First Out: New Music From Omar Apollo, Orville Peck, Syd & More

First Out: New Music From Omar Apollo, Orville Peck, Syd & More

As the weather keeps warming up, it’s time to freshen up your playlists with some new music by your favorite queer artists. Billboard Pride is here to help with First Out, our weekly roundup of some of the best new music releases from LGBTQ artists.

From Omar Apollo’s long-awaited new album, to Orville Peck’s vulnerable new project, check out just a few of our favorite releases from this week below.


Omar Apollo, Ivory

R&B-pop singer Omar Apollo is ready to take his place in the limelight. His debut full-length album, Ivory, is a showcase the rising star’s artistic evolution over the last few years — he’s evolved so much, in fact, that he scrapped his original plans for a debut in favor of Ivory. With songs ranging from smooth ballads (the Daniel Caeasar-featuring “Invincible”) to Latin-inspired bangers (“Tamagotchi”), Apollo flexes his range throughout this stellar debut.

Orville Peck, Bronco

One may think that singing behind a mask would make it difficult for rising country star Orville Peck to offer pure sincerity — but one would be wrong. On Bronco, the singer’s long-awaited follow-up to his 2019 debut Pony, Peck embraces pain, love, loss and more as he turns his gaze inward. The sound is bigger and better than before, as the masked star takes on abusive relationships (“The Curse of the Blackened Eye”), emotional trauma (“City of Gold”) and toxic masculinity (“C’mon Baby, Cry”), all while maintaining the smooth, textured vocals that he’s become known for.

Syd, Broken Hearts Club

Everyone can relate to a breakup album — and it appears that Syd has mastered the art of singing about heartbreak. Broken Hearts Club, the R&B star’s sophomore effort, sees Syd tracking the entirety of a relationship, from its romantic beginning (“Tie the Knot”), to its on-the-rocks middle (the Kehlani-featuring “Out Loud”), to its painful, bitter end (“BMHWDY”), all while honing her incredible songwriting skills and stunning vocals.

Ethel Cain, “Strangers”

Even at just 24 years old, Ethel Cain is already a master of creating a true mess of emotions with one beautiful song. On “Strangers,” the latest single off of her upcoming new album Preacher’s Daughter, Cain’s lyrics, music and production all flit between euphoria and gloom, as the star sings about finding forgiveness in desperate circumstances. A masterclass in emotive storytelling, “Strangers” will have you feeling something from its opening strains.

ElyOtto, Hellscape Suburbia

Hyperpop harbinger ElyOtto could have easily been a one-off TikTok sensation with “SugarCrash!” His new debut album, Hellscape Suburbia, is proof of the contrary. Throughout the chaotic, effervescent new project, ElyOtto vacillates between traditional pop-meets-EDM sensibilities (“Dayzee”) and the wilder, more experimental hyperpop stylings that helped him blow up (“Freya”). In either style, ElyOtto feels due for another explosive success — and hopefully, he’ll achieve that goal with Hellscape Suburbia.

Allison Ponthier, “Autopilot”

Ever feel yourself zoning out while driving around? Allison Ponthier certainly has, as she takes the phenomenon and spins it into a metaphorical treatise on growing up with “Autopilot,” her rousing new rock-twinged single. On the new track, Ponthier translates this zoned-out feeling into a discussion of feeling trapped in your current circumstances with no control, all while raging guitars bring the chorus to a boiling point. It’s a new look for the rising singer-songwriter, and one that she fits into with ease.

First Out: New Music From Omar Apollo, Orville Peck, Syd & More As the weather keeps warming up, it’s time to freshen up your playlists with some new music by your favorite queer artists. Billboard Pride is here to help with First Out, our weekly roundup of some of the best new music releases from LGBTQ artists. From Omar…