 2017

  1. Fade by Cold Climb It
  2. Likes Me Like That by Over Atlantic
  3. Aesthetically Pleasing by Sincerely, Me
  4. Do You Feel the Same Way Now? by Forbidden Envy
  5. Best When In Motion by Life Lessons
  6. Bloom by Seasonal
  7. Symmetry by 7 Minutes in Heaven
  8. Hard by The Neighbourhood
  9. Without You by pineview
  10. Wednesday by LAYNE

Click the links to read what we have to say about these EPs!

Best Debut Albums of 2017

  1. Totem by Welman
  2. AM/PM by The White Noise
  3. Lovely Domestic Bliss by Guide Dog
  4. Prosper by Gold Route
  5. Love Jail by Julia Louise
  6. Tasha Sits Close to the Piano by Jaws of Love.
  7. Homecoming by LEDGES
  8. Busybody Lazybones by Woolbright
  9. Landmark by Hippo Campus
  10. Red, Green, or Inbetween by WSTR
  11. Fail You Again by Can’t Swim
  12. Float Around by Coldfront
  13. Overexposed by Sleep On It
  14. Coast Modern by Coast Modern
  15. Always Lose by The Gospel Youth
  16. The Heights by Knox Hamilton
  17. Dreamcar by Dreamcar
  18. Cigarettes After Sex by Cigarettes After Sex
  19. Greatest Hits by Remo Drive
  20. Here Again by A Will Away
  21. In the Wind by Magic Giant
  22. Eternity, In Your Arms by Creeper
  23. LANY by LANY
  24. Feel Something by Movements
  25. Harry Styles by Harry Styles

Click the links to read what we have to say about each of these albums!

Most Underrated/Overlooked Albums of 2017

  1. Apprise. Assemble. Arise. by Concealed in Clouds
  2. Enjoy the Great Outdoors by Spencer Radcliffe & Everyone Else
  3. Odyssey by The Accidentals
  4. Swear I’m Good At This by Diet Cig
  5. Fever Dream by Everything Everything
  6. Sincerely by Dude York
  7. Telephone by Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas
  8. Waiting on the Sun by Jule Vera
  9. Bear Your Mind by Free Throw
  10. come out, you’re hiding by flor
  11. Connect the Dots by MisterWives
  12. Make the Best of It by Have Mercy
  13. For Posterity by Dryjacket
  14. Overexposed by Sleep On It (ironic title)
  15. Vultures by Dead Leaves
  16. Orc by Oh Sees
  17. Chew by Muskets
  18. Hurts So Good by The Polarity
  19. The Same View With a New Light by WATERMEDOWN
  20. Easy by The Weeks
  21. Homecoming by LEDGES
  22. The Love You Let Too Close by Thousand Below
  23. The Good Life by Makeout
  24. Stranger in the Alps by Phoebe Bridgers
  25. Tasha Sits Close to the Piano by Jaws of Love.
  26. Waiting for Morning to Come by Being As An Ocean
  27. Totem by Welman
  28. Not Even Happiness by Julie Byrne
  29. Always Hope by Forever Starts Today
  30. Float Around by Coldfront
  31. Camp Cope by Camp Cope
  32. Busybody Lazybones by Woolbright
  33. Metaphysical by The Technicolors
  34. Landmark by Hippo Campus
  35. Content by Joywave
  36. The Heights by Knox Hamilton
  37. Goner by Heavy Things
  38. Dreamcar by Dreamcar
  39. Volcano by Temples
  40. In the Wind by Magic Giant
  41. Awkward Phase by Eternal Boy
  42. Coast Modern by Coast Modern
  43. Here Again by A Will Away
  44. Back to Beautiful by Picturesque
  45. Diverge by Hawking
  46. Something More! by WATERS
  47. All These Countless Nights by Deaf Havana
  48. Synesthesia by Courage My Love
  49. Origami by Vinyl Theatre
  50. After the Party by The Menzingers

Click the links to read what we have to say about each of these albums!

Those are all the lists we have for 2017! Let us know your thoughts down in the comments below. Thanks for reading!

