Music

Queer Jams of the Week: New Music from Aurora, Green Day, Adrianne Lenker & More

With the weather getting colder, warm up your ears with a few new tracks from your favorite queer artists. Billboard Pride is proud to present the latest edition of Queer Jams of the Week, our roundup of some of the best new music releases from LGBTQ artists.

From Aurora’s stunning new single to Green Day’s bisexual anthem, check out just a few of our favorite releases from this week below.

Aurora, “The Conflict of the Mind”

Norwegian pop star Aurora is firmly in her empath era. With “The Conflict of the Mind,” the singer pushes every emotion she’s felt to the forefront, and embraces the feelings of those she loves dearly in a gorgeous, sharply-crafted melody. The production of her latest track retains all the dainty aspects of her past projects, while simultaneously pushing her sound forward into new sonic territory. Her voice, meanwhile, remains her strongest instrument, evoking pain and pleasure and love and heartbreak and every other emotion she’s left unspoken for this long.

Green Day, “Bobby Sox”

Leave it to Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong to pen a grungy pop-punk song that doubles as a much-needed bisexual anthem. “Bobby Sox” plays as a punchy-yet-sweet love song, with the romantic lyrics asking if the song’s subject wants to be his girlfriend while sitting around and watching TV, while the chorus’ chunky guitars and pounding drums throw long-time fans back to the band’s Dookie days. But from the second verse on, Armstrong switches up the game, intermittently switching out “girlfriend” for “boyfriend,” giving everyone a new celebratory single to jam along to.

Adrianne Lenker, “Sadness as a Gift”

Big Thief frontwoman Adrianne Lenker has always thrived at transforming complex emotions into revelatory pieces of songwriting. That trend shows no sign of ending on “Sadness as a Gift,” the singer-songwriter’s latest solo single. The spare indie-folk song pairs Lenker’s inimitable vocal with a simple guitar-and-violin combo, as she embraces the ending of a relationship. She wants it to be simpler than it is, but knows that nothing will make it easy right now; “We could see the sadness as a gift and still/ Feel too heavy to hold,” she sings.

Maggie Lindemann, “Hostage”

For anyone who’s ever felt trapped in their own psyche, alt-pop singer Maggie Lindemann has just the song. “Hostage,” the singer’s volatile new single, follows Lindemann into the recesses of her own mind, as she explains the various ways her brain places her in a constant state of panic, even when the world around her does nothing to arouse those fears. Over a torrent of gothic synths, Lindemann begs the listener to “hold me close when my voice gets shaky, be patient with me.”

Sleater-Kinney, Little Rope

When you live in a world where catastrophe is the new normal, how do you learn to keep going? That’s a central question posed on Sleater-Kinney’s phenomenal new project Little Rope, an LP that revels in its elusiveness at every given opportunity. Carrie Brownstein and Corin Tucker masterfully craft each song on the LP with enigmatic shifts in sound and theme, all while providing emotive new tracks for fans to dive deep into. Whether foreboding (“Hunt You Down”), fatalist (“Dress Yourself”), or frenzied (“Needlessly Wild”), Little Rope is an execellent ode to finding meaning — or the lack thereof — in pain.

Shygirl feat. Boys Noize, “Tell Me”

Get ready to rave, because Shygirl and Boys Noize are here to heat up your next party. “Tell Me,” the latest single off of Shygirl’s forthcoming Club Shy EP, delights in it’s early-2000s Eurodance aesthetics — Boys Noize amp up every ounce of the song with out-of-this-world synths and a relentless beat. But Shygirl’s vital voice centers the track in the here-and-now, begging a lover to stay with her.

Gossip, “Real Power”

Just when we need them, Gossip is back, baby. With their latest anthem “Real Power,” the alt-rock trio is calling on people to seize their own means of self-actualization, even in the face of controlling systems that would try and stop them. Inspired by frontwoman Beth Ditto’s hometown Portland and the city’s Black Lives Matter protests in June 2020, “Real Power” brings everything that makes Gossip great — advocacy-focused writing with infectious melodies and stratospheric vocals — into one glorious song.

Check out all of our picks on Billboard’s Queer Jams of the Week playlist below:

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