2020; a year like no other! One that resulted in live music and a decent nightlife being eliminated. You could almost say that dancing around our bedrooms with a hairbrush in hand has become the “new normal” of clubbing.
More than ever we’ve found ourselves turning to music to soothe our mental health and anxiety. Here is a roundup of the seven top LGBTQ+ songs that have got us through the monstrosity of this year.
1. Hayley Kiyoko – L.O.V.E. Me
Known as Lesbian Jesus by her fans, Kiyoko’s pop single has been celebrated this year for its “boppy” beat and feel good lyrics. Originally released in November 2019, the song is all about not being afraid to publicly declare your love for someone, and yearning for those fuzzy feelings we often live vicariously through in a good Rom-Com. Infusing late 90’s and early 00’s pop sounds into her music, fans love the bubbly vibe of this track that’s one you can’t help but dance around to during lockdown.
2. L Devine – Boring People
When the Newcastle born British pop sensation dropped this single at the beginning of 2020, she couldn’t have known how utterly relevant it was about to become. She says the song was written at a time where she was “quite literally bored of myself”. (Something we can all vibe after this year!)
The dreary beat of the song intentionally reflects the monotony of day to day life and the lyrics reflect on how we are all essentially the same and going through the same issues, even though we strive to be individuals.
Devine has been enjoying embracing her queer identity more in both her personal life and career, challenging the preconceived notions of what a female pop artist “should” be and presenting a fresh and exciting new perspective.
3. Troye Sivan – In a Dream
Lockdown saw the sudden end of many relationships in 2020. So when you need the perfect song to wallow in your own misery, Sivan had us covered with this colourful synth pop track that blended an bubby electronica sound with distinctly gloomy lyrics.
The Australian pop singer is known for his blend of electro-pop and smooth melodies, but In a Dream takes this style to new levels as Sivan laments a recent break-up, while appearing to go through deep moments of self-reflection during heartbreak. Anyone who has been broken up with this year will heavily relate to this track as a mood.
4. Shojon – Theorem
All round music artist from South East London Shojon gave us a beautiful song about a journey of love with beautiful guitar chords that take you away. Theorem showcasing Shojon’s catchy blend of pop/rock and R&B which flows superbly thanks to his smooth-as-silk vocals.
The visual sees him playing a modern-day cupid, promoting love and acceptance amongst Londoners. His use of third-wave feminist mantras and queer interactions within a VFX display that compliments the video.
In a year lacking in hope, as 2020 draws to a close, we could definitely all benefit from a little Shojon magic!
5. Tyler, The Creator – A BOY IS A GUN* (feat. Solange)
The American rap artist has sparked a lot of controversy over the course of his career, most notably being banned from performing in certain countries due to his homophobic lyrics. However, rumours continue to surround the artist’s own sexuality.
As always, Tyler isn’t afraid to be lyrically brave, leading to wild speculation that the song is alluding to the idea that loving a man is as dangerous as a gun. Tyler has never openly come out as gay or queer, but fans like to theorise with each lyrical clue.
In a year when many queer people who aren’t yet living openly as their true selves have found themselves in lockdown with loved ones they can’t open up to yet, this song surely resonates with many people struggling with their identities.
6. Ian Isiah – N.U.T.S.
Known for a distinct “ghettocentric glam” sound, the pansexual, pangender, Brooklyn born artist has done it again. Isiah juxtaposes smooth, crooning lyrics against a backdrop of homophobic slurs being shouted at them as they dance through the streets of New York, unfazed.
It’s no secret that many of us who are gender queer have struggled exponentially during 2020, unable to mingle with our chosen family. When isolation becomes more than just a government order, but an internal battle for mental calm against gender dysphoria, then N.U.T.S. is a form of therapy that nurtures the soul.
7. Joel Corry x MNEK – Head & Heart
None of us expected a club classic to land in our laps this summer, but then it has been a year of surprises. Rising DJ star Joel Corry teamed up with Lewisham born singer, songwriter and music producer MNEK to drop the single of the summer! We may not have been able to rock out to it in the clubs, but it hasn’t stopped it becoming a housebound hit sending it firmly to #1 in the charts.
If ever we needed a beat to pick us up after the UK wide lockdown in March, this song was welcome medicine. Head & Heart has a classic house sound packed full of feel-good lyrics that can’t help but make you smile. The song is about the battle we often experience between what our heart wants and what our head is telling us when we fall for someone. All wrapped up in pure club groove, this track is a hugely positive vibe in a year of great uncertainty.