First Out: New Music From Dove Cameron, Phoebe Bridgers, Rebecca Black & More

As you take a look back on some of your favorite tracks of 2022, keep up-to-date with the latest from some of your favorite queer artists. Billboard Pride is proud to present the latest edition of First Out, our weekly roundup of some of the best new music releases from LGBTQ artists.

From Dove Cameron’s latest sultry jam to Phoebe Bridgers’ phenomenal team-up with SZA, check out just a few of our favorite releases from this week below:

Dove Cameron, “Girl Like Me”

Dove Cameron’s “Girl Like Me” is a difficult song to place — it’s not quite a cover of Edwyn Collins’s 1994 crossover hit “A Girl Like You,” yet it feels like more than a mere interpolation being employed by Cameron. Instead, “Girl Like Me” draws on the melodies and themes of the original, while crafting entire verses and ideas of her own to paint a picture of taking the driver’s seat of a relationship. She lets her lover know what she’s not looking for as a synth-infused melody blares behind her, making for yet another absolute banger from this upstarting star in the making.

SZA feat. Phoebe Bridgers, “Ghost In The Machine”

The 5-year wait for SZA’s new album S.O.S has proven to be worth it — the 23-track project has been roundly praised by fans and critics alike for its emotional maturity, sonic vibe and beautiful messaging. One of the most beloved tracks on said album happens to be “Ghost in the Machine,” SZA’s haunting reflection on relationships in the time of social media with special guest Phoebe Bridgers. The two turn out to be a perfect fit for each other on this deeply moving, insightful song, as they each wrestle with the person they are in their respective relationships and the self they present to the world; and they do it all over a plinking soundscape that will hypnotize you in seconds.

Rebecca Black, “Look At You”

Usually breakup songs are written from a first-person perspective — an artist details the fallout of dead romance as one of the scorned lovers. That’s what makes it even more fascinating to hear Rebecca Black take on a more omniscient POV with “Look At You.” In the stirring new song, Black softly sings about the end of a relationship as a third party, witnessing a heartbroken friend deal with the weight of life after love. With a tender voice and lighter production than we’ve ever heard from her, Black assures them that everything will turn out okay, even if it doesn’t feel like it in the moment.

Florence + The Machine & Ethel Cain, “Morning Elvis (Live at Denver Ball Arena)”

Dance Fever‘s closing track “Morning Elvis” always felt like Florence + The Machine’s successful attempt at capturing the spirit of Southern Gothic music in a 4-minute track. So it’s fitting that, when coming up with an artist to help them even further exude that aura live, the band selected indie singer-songwriter Ethel Cain. The result is a haunting, echoing new rendition of the track as Florence Welch and Cain bounce off of one another with ease, making you believe every word as they sing, “If I make it to the stage/ I’ll show you what it means to be saved.”

Arca, Kick

It would have been easy for Venezuelan alternative-electronica star Arca to release a “best of” album. Instead, with Kick, Arca not only let her fans select their favorite songs off of her five-album Kick series, but also delivered them three brand new ones, ranging from glitching chaos (“Alto Voltaje”) to vibe-heavy experimental musings (“Ritual”) to stunning electronica ballads (“Sentient Savior”). Christmas must have come early for Arca’s fans, because Kick is nothing short of a gift.

Stephen Daw