A Very Queer Playlist Part II

So a lot’s happened since the previous playlist. Beyonce dropped a bomb of an album where we got to hear about, well, a lot more than we imagined.

So a lot’s happened since the previous playlist. Beyonce dropped a bomb of an album where we got to hear about, well, a lot more than we imagined. But more importantly, we got to see Serena Williams grind. Prince passed away, in the same year as David Bowie – There goes the most originally gender-fluid man that ever lived. Radiohead dropped a new track and a video about the refugee crisis in Europe. I finally cleaned my closet. And Supergirl came to an end and she didn’t make out with Cat Grant. Oh well, I guess when pop culture fails us, the queer in music will save us –


Sinead Harnett – No other way ft. Snakehips

Got someone you’ve been making the eyes at for a while? Been hooking up but want to take it to the next level? They be giving you some trouble? You been giving them trouble? Fret not my friend, for there’s always a song for a situation like this – Sinead Harnett singing ‘No other way’ with her silky smooth voice. With a killer baseline and arrangement by Snakehips, I love that she could be singing to absolutely anyone and everyone with those lyrics. The vibe’s just right and really sails through, it might be hard to listen to it just once. Sinead’s previously lent her vocal skills to Disclosure and Rudimental among others, before releasing her own EPs. I’d highly recommend her N.O.W. EP, which features other beautiful tracks like Paradise and a remix of this track by the incredible Bearcubs.

Queer Quotient – 5/10


Ryan Amador – Spectrum ft. Jo Lampert & Gyasi Ross

Now here’s a queer song by a queer artist on the spectrum of sexuality. HALLELUJAH! Firstly, fantastic vocals from both Ryan and Jo, and more importantly, great songwriting! The lyrics are beautiful and really echo a lot of what I hope people both within and outside the community feel. Who I am and whom I love is no one else’s business, and this track lays it out in such a cool, easy manner that it’s hard to not listen (and everyone better be listening). Personally, I would have loved some richer sounds, better kick on that drum, but I mostly listen to what it stands for. Double kudos to all the couples featured in the video, and the amazing Jo Lampert.

Queer Quotient – 10/10


Massive Attack – Protection

As a part of our previous focus on LGBT bullying during April, it would be remiss of me to not highlight some seminal tracks that threw some light on this issue far before our fingers grew an inch. Massive Attack pioneered the trip-hop scene back in the 90s with their uniquely mellow and deep sounds that moved millions across the world. Protection features Tracey Thorn from ‘Everything But The Girl’ (how many queer parties have you gone to that didn’t play ‘Missing’ by EBTG?), whose vocals blend beautifully with that offset beat, pulling you slowly in, deeper and deeper. She transcends gender when she sings about protecting those who can’t stand up for themselves, she hits a chord when she keeps her voice calm when she takes a blow, and Massive Attack hits a home run with the composition. In my eyes, Massive Attack can never do wrong. I hope you feel the same after this track, if you aren’t already a fan.

Queer Quotient – 7/10


Portishead – Roads (Live at Roseland NYC)

Personally, it’s hard to talk about Massive Attack and not mention Portishead, since I’d discovered them nearly together. Years later, they appeared on The L Word soundtrack and I couldn’t have been more thrilled, because I’d always seen a lot of trip-hop as non-conforming. So, here’s the live version from their Roseland DVD – it’s all sorts of wonderful with that energy from the crowd, the live drums, and that beautiful MOOG machine, bringing back some memories of binge-watching The L Word back in the day.

Queer Quotient 8/10


 Deap Vally – Royal Jelly

If you’re looking for something more classic to head-bang to, there’s always Deap Vally. Royal Jelly is as much about female empowerment as it is about queer identity. There’s a drag king in there, a bunch of amazing women making rock look sexy again, and they’re called Deap Vally. Do we need any more reasons?

Queer Quotient – 10/10


Prep School – Come as you are

When a girl sings Nirvana like that, how do you not squirm in your seat? Kurt Cobain once famously said that he’s not gay, but he wished he were just so he could piss homophobes off. ‘Come as you are’ was ahead of its time in songwriting, composition, performance and sheer sound. And Prep School gives it an incredible feminist and queer twinge in both sound and visual. The cherry though – this is a part of the soundtrack for Quantum Break. Oh mama.

Queer Quotient – 10/10


Aquilo – Calling Me

A beautiful video about bullying, unrequited love and coming of age, Aquilo gained recognition thanks to this track and ‘You there’, both from the same EP. The track picks up pace nice and slow, climbing to a nice crescendo, with great use of both electronic sounds and instruments. Wonderfully written, ‘Calling me’ is a real reflection of the crossover of alternative and electronic, and a testament to growing queer visibility in music.

Queer Quotient – 10/10


HVOB – Always like this (Andhim Remix)

Oh how I love this track! The melody, that addictive beat, the nice big environmental sound, the base, the high-frequency textures, damn it’s got it all going! Plus, I love the lead at HVOB and her unusual vocal skills. The lyrics are layered and really open up interpretation based on who’s listening. The video is fantastic and almost looks like Dave McKean had a say in it. So good, it’s hard not to loop.

Queer Quotient – 5/10


Ben Pearce – What I might do

Now here’s something right up my alley, albeit something older. Ben Pearce is synonymous with deep house and shot fast into the limelight after the release of this track. But what made it most special was the video. Gender fluidity meets the dance floor – voguing, popping, dancing, party-hopping, jiving, name it and you’ll find it.

Queer Quotient – 9/10


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Fishead is best served with salt and lemon zest.