With Pride month in full swing, it’s time to take a moment and highlight some rising LGBTQ+ singers and songwriters you should definitely keep your eyes on. We previously shared 10 Songs by Queer Artists to Blast This Pride Month, packed with plenty of superstar acts, including Hayley Kiyoko, Frank Ocean, Troye Sivan, and Brandi Carlile. Across the genre spectrum, there are plenty more artists who are writing and recording some of the best work you’ll ever hear.
Videos by American Songwriter
As we continue celebrating identity and sexuality, well beyond the month of June, we celebrate 10 rising LGBTQ+-identifying musicians whose music has stolen our hearts ─ and will likely steal yours, as well. As you’ll see, there is a diverse class of artists spanning folk, Americana, and pop music.
There are few rising artists that have such a near-perfect body of work quite like Bronze Avery. Beginning with “Leave Together” four years ago, Avery has never disappointed. With each release, including essential cuts “Messy” and “Sea Salt,” he proves he’s more than ready to headline stadiums.
When he’s not moonlighting in the latest Wrong Turn film, Vardaan Arora is filling our playlists with his silky tenor. From his smoldering cover of Selena Gomez’s “Rare” to last-call hook-up anthem “I Don’t Wanna Know,” his EP, Heartbreak on the Dance Floor, is the kind of life-altering pop music we crave.
Listening to Sarah Peacock is not unlike a good fire cleansing. Whether she’s slicing open the jugular with “Burn the Witch,” the titular cut to her latest record, or inviting you out on the road with the breezy “Mojave,” she knows a thing or two about crafting powerful human stories. And she’s only getting started.
Carlos Guevara’s music is a shot of adrenaline. From songs like “Confident” and “Impossible,” cuts from his 2019 EP, Have You Ever Seen a Boy Break Down?, released under Carlos Vara to “Pin Me Down,” he’s a volatile performer with a fearless voice. He can keep pace with the best of them, and he’s already laid the foundation for what promises to be an impressive career.
Self-described “witchy folk pop,” Jessye DeSilva’s catalog doesn’t skimp on razor-sharp lyrics, paired frequently with an almost ethereal vocal. Songs like the swampy “Something Wicked” and the piano-based “Hover” demonstrate agility in criss-crossing genres and never relinquishing their voice. Pain hangs off their lips, fueling them to greater, more soaring heights.
Adeem the Artist
Adeem the Artist unpacks a scruffy timbre, sliding across such melodies as “I Never Came Out” and “I Wish You Would’ve Been a Cowboy,” a flip of Toby Keith’s “Should’ve Been a Cowboy,” with a phoenix-like power. Their new record, Cast Iron Pansexual, tunnels through what it means to be LGBTQ+ in rural America─and presents every raw nerve of the inner and outer anguish.
Something wicked (and unnerving) this way comes. E. Alvin’s particular pop music induces chills and terror, an insidious kind trembling throughout his work. LIMBS: VOLUME II stirs R&B and alt-pop together with a stickiness only he could conjure, from the provocative plea “knees” to the still-delicious “appetite.” Along his ruminations, the singer-songwriter keeps the senses tingling.
Most known as one-half of Two Gay Matts, a popular YouTube channel, Matt Palmer has been delivering the finest pop music for years. His 2018 EP, Get Lost, took his artistry to the next level with an impressive visual component. Three years later, the singer-songwriter continues to marvel with the follow-up, the seven-song The Good Parts. His songwriting is smart and emotional, wrapped around some of the best melodies of the year.
Guitar-slinger Al Riggs can shake you down to the core. With their latest record, I Got a Big Electric Fan to Keep Me Cool While I Sleep, they depict the entire arc of a relationship with their now-husband. Riggs tosses out lyrics and melodies like skipping stones across a lake’s glassy, tranquil surface. But there’s something always earth-shattering about the emotional through which they filter stories.I Got A Big Electric Fan To Keep Me Cool While I Sleep by al Riggs
Izzy Heltai first caught our attention with “Marching Song,” released in 2019. An earthy tone, the singer-songwriter has a way of cutting to the heart of the matter─particularly the shift that frequently occurs between childhood and adulthood. His debut LP, Father, reflects back wildly vivid moments of his life, like holding a mirror underneath the summer sun’s sharp rays.