The Young Folks Presents: Pride Music Playlist

It's A Sin (Elton John, Years & Years), Blond (Frank Ocean), DEACON (serpentwithfeet), Oil of Every Pearl's Un-Insides (SOPHIE)

Pride month is a month of both celebration and solidarity. It’s a month where we recognise the hardships of the LGBTQ+ community, but also celebrate the amazing cultural and societal contributions this wonderful community has given America and the world. So, the Young Folks team has come up with a Pride Playlist devoted to the LGBTQ+ creator, queer experiences, and the struggles we endure. From the thundering sensitivity of SOPHIE to the sensual flow of Shygirl to the heartfelt embrace of Frank Ocean, this playlist is as diverse of subject matters, genres, and moods as the community it is comprised of.

Michael Heimbaugh

Just like sexuality, human emotion is a colorful spectrum. With so much recent art depicting queer pain and heartbreak, I decided to focus on songs about the fun aspects of queerness. From Corin Tucker’s lusty gender-bending on “Milkshake n’ Honey” to the jubilant “horn” section on serpentwithfeet’s “Same Size Shoe”—from the New Romantic sugar rush of Tegan & Sara to the wry deadpan of the Magnetic Fields—these songs embody (for me, anyway) the dizzying heights of queer joy and ecstasy. (I’d be remiss to exclude my favorite son of all time, Prince’s “Kiss”—while not explicitly queer himself, the Purple One played with sexual norms his entire career and has more than earned a spot on the list).

  1. “Closer” by Tegan & Sara
  2. “Same Size Shoe” by serpentwithfeet
  3. “Kiss” by Prince
  4. “I Want to Live with You” by Alex Lahey
  5. “When My Boy Walks Down the Street” by Magnetic Fields
  6. “Milkshake ‘n Honey” by Sleater-Kinney
  7. “Infatuation” by SOPHIE
  8. “Snug Slacks” by John Grant
  9. “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” by Sylvester
  10. “Miss Chatelaine” by k.d. lang

Amanda Reimer

As Frank Ocean has denied explicitly speaking about his sexual orientation, there are many people who aren’t heteronormative that prefer to avoid labels. Frank Ocean’s songs speak to people who have queer experiences without outright announcing to the listener it’s queerness. His music lives in ambiguity. Not only does Ocean’s music and experiences reject the rigid roles society imposes, but much of his music also speaks directly to the confusion of youth and understanding one’s innate desires. This, of course, paired with heartbreak, leaves some of his most powerful tracks with painful memories and break-ups. The queer community continues to make strides when it comes to inclusivity, and as we move forward our art also reflects changing attitudes and ideas around labels and boxes. Frank Ocean’s acclaimed work solidates the acceptance of artists with queer experiences not only in niche spaces, but in mainstream media as well.

  1. “Forrest Gump” by Frank Ocean
  2. “Self Control” by Frank Ocean
  3. “Ivy” by Frank Ocean
  4. “Bad Religion” by Frank Ocean
  5. “Thinking ‘Bout You” by Frank Ocean
  6. “Chanel” by Frank Ocean

Katey Stoetzel

Olly Alexander of Years & Years released a new single with “Starstruck,” a wholesome and cosmic bop about what immediate infatuation you feel when you meet someone. After starring in one of the year’s best television shows It’s A Sin, Alexander collaborated with Elton John for a rendition of the Pet Shop Boys’ song of the same name, performing at the Brits in one of the most iconic music moments of the year. You can’t talk about new queer music without mentioning the person who broke the internet. Lil Nas X’s “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)” made waves in April when it dropped. It’s brave, blunt and unafraid to point fingers; even when he’s making people mad, Lil Nas X pours his soul into music that encapsulates a whole life. Imagine being in a high energy crowd for VINCINT’s “Higher,” a smaller, more intimate venue for Arlo Parks’ “Hope,“ or on a no rush, winding road trip with the windows down to Hayley Kiyoko’s “Chance.” These songs make me nostalgic for experiences I hadn’t realized I had missed, or feelings I haven’t felt in a long time. I’m no dancer, but after a year of isolation, they’re perfect songs to return to the dance floor, with strangers and peers and friends, all embracing the unifying reassurance that we’re alive.

  1. “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)” by Lil Nas X
  2. “Starstruck” by Years & Years
  3. “What We Do for Love” by Julez Lorenzo
  4. “Chance” by Hayley Kiyoko
  5. “Getaway” by VINCINT featuring Tegan and Sara
  6. “It’s a Sin” by Elton John, Years & Years
  7. “Hope” by Arlo Parks
  8. “SUN GOES DOWN” by Lil Nas X
  9. “Higher” by VINCINT, Alex Newell, Princess Precious featuring Alex Newell

Mark Wesley

Where were you the first time you listened to SOPHIE? For me, it was in 2015 during an artist deep-dive. I came across “BIPP” through a BBC Radio 1 mix that Diplo had done. The song was unlike anything I had ever heard. SOPHIE’s approach to bubblegum bass and electropop was so ahead of its time, but what made it so stellar was how a song so unorthodox made you want to dance and groove. The dancefloor is almost heralded as a mythic setting in queer spaces, where dreams can come true, and worries are left away. This playlist is dedicated to the dancefloor and the importance it holds to us. And most importantly, long live SOPHIE.

  1. “BIPP” by SOPHIE
  2. “Disco II” by Special Interest
  3. “Super Stars” by Yves Tumor
  4. “I’m Waiting (Just 4 U)” by India Jordan
  5. “Love Is Religion (The Blessed Madonna Remix)” by Dua Lipa, The Blessed Madonna
  6. “jill/jack” by Moses Sumney, Jill Scott
  7. “SLIME” by Shygirl
  8. “Comme si” by Christine and the Queens
  10. “Kiss Me Thru the Phone” by That Kid
  11. “Jesus From Texas” by Semler
  12. “HARD” by SOPHIE

Noah Abbott

Music for me is all about mood. It can lift me out of a rut, cut me loose, drive me onward, and guide me into reflection. The soft yet strong evocation of SOPHIE’s “It’s Okay to Cry” is unlike anything I’ve heard before while 070’s “Precious Pressure” is an anthem to ‘feminine gentlemen’ struggling with acceptance. Of course, being a romantic, many of these songs are representative of the struggles of love. “You Stupid Bitch” and “Crush” are such perfect anthems for my teenage, introverted self. Halsey’s “Heaven In Hiding” is an ode to positive self-imagery. This diverse collection of songs depict so many of the struggles of the queer person without being overly focused on the negative experiences, and that is something worth celebrating (also Cavetown’s ukulele and electric guitar solo).

  1. “Heaven In Hiding” by Halsey
  2. “You Stupid Bitch” by girl in red
  3. “Devil Town” by Cavetown
  4. “Sofia” by Clairo
  5. “Precious Pressure” by 070 featuring Ralphy River, Treee Safari & Shake
  6. “YOUTH” by Troye Sivan
  7. “Let It Be” by Hayley Kiyoko
  8. “Use Me” by PVRIS featuring 070 Shake
  9. “It’s Okay to Cry” by SOPHIE
  10. “Crush” by Tessa Violet
  11. “Nemesis” by Benjamin Clementine



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