New Music to Add to Your Quarantine Playlist

From the moment the prospect of quarantining became reality, coronavirus/quarantine/COVID-19 playlists began popping up on Spotify.  Some are pretty good and a few are very well thought out, but most are full of top 40 hits and mainstream staples. Here are a few tracks worth adding from some of our favorite out artists.

 

 “No Love”

Jay Maq

Most of the topics that Jay Maq explores in his music have to do with grown-and-sexy love.  From longing for it, healing after being used by it or wasting it on someone who doesn’t want it.  In “No Love,” his chilled island, dancehall track, he questions whether or not it is a crime to break someone’s heart.  It’s a smooth, emotional and coy ballad; reminiscent of Monica, Ashanti and Toni Braxton. Its music video is also a must-see.  It depicts Jay Maq being arrested for a love crime and forced to go through the judicial system. Though intended to be humorous, there is a serious side to it, too, as the video parallels the harsh reality faced by men of color who are unfairly imprisoned for non-violent offences.

 

“American Nightmare”

Justin Utley

Justin Utley unleashes his inner Nine Inch Nails in “American Nightmare,” his angst-ridden Industrial rock anthem that takes aim at conversion therapy, and the current state of our union’s blind allegiance with political parties and religion.  It’s a different sound for the young singer who first rose to prominence in the alt-country pop realm with songs like “Stand for Something,” winner of Best Country/Folk Song of the year by the LGBT Academy of Recording Arts.  Utley admits he has been wanting to explore the edgier side of himself and he does so in this track. The loud-soft dynamics serve as barbed hooks, drawing listeners into Utley’s world. The lyrics are personal, opaque, and dark.  The guitars are loud and aggressive.   The music video is captivating with Utley shining as an anti-authoritarian punk artist with a gentle soul and smoking body.  

 

For You: Part 3
Jack Tracy
At long last, Jack Tracy has released the final part of his epic trilogy album, showcasing a wide slice of the LGBTQ perspective.  Part 1 was bold and brassy, Part 2 was thematically heavy, tackling subjects like body image and the legitimacy of gay sex work. Part 3 is the wind down, full of bedroom jams that all stem from love.   There is “Some Type of Way,” an intoxicating and explicit love song that doesn’t shy away from mature gay themes;  “Learned Me (With You),” about a first sexual experience; “For You,” a love song to Jack’s inner child;  and “Insatiable,” a no-holds barred erotic track.  Be sure to check out the video for “Insatiable,” where Jack gets slutty and butty. This is an exceptional final chapter of work from an artist that we expect to see a lot more from, both musically and bodily.

 

“Other Side”

Michael Fairman

This superior-crafted mid-tempo pop/soul track about the personal and physical struggles of ageism, and finding the inner-strength to triumph, may be the song that helps Fairman achieve the lofty goals he has long been after.  Written by the artist along with his long-time engineer and producer, Kyle Mangels, “Other Side” is a beautiful piece of work, highly emotive, where the singer takes a page from Lukas Graham, recalling his hopes, his failures and his dreams.  The vocals are stellar.  The orchestrations are lush with a strong melodic sense.  The relatable and optimistic message is wonderfully encouraging to anyone who has ever felt alone and disconnected – as many of us in quarantine are feeling now.