10 Songs to Celebrate Pride Month

Here at Alt Columnist, we mainly focus on alternative music, from indie rock to pop punk to singer/songwriter folk and everything in between. To celebrate Pride Month, we will be stepping outside of those genre-based boundaries and discussing songs that are pop, reggae, hip-hop, R&B, and alt-pop. These pieces are either about being LGBT+, are written/performed by LGBT+ artists, and/or have become regarded as empowering anthems for the LGBT+ community. We hope you enjoy, and let us know your favorite LGBT+ tunes! (Want a Spotify playlist? Click here!)

“Girls Like Girls” by Hayley Kiyoko

Hayley Kiyoko has risen to popularity through starring in Scooby Doo and Disney television shows, but her solo music career started taking off with the release of the This Side of Paradise EP in 2015 which featured her hit single titled “Girls Like Girls.” This indie pop song is an absolute anthemic jam for women-loving women everywhere, and the emotional music video presents the struggles that many gay people face in relationships and friendships. Hayley released her follow-up EP Citrine in 2016 which delivered more empowering tunes, like “Ease My Mind” and “Palace.” She recently debuted another single earlier this year named “Sleepover,” a fabulous slow burn that again details the difficulties of crushing on a friend. Overall, Hayley serves as an innovative indie pop artist who isn’t afraid to wear her heart on her sleeve.

“Girls/Girls/Boys” by Panic! at the Disco

Coming from the last genuinely good Panic! at the Disco album, (click here to read our review of Death of a Bachelor), “Girls/Girls/Boys” describes a love triangle complicated by bisexuality, but instead of execrating the orientation, Brendon accepts and supports it, chanting that “girls love girls and boys” and “love is not a choice.” “Girls/Girls/Boys” has become empowering for many LGBT+ youth, especially considering Panic!’s large young fanbase. While Brendon himself is not a member of the LGBT+ community, he has reported experimenting with men in the past but ultimately identifies as straight. He is a notable ally and features a rainbow pride flag at many of his live shows, overwhelmingly adorned by admirable praise from the audience.

“Ghosts” by PVRIS

Lynn Gunn, the frontwoman of the electro-rock band PVRIS, is gay and open about it in hopes of providing representation for others. It was hard to narrow it down to one song to feature in this post, but we settled on “Ghosts,” a personal favorite that exhibits the struggles of a relationship when dealing with “ghosts” which Lynn has explained is a metaphor for mental health issues, namely depression. This tune seems to tell the story of a couple facing challenges in their relationship due to these ghosts, the “things [Lynn] can’t see” but are still having an affect on their emotional connection, again pointing to psychological problems or other hardships. Overall, PVRIS has consistently released fantastic music and their powerful frontwoman continues to serve as a gay icon in the scene.

“Shameless” by Tyler Glenn

Tyler Glenn, lead singer of the pop rock band Neon Trees, has come out as gay and is shameless about it. He distanced himself from the Mormon religion due to his sexuality and other disagreements, and his debut solo album Excommunication discusses his experience and frustration with the LDS Church. “Shameless” is about not giving a damn and “living a life so shameless” while also calling out others on how they “hate what they don’t understand.” In a vein similar to Lady Gaga’s power anthem “Born This Way,” “Shameless” is bound to embolden listeners to be themselves unabashed and audaciously. Both songs also include religious inflections in the lyrics, taking jabs at close-minded church organizations, and Gaga in particular encourages the idea that God makes no mistakes and LGBT+ people can be spiritual no matter what.

“You Can Cry Tomorrow” by Betty Who

Again, it was difficult to choose just one song to include from the LGBT+ pop icon Betty Who. Jessica Anne Newham, known by her stage name Betty Who, relocated to the United States from Sydney, Australia, in 2007 and pursued a music career in the early 2010s with the debut single “Somebody Loves You” dropping in late 2012. Her sugary, upbeat pop jams have been utilized for gay marriage proposals and LGBT+ events, and she has performed at countless pride festivals across the country. “You Can Cry Tomorrow” is an uplifting ’80s-inspired pop tune with glimmering synths and catchy melodies, and the artist doesn’t hold back her sexual orientation in the lyrics.

