We’re halfway through LBGT History Month AND it’s Valentine’s Day! However you choose to spend this month of love (and this day of love and buying things), the Impact Music gang are here to make sure you have a gay old time. Below is a selection of our favourite LGBT+ related songs… Make sure you head over to our Spotify to listen to the playlist in full!
Bad Religion – Frank Ocean
Unrequited love can suck, unrequited love without a banging soundtrack to help you through it is probably even worse. Obviously I don’t know any anything about the latter because I follow Impact Music on Spotify (shameless plug). Lyrically, ‘Bad Religion’ is a beautifully written piece which comments on unrequited love between Frank and a love interest who refuses to be honest about his sexuality, as well as Frank’s struggle with religion and his sexuality at the time. Oh, and it sounds great too. JO
One More Hour – Sleater-Kinney
Sleater-Kinney are the coolest. Usually, these genre non-conforming figureheads of musical and political integrity don’t really have time to waste on love songs, what with all their demolishing of capitalism and the patriarchy, etc. However, when they do, it sounds like ‘One More Hour’; an achingly honest document of a breakup and the bitterness and longing which accompany it. This track (which takes the form of a discussion between Carrie Brownstein and Corin Tucker) was propelled to legend status after news emerged that it was inspired by the relationship between the two S-K frontwomen. There is no one on this earth that can resist the intrigue of lesbian celebrity gossip. MH
Cemetry Gates – The Smiths
Cemetry Gates is one of The Smiths’ jolliest sounding tracks. It’s filled with perfect cadences, an immensely satisfying bass line, delicate guitar and loose, carefree drumming. However, one could easily write essays on the literary significance of the song’s lyrics – arguably Morrissey’s greatest blend of personal opinion and pastiche.
The song boasts a celebration for gayness and more broadly LGBT+ contributions to the Arts. This is captured best where Morrissey pens: ‘Keats and Yeats are on your side / But you lose because weird lover Wilde is on mine’.
These are the last two lines of the song, and what they can easily suggest is that, (through classic Wilde wit and vanity) just because Wilde (who is known to be non-heterosexual) is on a different side of the ‘gate’ to Keats and Yates (in terms of sexual orientation), does not mean Wilde is or should be any less celebrated for his works than they are. RT
I’m Coming Out – Diana Ross
A solid contender for the greatest song of all time. Though the intended meaning of the title ‘I’m Coming Out’ can be extended beyond “coming out of the closet”, this track was adopted as an unofficial queer-pride anthem upon its release in 1980 and has endured the years flawlessly. Absolutely essential listening for any occasion. MH
Fagetarian and Dyke – Team Dresch
The title speaks for itself.
An Illustration of Loneliness (Sleepless in New York) – Courtney Barnett
Distance is the ultimate cock block (so to speak). The narrator lays awake into the early hours, thinking about her faraway love: “wondering what you’re doing, what you’re listening to, which quarter of the moon you’re viewing from your bedroom…”. It’s safe to assume that the subject of this excellent track is Barnett’s long-term partner, fellow musician, fellow Aussie and fellow female, Jen Cloher (bizarrely, CB’s Wikipedia page feels it relevant to mention that she is “openly” lesbian, as if this is some sort of radical statement… but that’s a whole other thing). This KEXP version of the song is highly recommended listening. MH
Gay Thoughts – The Growlers
The title is pretty unambiguous. The confused narrator of this track has run into a predicament: how will his heterosexual relationship survive in the face of his “gay thoughts and feelings”? Setting these lyrics alongside a Country-style tune is sweetly antithetical; this music is often reserved for heteronormative songs. The track feels both naïve and gently satirical. MH
Joshua Ogunmokun, Rhys Thomas and Maddy Hay
Image Courtesy of mathiaswasik via Flickr (CC Search)