Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SJSU chapter.

A song’s lyrics have always been an integral part of my music experience.​​ The music experience is more memorable when one can relate to a song personally. 

As a member of the LGBTQ community, listening to artists who identify with the community enhances my listening experience; I feel a sense of tranquility and joy. Here are some of the artists I tune in to: 

Girl in Red

Marie Ulven Ringheim, famously known as Girl in Red, is an openly gay indie pop artist who is well-known for hit singles such as “We Fell in Love in October,” “i wanna be your girlfriend” and “Girls.” Ringheim has been single-handedly writing and creating her music since the age of sixteen.

Her discography revolves around lyrics speaking on subjects such as LGBTQ+ romance and mental health.

One of my favorite songs of hers is “4am”. The catchy song perfectly encapsulates the anxiety people suffer from. 

“I’m thinking too much again / I can’t sleep it’s 4am / I got to be in somewhere tomorrow / I don’t wanna go out tomorrow”

I appreciate the straightforwardness and reliability of her lyrics. Though there are many musical artists writing songs akin to this, I have yet to hear such a straightforward piece that does not fabricate the meaning with witty phrases and intellectual words.

All of Ringheim’s work has very simplistic lyrics that queer people can relate to, coupled with songs that cater to those who suffer from mental health issues. 

Wham!

We all know the well-loved Christmas song “Last Christmas,” but did you know that it was written by Wham!, a duo made up of two gay men who used to be in a romantic relationship? 

George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley became one of the defining musical acts of the 1980s by combining young high spirits with a refined fusion of disco and soul. When you need fun beats and carefree lyrics, you can always turn to Wham!

Their lively discography consists of songs like “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” “Club Tropicana,” “Everything She Wants” and “Bad Boys.” Each song involves lighthearted lyrics and catchy instrumentals.

When tuning to their songs, I can immerse myself in their lyrics and imagine whimsical and merry-making scenarios in my head.

This is something I can only do with very few musical artists.

I applaud Wham! for giving me, and I’m sure many others, the ability to do this with their music. 

Unfortunately, the band has long since broken up. Despite their disbandment, I highly recommend you check out their work. They have an amazing catalog of pure fun. 

Cavetown

Forwarding to the 2000s, the next artist on this list is Robin Daniel Skinner, who goes by his stage name Cavetown. Skinner is openly ace, transgender, and goes by the pronouns he/they. Similar to Girl in Red, he is an indie pop artist who writes his lyrics. Furthermore, Cavetown also tackles a simplistic style and aims for relatability.

Skinner’s lyrics often give a sense of restriction and repression. The majority of their songs are very poignant and bittersweet; this serves as a great way to market reliability.

Cavetown creates bedroom pop music that makes you reflect on the lifestyle you choose to have. I’m always left feeling bittersweet, and I believe this is the type of feeling Skinner was going for.

However, bittersweetness isn’t meant to be viewed as a bad thing, but rather, as a way to unwind. His work leaves one feeling comforted, knowing that there is someone out there who is going through these downcast emotions.

All the while, his songs make you realize that there is no reason to live your life full of regrets and pain. You can choose to live happily. 

I  admire Skinner for having the ability to evoke such thoughts from me, and I am confident that I am not the only one who has reached this conclusion. 

King Princess

Mikaela Mullaney Straus, known by her stage name King Princess, is a genderqueer musical artist who identifies as gay. Straus’ work explores romantic and sexual love through the lens of a queer person. My personal favorites are “1950,” “Holy” and “Ain’t Together.”

“1950” is the exploration of unrequited queer love; a queer woman who is in love with another woman, but is uncertain about where they stand in the relationship.

Despite the uncertainty, she is infatuated with this woman and will wait for her to make a move. 

“Holy” is dreamy and alluring, focusing on the vulnerable relationship between two women. The lyrics depict love, passion, and trust. These are arguably some of the key factors to a healthy relationship. Straus implements these messages under the mask of a sexual relationship. 

“Ain’t Together” depicts a true story about two women who are in love but not fully committed to each other. I have experienced this situation before; we both say we love one another but never fully act upon these emotions. 

Straus’ lyrics focus on the romantic, sexual, and vulnerable aspects of LGBTQ+ love, and I strongly believe that there is at least one song in her catalog that every queer person can relate to. 

The B-52’s

Finally, we have The B-52’s, a  five-member rock band consisting of four gay members. If the name seems unfamiliar, perhaps you have heard of their hit single “Love Shack.” Akin to Wham!, The B-52’s are a band with a copious amount of fun, quirky songs such as “Party Out of Bound,” “Rock Lobster” and “Private Idaho”.

Though they may not write any groundbreaking songs containing controversial hot topics, the 80s band grants us the gift of happiness. Their silly lyrics and catchy tunes give me access to relaxation after a long, tiring day. 

They are the band I listen to whenever I’m feeling sad, unproductive, and unmotivated. The B-52’s have that special something that instantaneously lifts my gloomy mood.

I guarantee you, that a playlist full of The B-52’s will lead you to a day full of joy and productivity.

Which LGBTQ+ musical artists are you listening to? Let us know at @HerCampusSJSU.

Annabella Juarez (she/they) is a third-year pursuing an undergraduate degree in English – Creative Writing. They currently serve as the Editor in Chief for Her Campus at SJSU and are an ambassador for the Gender Equity Center. If Annabella found herself deserted on an island, she’d bring her journal and laptop. She couldn’t imagine skipping a day of writing fiction and poetry. Of course, music during writing is a must. The playlist would be filled with K-pop, alternative, Spanish, and queer music. When Annabella isn’t typing away on their keyboard, they’re journaling and scrapbooking their life for the #memories. Annabella chose to become a Her Campus writer for two reasons: to leave an everlasting impact through her articles and because writing is her lady.