September saw a range of new and eclectic queer music—a crooning country love song from Mitski, a razor-sharp dance pop track made for the bisexuals from COBRAH and a theatrical orchestral turn from Eartheater. I hope you enjoy this edition of Monthly Tune-Up, whether there’s a release you’ve been anticipating or you’re discovering new talent for the first time.
“My Love Mine All Mine”—Mitski
Mitski’s highly anticipated seventh studio album, The Land Is Inhospitable and So Are We, sounds the way its name suggests: a barren and isolating landscape peppered with country, folk and orchestral flourishes. This isn’t the first time Mitski has incorporated the lonesome cowboy figure and Western cinematic and sonic influences into her music, but she describes this record as her “most American album,” and these elements are more developed than ever before. Environmental motifs tie into human emotions like love and grief, like on “My Love Mine All Mine,” a warm slow dance where Mitski asks the moon to take the love she has inside her and project it down on Earth after she passes away someday. Her smooth alto drifts across this tender love ballad like a feather in the wind. On “My Love Mine All Mine,” Mitski knows that material possessions will eventually wither away, but love can transcend time.
September is Bisexual Visibility Month, and Swedish electronic artist COBRAH has blessed the bisexuals with a decadently dark dance pop track, “FEMININE ENERGY,” from her upcoming EP SUCCUBUS. A buzzing, razor-sharp bass relentlessly pounds alongside a hefty beat, contrasting with COBRAH’s soft-spoken, vixen-like tone chanting the song’s title over and over in the chorus. Like a magic spell, the song unlocks the feminine energy that exists within all of us and lets it run rampant: “There’s nothing wrong in owning what you fucking got/ Getting stronger, going harder than your favourite god,” COBRAH sings. From one bisexual to others out there, happy Bi Visibility Month!
Low-fi bedroom pop track “t girl” by Eve Meehan, also known as tip/toe, is a dreamy celebration of trans joy. Coming off of her fantastically named EP hot girls don’t trust the government, “t girl” is short and sweet, built for late-night slumber parties in pastel-coloured bedrooms. A music-box-like twinkling effect makes the song feel youthful and innocent while also giving it a DIY atmosphere, and the string-led outro closes it out on an elegant note. “T girls take on the world/ They’re coming for you,” Meehan confidently declares.
Tinashe’s latest album BB/AnG3L may not look like much on the surface, with only seven songs and a run-time clocking in at 20 minutes—but it’s full of some of the R&B singer’s most experimental and creative sounds to date. Opening song “Treason” is exhilarating from top to bottom. A mesmerizing array of synths and xylophones jumping around to an offbeat rhythm are the focal point, starting off minimalistic and building up momentum until crescendoing midway through. Tinashe details the betrayal she commits against herself for seeing a partner she knows isn’t good for her, speeding down dark roads to get to them and feeling just as thrilled as she does ashamed. It’s a simple song in theory, but the execution of all its moving parts make it a memorable album opener.
Cupid’s arrow has struck this retro throwback from London, U.K.–based artist Lola Wild. Queer love and the desire to reconnect with an old flame feels all the more sensual and passionate when set to the soft psychedelic and jazz on “Rendezvous,” a song that will transport you back in time and drop you in the middle of a 1960s nightclub. A groovy yet understated bassline, flowy guitars and synths that sway back and forth and vocals from Wild that sound as though they’ve come directly from the time period they’re influenced by will have you feeling ready for a relaxed autumn romance.
Singer, producer and multi-instrumentalist Eartheater, real name Alexandra Drewchin, is known for her sweeping, celestial melting pot of electronica and baroque pop. She kicks off her new album Powders by leaning into the drama with the theatrical, Björk-esque “Sugarcane Switch.” Eartheater’s gift for merging organic instruments and synthetic avant-garde sounds comes through as a behemoth orchestra moves languidly on top of glitchy, trip-hop production. Her vocals soar sky-high, screeching like a banshee, capturing the simultaneous torture and euphoria of experiencing an addiction or obsession. The song is gorgeously trippy and will raise your intensity levels bit by bit before gently lowering you back down to the ground.