Arts & Entertainment, Music, Reviews

Song Spotlights: Pride Edition

As a music lover, it only felt right to highlight some of my favorite songs from queer artists and bands for Pride Month. I hope you take the time to check these tracks out. Some honorable mentions include The Aces, Chelsea Cutler and Troye Sivan. I also hope you make an effort beyond this month to support the LGBTQ+ community, educating yourself and reflecting on how far our society has come with LGBTQ+ rights and how far we need to go. 

“Honey” by Kehlani

With sweet plucks of a guitar and a voice that — forgive the pun  —  sounds like honey, Kehlani shines in this song. It’s a perfect listen for a Monday morning while sipping coffee and slowly waking up with the sun.

Despite its simple yet captivating instrumental, some of the lyrics are up for interpretation. One of my favorite lines is, “I countdown to the clock, saw you awake / Don’t walk away, or would you wait for me?” Personally, I interpret this line as the start of a relationship when you’re still trying to feel the other person out where there’s a bit of a push and pull dynamic. The contrast between the straightforward instrumental and the illuminative lyrics is immaculate. 

This song makes me want to dance in the kitchen with my partner on an early Sunday morning, right when the sun is peeking up over the horizon. The point is “Honey” is beautiful, and Kehlani is amazing. 

“I Know A Place” by MUNA

Spotify playlist of five songs by LGBTQ+ artists
Five popular songs by LGBTQ+ artists. ILLUSTRATION BY CONOR KELLEY

When I first heard this uplifting rallying cry by the queer band MUNA, it was the beginning of quarantine March 2020 on a random playlist. That first listen to “I Know A Place” made me feel hopeful — like I wasn’t alone.

Quickly obsessed, I listened over and over again. I felt like crying, but I wasn’t quite sure why. When I looked up the meaning behind the song, I found that it was written in June 2015, days after the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage. Knowing this, it made sense why the song was eliciting such strong feelings for me: It was a song written on the mixed feelings of hope, relief and unity.

This song applies to so many wholly human situations. We all need a spark of unwavering belief sometimes, whether in ourselves or each other. You can blast this song in the car with friends on a late night, replicating that cliche movie scene we all strive to do, or in your shower trying not to slip as you dance and scream the lyrics with joy. Hearing this song in a club and seeing everyone dance and have the time of their life is something on my bucket list. 

“Super Rich Kids” by Frank Ocean

Even if they don’t avidly listen to his music, Frank Ocean is a name many people recognize.

Or at least I did before hearing this jam. This song is one that I feel like I hear a lot when other people have the aux cord, no matter what that person’s music taste is.

“Super Rich Kids” is perfect for countless occasions: late-night drives, casual hangouts with friends, in the shower, the list goes on. While I love many songs by Ocean, this one is the first one I ever heard, and it has a special place in my heart. 

This song puts me in that typical teenage mood — feeling like I’m better than everyone else yet also mentally comparing myself against other people. Then again, maybe that was just me? This tune is the musical personification of that fleeting second of feeling something you know isn’t great, but you do it anyway. You let yourself indulge in it for just a second.

This song is constantly on my shuffle, and I love it dearly, no matter how it makes me feel at that particular moment. 

“These Days” by JORDY

Sometimes you just need a catchy tune. For me, “These Days” is proof that songs don’t always have to be lyric-heavy — a statement that might be a shocker if you’ve read any one of my previous “Song Spotlights.” This song makes me want to dance down Commonwealth Avenue, AirPods in my ears,  getting ready for the day. 

It’s an easy tune, and not in a bad way. Music, to the core, is about how it makes you feel. This song makes me feel light on my feet and makes me want to bop my head. I don’t want to overanalyze this song too much, so just take a listen and enjoy.

“Ultimately” by khai dreams

Once in a while, you distinctly remember where you heard a song for the first time. I first heard this song as it streamed softly out of the speakers in my friend’s car on our last catchup before going to our respective colleges. Looking back, this song was fitting, like most things seem to be when you take the time to reflect. 

This dreamlike song is a hidden gem that I’m very thankful I came across by chance. It puts me at peace, especially when my mind won’t stop thinking. It’s a summer day in a song, if that’s possible. And it’s the perfect song to end this special Song Spotlight on. I love it dearly, and I hope it brings you tranquility. 

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