Summer is right around the corner, which means it’s time to load up on fun things to do while you’re soaking up the sun. You could make out with your bae in Prospect Park while on a Tinder picnic date, have an epic night out at a Hot Rabbit Party, or prep your most fabulous rainbow outfit to celebrate Pride month. If you’re looking for an extra way to turn up your warm-weather pleasure, there’s no better addition than a lit playlist—especially if it’s all songs by queer women. Whether you’re sunbathing with your boo or taking a road trip for the sake of #adventure, we’ve got you covered with a queer playlist that will get you excited for the summer season. Here are some songs we love that are perfect for reveling in the warm gay AF sun.
1. BETTER IN COLOR – LIZZO
Lizzo recently dropped her new album “Cuz I Love You,” a collection of songs about loving and embracing yourself, as well as learning to know your worth. In “Better In Color,” Lizzo is all about rejecting labels and embracing the fluid fun of life. “You can be my lover/’cause love looks better in color,” the singer belts, which could mean anything, but many have seen it as a confirmation that Lizzo isn’t totally straight, as well as a shout out to people of color. (Perhaps it’s both? Shoutout to the queer people of color!) While she’s never explicitly come out, the artist said in an interview with them. that “it’s like, ‘Choose an identity, choose a sexual orientation.’ It’s like, ‘How?’ When I like everything sometimes, and I like nothing sometimes.” Cheers to embracing your identity, no matter what it is. And cheers to this tune that just makes me want to get up and twerk with a flute.
2. 1,2,3 DAYZ UP – KIM PETRAS
If you’re not listening to Kim Petras, you’re missing out on the pop star of your queer dreams. The trans German singer recently released three new tracks, including “1,2,3 dayz up,” which features SOPHIE, the trans music producer who’s taking the world by storm. The two are able to construct a song that you would want to blare from your car speakers while you roll the convertible top down and just ride. All about partying and having a good time with your friends, the song manages to combine electronic sound with Petra’s fire vocals. If you’re looking for a track that will make you want to get the most out of that sunny day, this is the one.
3. HEARTBEAT – REYNA
Sometimes the summer season just calls for a chill but danceable song that gives you a slight breather between all those #bangers. This year, that song for me is “Heartbeat” by REYNA, the sister pop duo who serve up rhythmic synth-pop that gives us all the feels. Although the song is about the end of a relationship, the soft croons of the artists placed over an electronic beat make me want to dance like I’m in a movie scene. “Heartbeat” is just one of those songs where you need to close your eyes while listening to it and let it wash over you, just like the sunshine.
4. CHERRY – RINA SAWAYAMA
You want an explicitly lesbian love song? Rina Sawayama’s got you covered. In “Cherry,” the singer-songwriter admits “Down the subway, you looked my way/With your girl gaze, with your girl gaze/That’s the day everything changed.” Sawayama has previously identified herself as both bisexual and pansexual, and, in an interview with Broadly, discussed singing about other women. “I’ve always written songs about girls,” she told the website. “I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned a guy in my songs, and that’s why I wanted to talk about it.” The song also carries a strong ‘90s/early-2000s influence—heard in the phone call at the beginning of the track and the echoed lines—that makes me want to dance like it’s 1999.
5. VALENTINE – HOPE TALA
You know those scenes in movies where someone goes outside, stands in the sun, closes their eyes, and just dances? This is the song I imagine the people in those scenes are listening to. With smooth, cool lyrics overtop a soul/R&B rhythmic beat, Hope Tala crafts a love song for the summer months. This isn’t a song that you blast from your speakers; instead, this is the track that you listen to while you’re getting ready for a particularly hot day, enjoying a picnic under the sun, or taking a stroll down crowded streets. “Valentine” is a dreamy, psychedelic song whose beat will get stuck in your head as easily as the chorus.
6. ESSENTIALLY – JAPANESE BREAKFAST
Japanese Breakfast, aka Michelle Zauner, created the one-off track “Essentially” for W Records, the boutique label launched by W Hotels in 2018. The track is very true to the style of the artist with its synth-heavy dance-pop vibe, and if you say you don’t want to sway to the beat as soon as you hear it, you’re lying. While Zauner has never used terms like “bisexual” or “queer” to define herself, she has publicly spoken about her interest in women, such as when she tweeted, “Also fun fact: Everybody Wants to Love You was written about my relationship with a woman who has no idea I wrote it for her.” And, if the vibe of the song alone doesn’t entice you to listen, maybe doing something good for society will; all proceeds from the song benefit the ACLU.
7. KNOCK ME OFF MY FEET – SOAK
“Knock Me Off My Feet” immediately transports you to the ‘80s. With backing instrumentals that seem almost directly pulled from a Cure song and upbeat drums, the song puts a fresh new spin on that classic vibe. SOAK, aka Bridie Monds-Watson, layers in crisp, high-pitched vocals about returning to the home town she desperately sought to leave as a child. The Irish singer-songwriter identifies as gay and noted in an interview with them. that, “I think it’s important that if you’re going to represent yourself and part of your community, then you have to try and do that as authentically as you can.” So, crank up this track, bust your best “Footloose” moves, and fondly remember the place where you grew up while you’re enjoying the summer sun in the place you live now.
8. SIS – CLAIRO
If you’re a fan of gentle and enticing guitar instrumentals coupled with melancholy vocals, “Sis” is about to become your summer song. There aren’t too many lyrics on the track—an element of indie rock/folk—but Clairo manages to use this to her advantage, allowing you to really focus on the beauty of the music. The artist is extremely comfortable talking about her queerness, tweeting that “B.O.M.D”—an abbreviation for “boy of my dreams” and the title of a track on her 2018 album “diary 001”—can sometimes be a “G.O.M.D” (“girl of my dreams”) instead. She also spoke to Out about the importance of including her identity in her music, noting that “there’s so many young girls that listen to my music that are probably going through the same thing and need someone that they look up to or listen to to tell them that it’s okay. That the things that they’re feeling, whether it’s confusion or if they’re gay or straight, whatever, it’s okay.”
9. BLACK MAGIC – ZOLITA
Maybe your summer’s a little less about laying out in the sun and more about getting your witchy vibes on. If that’s the case, your new summer song is bound to be Zolita‘s “Black Magic.” The artist sings lyrics full of witch references, from the mention of voodoo to literal lines like “I’m a real witch, you know I’ll f*ck you up.” What’s great about this song is Zolita is an out lesbian, so you can jam along and support an amazing witchy, queer artist. She’s been very loud and proud, and tells GO “I think if I had more queer female pop icons to look up to when I was younger, I would have had a much less confusing time.”
If you’re not in the mood to listen to the songs one by one, you can easily enjoy the playlist below!