“Heaven (ft. Betty Who)” by Troye Sivan

Speaking of Betty Who, she is featured on Troye Sivan’s emotional song “Heaven” from his 2015 debut album Blue Neighbourhood. The South African-born Australian initially found his fame on YouTube, garnering attention from other LGBT+ internet personalities like Tyler Oakley, Hannah Hart, and Connor Franta, and, through his profound interest in music, eventually signed to EMI Australia in 2013 to deliver his EP titled TRXYE, released in 2014. Troye is openly gay and acts as a role model for his viewers and listeners. “Heaven” discusses the familial and religious struggles that are unfortunately attached to the orientation, such as hiding the truth from one’s parents, coming to terms with oneself, and questioning spiritual beliefs. The piece is moving, haunting, and showcases perfectly the challenges many LGBT+ people face personally in the church.

“I Found A Girl” by The Vamps

The Vamps debuted as a British pop rock reggae band with syrupy sweet melodies and summertime vibes, though they originally started out uploading covers on YouTube, everything from One Direction and Austin Mahone to Neon Trees and McFly. Even as their career has progressed, they still continue to post covers, branching out to more rock oriented artists like Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance, and 5 Seconds of Summer. Their second album Wake Up featured the band taking a more pop approach in their style with songs that could easily have appeared as One Direction b-sides but still maintaining their guitars in most instances. The project also included the monumental “I Found A Girl,” an energetic pop rock reggae fusion song about a man falling in love with a lesbian and, like Brendon in “Girls/Girls/Boys,” he doesn’t condemn her sexuality but rather welcomes it.

“Apologize (ft. OMVR)” by Matilda

Norwegian up-and-coming pop artist Matilda (no, not the musical/film) has released multiple amazing singles and albums, unleashing infectious electro indie pop tunes with a ferocious bite. (Oh, and she also wrote some of them with Betty Who.) Her music video for “Apologize (ft. OMVR)” gained viral attention from the LGBT+ community for shining the spotlight on the ups and downs experienced by a lesbian couple. Her song “Ghost” is catchy and pleasingly memorable with a melody you won’t be able to get out of your head. (Coincidentally, another artist by the name of Matilda has released a song titled “Girl Code” which discusses a lesbian struggling with a crush on her friend. If we are mistaken and these Matildas are the same artist, please let us know. We were greatly shocked!) Matilda continues to be on the rise with her single “Illusion” which was recently released at the end of May.

“Dancing in the Rain” by Taylor Bennett

Taylor Bennett is the brother of Chance the Rapper and opened up about being bisexual in early 2017. He told Billboard that his main motivation for coming out publicly was for his fans to know him better. “You don’t want to do anything that makes your fans not like you anymore, but I realized, ‘F— it! Be yourself.’ You got to be yourself. That’s what I said; that’s what my parents have always told me. The only people I felt like I deserved to tell was my fans because if your fans don’t know you, how can they support you? Then there was also the idea that for somebody that has a platform like mine that can speak to these many people, to come out and say something like that, I hope, puts courage in people to do the same thing.” His sweet R&B-tinged hip-hop ballad “Dancing in the Rain (ft. Donnie Trumpet, Shay Lewis, & Brandon Fox)” details the desire to just dance with your partner and let go of the pain, the worries, and the heartache.

“Night Go Slow” by Catey Shaw

Catey Shaw, a pop artist from Brooklyn, mentioned in an article with AfterEllen that she’s “had relationships with men in the past and with women” and her sexuality influences her songwriting; she enjoys making music that elevates LGBT+ people. From humble beginnings busking on subway platforms to alt-pop renown, Catey Shaw is a seasoned singer/songwriter who describes her music as being very careful and mixing many genres together, like jazz, disco, and reggae. The music video for her slow-dance-ready song “Night Go Slow” features a young lesbian couple enjoying a night alone together between sleeping in the back of a truck and stealing from a convenience store. Catey’s sweet pop tunes will not only get stuck in your head but also serve a greater purpose for the LGBT+ community.

Other great songs to check out…

Let us know in the comments some of your favorite LGBT+-related songs and inspirational artists! (Of course, please understand that a person’s sexual orientation does not define their entire identity; humans are inherently multidimensional, so please take time to look into these artists even more beyond their sexuality and/or political/social stances.)