At the risk of sounding like a diehard romantic, I want to say that love songs are a weakness of mine. The concept of love itself has me weak in the knees, and music brings this feeling to life more than anything else.
Queer love songs, to me, are especially important. There is something different about the queer experience — a sort of solidarity that comes with acceptance. After LGBTQA+ relationships being deemed lustful and threatening for so many years, it is comforting to see the rise of heart-warming queer love songs from musicians worldwide.
Talk Me Down – Troye Sivan
Every queer music list I have starts with Troye Sivan. I was thirteen when I first found him, and he was the first gay musician I listened to.
Talk Me Down has always been one of my favourite songs off Troye’s debut album. The song’s lyrics are subtly queer, yet so real and vulnerable that they are almost painful to listen to. Troye’s love for the person he is singing about is not just evident, but powerful and deep.
Favourite lyrics to cry to: And I know I like to draw that line, when it starts to get too real / But the less time that I spend with you, the less you need to heal.
We Fell in Love in October – girl in red
In only two years, We Fell in Love in October has become a classic among the lesbian community worldwide. Its warm production, along with girl in red’s dreamy vocals, transport you to another world. The track’s lyrics, additionally, are filled with love and security, and feel like being wrapped in a warm blanket.
In true girl in red fashion, the singer is explicit about the fact that she is queer and madly in love with a girl.
Favourite lyrics to cry to: Don’t bother looking down, we’re not going that way / At least I know I am here to stay.
Headaches – Raveena
Ethereal is the perfect word to describe Desi singer Raveena’s music. There is something like magic in her songs, and the visuals in her music videos only add to this feeling. The singer, who came out as bisexual in 2018, has since become an icon for the Desi LGBTQ+ community.
Her song Headaches was especially loved: its lyrics tell the story of falling for someone, and its music video showcases two girls deeply in love. The song starts off slow and dreamy, before a stunning change in tempo that only makes it better.
Favourite lyrics to cry to: There’s no sunset, there’s no sunset / Without you.
Ivy – Frank Ocean
Frank Ocean’s Blonde is legendary, and rightly considered to be one of the best R&B pop albums of all time. The record explores love and relationships, drugs, depression, identity, and queerness, among other themes.
Ivy, the second track on Blonde,is heartbreaking and melancholic as Frank sings about an old relationship he was in. The lyrics are filled with longing and nostalgia, and Frank’s vocals are classically velvety.
Favourite lyrics to cry to: In the halls of your hotel / Arm around my shoulder so I could tell / How much I meant to you, meant it sincere back then.
Meteor Shower – Cavetown
Cavetown’s Meteor Shower wasreleased 5 years ago, and is a sweet song that you can’t help but go back to. Fondly known by his fans as Robbie, Cavetown identifies as aromantic and asexual.
Meteor Shower starts off as a ukulele ballad before Robbie’s silky vocals enter the song. The song, with its simple, bell-like production and wholesome lyrics, becomes one that is hard to forget. It is comforting, soft, and quintessential Caveyown.
Favourite lyrics to cry to: I’d sell my own bones for sapphire stones / ‘Cause blue’s your favourite colour.
Alan – Perfume Genius
Michael Hadreas or Perfume Genius’s Alan is a song without which this list will be glaringly incomplete. The singer’s music is unique and captivating, exploring subjects like sexuality, domestic abuse, his struggle with Crohn’s disease, and identity, with honesty and vulnerability.
No Shape, arguably one of Michael’s best albums, also delves into him figuring out how to be in love — and Alan, the closing track, sums this up perfectly. The song is hypnotising and hymn-like, an ode of sorts to Hadreas’ boyfriend, and a disbelief at finding happiness with someone.
Favourite lyrics to cry to: Did you notice we sleep through the night? / Did you notice, babe, everything is alright.
Myrtle Ave – mxmtoon
Mxmtoon’s music is always a gentle comfort, her lyrics self-described as “rhyming diary entries.”
Myrtle Ave, one of the fan favourites from her newest record dawn & dusk, lives up to this comfort and puts the listener at ease. A soft euphoric ballad, Myrtle Ave describes the feeling of safety that comes with being in love, and being in a little world with your partner, far removed from the chaos outside.
Favourite lyrics to cry to: Though everything’s been broken / You’re complete.
She – dodie
All praise for Dodie Clark’s music is insufficient.
I first listened to her song She when I was fifteen, and fell instantly in love. The singer and YouTuber had come out as bisexual a little before penning down the song, and She has since become one of her most well-known and well-loved tunes.
The song, a silvery ukulele ballad with minimal production, lyrically explores themes of fear and confusion as you come to terms with your sexuality while falling for someone.
Favourite lyrics to cry to: She tastes like birthday cake, and storytime, and fall / But to her, I taste of nothing at all.
Something About Him – Brockhampton
Brockhampton’s Something About Him is a short, upbeat song that is an ode to lead artist Kevin Abstract’s long-term boyfriend. With occasional robotic vocals and a classic hip-hop tune, the song is a stunning and simple expression of love, and how everything about a person seems perfect when you love them.
Brockhampton’s music captures the queer black experience in the USA, and is radical in changing hip-hop and rap’s “homophobic space.”
Favourite lyrics to cry to: I really like how you move when you’re out by yourself / I really like all your crew and you can take ’em to hell / Boy, don’t you know I fucking got you?
Lucky Strike – Troye Sivan
It is only fair to end this list with Troye Sivan, since it started with him. The singer’s second album Bloom saw him being more open with his sexuality and the comfort he found in his long-term boyfriend.
Lucky Strike is a perfect representation of this comfort: Troye is comfortable being loud and clear with his sexuality, and with how much he loves his partner. The song is the epitome of queer euphoria and love.
Favourite lyrics to cry to: ‘Cause you’re safe like springtime / Short days, long nights, boy / Tell me all the ways to love you. / ‘Cause you taste like Lucky Strikes / You drag, I light, boy / Tell me all the ways to love you.