by Baylie Clevenger Every year, Feb. 14 rolls around to provide the world with a very particular feeling; the feeling of pressure, love, disappointment, and a certain capitalistic expression of love and devotion that we cannot seem to shake. No matter what the 14th brings you, at least we have love songs. In particular, the industry has recently been booming with queer love songs that deserve recognition and could accompany you and a loved one or significant other this Valentine's Day.
Lauren SandersonLauren Sanderson is a force to be reckoned with. She is from Ft. Wayne, IN. She is an open and loud lesbian and it carries through in her music. Despite being from Indiana, which does not have a great reputation for being LGBTQ-friendly, she shamelessly lets her sexuality shine through in her music. Specifically, songs like “Bathroom Stall in Seattle” and “Better Anyway” are beautiful tunes about queer love. “Bathroom Stall in Seattle” is on the happier side of the two. The song highlights Sanderson’s specific experience of being in love during the summer while she was on tour. Sanderson currently resides in Los Angeles, but the song explores her adventures with a lover in Seattle. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PoeYtD7fiAw For those looking for a little consolation this Valentine's day, “Better Anyway” might be your cup of tea. This song is ripe with regret, lingering feelings, and the struggle of being caught between two people. It is a perfect track for anyone who may be going into this Valentine's day with a cynical view.
Girl in RedIf Lauren Sanderson isn’t for you and you want something a little softer and more on the Indie side, Girl in Red is for you. Some of her hits include “we fell in love in october” and “girls,” which are a few of my favorites. “Girls” is a sweet tune about trying to hide but ultimately being unable to deny that girls are “so pretty it hurts.” The song's overall tone seems to focus particularly on pushing someone away because the singer is afraid of coming out. This song is a little on the sad side, but could definitely be comforting to anyone who is feeling the same this Valentine's Day. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BMBDY01kPk On a happier and more upbeat note, Girl in Red covers the story of her first love in “we fell in love in october.” This song is a dreamy, sweet tune that describes sitting on a roof with someone you love and telling them that they are your world. This track is a beautiful, unapologetic proclamation of love for someone.
Kevin Abstract/BrockhamptonKevin Abstract is a musical artist from Texas. He formed Brockhampton on the Kanye— a then-popular online forum—by asking who wanted to make a band. Abstract has openly made music about gay love throughout his career. I have a few favorite songs from Abstract and the band, which are “Sugar” and “Peach.” “Sugar” is just as sweet as its title. This mellow vibe is about devotion and only wanting to fall asleep by one person. Though this song is not an Abstract solo track, he is still featured in the song and was involved in the creation. So, it is safe to say that some of his feelings seeped through into the creation. This is a great song for your Valentine's Day because it just feels sweet and simple like a great love song does. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7M1DPmfUi9g Next is a track with a just-as-sweet title; “Peach.” Peach is a solo song by Abstract. The song shares details about telling someone you love that you’ll be soft with them but protect them with all you can. The unmistakable chorus reads “I’ll be your babydoll and your bodyguard if you tell me to.”
Sizzy rocketFor each of the other artists I chose just two songs to highlight how they express their queer experiences through love songs, but to do justice to Rocket’s discography, it’s necessary to highlight the entire Grrrl album. This album is, front to back, the story of Rocket getting comfortable with her sexuality and falling in love with a girl—presumably for the first time. To highlight specifics within an entire album that tells a story of queer love, the album features the track “Tattoos,” which specifically expresses Rocket’s affinity for girls with tattoos. So, if you or your significant other can be described as such, this could be just the track for you. Notably, the song “Tulsa” also screams out to be noticed, since her former girlfriend is featured on the track. It is a sweet tune that fits perfectly into the scheme of Valentine's Day; specifically describing her experience with a former girlfriend in a specific city. It really paints a picture of a love story. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pn1y-8kUcGQ
King PrincessFinally, we can round out this list with none other than King Princess, who has become quite the musical icon in the queer community. After the release of her first EP, Make my Bed, she skyrocketed to icon status. KP is one of my favorite artists. I feel myself turning to her when I want to feel that specific yearning and soft feeling that comes with hearing about a queer love story. “Upper West Side” is the first track to look at. This song is about being in love with someone who is grossly different from you. It’s about almost hating that person because they’re so different but not being able to. It’s beautiful and soft and a great way to round out any playlist you may need for Valentine's. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62fsOE7rZx8 Finally, we can round out this entire queer love song list with “Homegirl” from KP’s freshman album, Cheap Queen. This song is about specifically describing little aspects of someone that make them lovable. It’s also a slower, sweeter track. The simple instrumental in the background lends a hand to giving the song a certain vulnerability that matters with any love song. All of these artists and songs are making waves in the queer community and providing queer love songs that will have you completely covered this Valentine's day.
Sources: YouTube Featured Image: Baylie Clevenger