11 gaylicious new anthems to add to your party playlist
With a passel o’ DJs coming to town this week and Pride Month around the corner, you need to update your iPod shuffle to get your Pride on … and not with the old standbys. Now, don’t delete Madonna. You can keep your Diana Ross. But if “We Are Family” is still your go-to, maybe your rainbow losing its luster? Splash these new colors into your celebratory mix.
“We Exist,” Arcade Fire. There’s no ignoring us now, but still, it never hurts to remind non-queers that we have a place in the world, too. On this feisty rally cry directly inspired by the LGBT movement, these Canadian allies stand up with us, rocking their way through an ’80s-inspired call for equality.
“Dance with Me,” Kelly Clarkson. Leave your right-wing angst at the door and douse yourself in the shimmering sounds of Miss Independent’s neon-bright dance delight. No crying. No fighting. No shaming. Kelly Clarkson won’t have any of it… unless it involves body bumping. And glitter, because obviously.
“All Kinds of Kinds,” Miranda Lambert. Thomas was a congressman with closets full of skeletons, the country superstar sings, before delivering the real kicker: and dresses that he wore on Friday nights. With compelling character vignettes and a wise assessment of ignorance, Lambert’s guitar-guided ditty celebrates every color of the rainbow.
“Unbelievers,” Vampire Weekend. Capturing unification in all its magical heart-happy glory is this Vampire Weekend groove. As it playfully bounces about, just you try not to get wrapped up in the evocative adorability of the NYC hipsters’ sweet sentiment — love — dedicated to the world’s nonconformists.
“Looking Hot,” No Doubt. Calling all spotlight stealers — this one’s for you. A declaration of fierceness, Gwen Stefani struts her stuff over this ska-flavored synth song, urging anyone in her path to go ahead and stare, and take a picture please. It’s how you’ll feel when you join that sexy sea of gays, wearing your “clothes.”
“Together You and I,” Dolly Parton. To make much headway, we gotta do it hand in hand, right? Dolly knows, and she’s preaching it on this bit of buoyant, pop-country inspiration. Paint a pretty rainbow with love across the sky the Country Queen sings, as if they’re not already painted across every sky, and above every gay.
“Burning Gold,” Christina Perri. Pop singer-songwriter Perri is done waiting and hoping for change to just magically happen. With a thundering drumbeat behind her, she stops wishing and starts realizing, igniting the flame that’s been right there in her hands the whole time.
“Queen,” Perfume Genius. Who runs the world? You! Mike Hadreas (aka Perfume Genius) gives you permission — not that you needed it — to own the crown that was already yours, bestowing it upon all the cracked, peelin’ queers who are riddled with disease. Haters gon’ hate, but as Hadreas warns: No family is safe when I sashay.
“The Fight,” Sia, pictured. Don’t even bother trying to stand in Sia’s way. The Aussie is one of the world’s most sought-after songwriters, but even before she was swinging from her chandelier, Sia was bigger than life itself on this cartoony romp — and that’s exactly how she makes you feel, too.
“Take Me to Church,” Sinead O’Connor. Nothing compares to you. No, really — you’re the best. Set me on the floor; I’m the only one I should adore, the Irish icon declares, waxing poetic about finding love in a place where it’s sometimes seemingly impossible … from within.
“Raise You Up / Just Be,” Kinky Boots original cast recording. In case your kinky boots aren’t enough to get you off the ground, this Cyndi Lauper-penned number from the hit Broadway show will. The show closer is a sparkly, ensemble-sung, feel-good romp that won’t just add pep to your step, but at least three inches to your height.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 8, 2015.