By the Punk Out Team
We love music. We know you love music as well. Every week on our internal team page, the Punk Out team shares our favorite songs of the week. We thought we should share our choices with you as well! So take a listen to some of our favorite songs from the past week and let us know some of yours.
Tyler Glenn - "Trash"
My favorite LGBT+ artist is Tyler Glenn of Neon Trees. I had the wonderful opportunity to interview Glenn the week he came out of the closet. We didn’t focus on his coming out, but rather we spoke about his newfound freedom of speech with the then new Pop Psychology album. Tyler spoke with such grace and humor about translating his experiences and deep rooted emotions, which made me feel nothing but respect for him. Although he came out about his sexual identity, he is still battling inner turmoil against his upbringings as a Mormon and as a gay man. For me, it is a reminder that as a straight woman I will never understand what it means to be of the gay persuasion in both an understanding and non-understanding world. There are challenges that I will not comprehend to the fullest extent, because it is not a battle I face every day whether it is with myself, with family, friends or even the rest of the world. However, that doesn’t mean I won’t fight alongside the LGBT+ community. Just because I don’t understand what it means to live in either fear or worry of my sexuality, doesn’t mean I don’t want the LGBT+ community to flourish with pride for who they are. I think it is important to note how Tyler hasn’t just made it a notion to come out of the closet, write a song or two about it, and then fade into the shadows. He is still putting content out there and still fighting for not just himself, but for his fellow communal brothers and sisters as well sd to not let religion and bigotry hold back any queer person from living life the same way as a straight individual would.
- Heather Glock, Team Writer
Julien Baker - Something
Anyone giving Julien Baker's debut album, Sprained Ankle, a moderately focused listen could put a thumb to the pulsing sadness pouring from her sad and beautiful voice. Unafraid of her ghosts and the vulnerability they might possess, Baker fearlessly displays her scars over the course of 9 songs, referencing depression ("Everybody Does"), relationship issues ("Blacktop", "Something") thoughts about death ("Sprained Ankle"), self-doubt ("Go Home", "Something"), self-destructive behavior ("Good News"), substance-abuse and self-harm ("Go Home", "Brittle Boned"), and her battle with being and openly gay Christian ("Go Home" fades into a hymn from her childhood).
- Joshua Hammond, Editor in Chief
Bright Light Bright Light - "I Wish We Were Leaving (ft. Elton John)"
I'm always into exploring new synthpop artists I've never heard. But when I heard Bright Light Bright Light (Rod Thomas) and his Life is Easy album, my jaw dropped. It's a beautiful, tender, and personal record front to back, with a title that is both bitingly and somewhat sadly ironic, but also comforting. But the song "I Wish We Were Leaving" is a song that transcends all genders and sexualities. A song about pining for not just someone to love, but the feeling of love is powerful in its own right. Thomas' voice is flows like a breeze and every melody and harmony here is unforgettable. Couple that with lush synth textures, a fast driving beat and, oh yeah, guest vocals from friggin' Elton John and you get a track that will haunt you long after you stop listening. If we've learned anything in this life it's that love is love, regardless of who you are. But along with that comes the facets of loving that are hard for every person. Longing, failure, rejection, jealousy, and wishing things were different. Mr. Thomas understands this, and this track is a beautiful statement of forgiveness but sadness.
- Kris Kielich, Team Writer
Years & Years - "King"
Have you ever had that listening experience where you hear a song for the first time and chills run down your spine? That's exactly what happened the first time I heard Years & Years' monstrous debut single, "King." As a gay man, Olly Alexander's lyrics about losing control to a man is all too familiar. Who doesn't want to be treated as a king, anyways? But the more I listened to the song, the more interpretations I peeled from it. What does the song mean to you?
- Michael McCarron, Founder and Executive Director
Brandi Carlile - "The Things I Regret"
If there was one musician that everyone should be listening to right now, it's Brandi Carlile. You may have heard of her recently, as she was nominated for a Grammy for her recent album, but she has been around much longer than that. The Seattle native has a huge repertoire of fantastic songs, but "The Things I Regret" is one of my favorites.
- Kriston McConnell, Social Media Coordinator
PWR BTTM - "West Texas"
I saw PWR BTTM for the first time last year when they opened for Mitski. Before that show, I had never heard of them. After that show, I couldn't stop listening to them or talking about them. PWR BTTM's debut album, Ugly Cherries, is filled with gems for songs, such as "I Wanna Boi," "1994," and "C U Around." Not only are PWR BTTM amazing musicians, but they are also very much advocates of safer spaces and a safer scene, going so far as to ensure gender neutral bathrooms at all of their shows.
- Becca Green, Operations Assistant
Against Me! - "Born On the FM Waves of the Heart (ft. Tegan Quin)"
But this video and song mean everything to me because, one I love studio videos, and two, because in relationships we often miscommunicate and this song puts into words, so perfectly, that process and the feels that come with it. Enjoy.
- Ashley Abdenour - Operations Director
Ani DiFranco - "Dilate"
This is an oldie, but a great song! Ani Difranco has always been inspirational to me because she's a badass! She's a feminist and an LGBT+ activist and I always loved the honesty in her lyrics. Anyway... I picked "Dilate" specifically because my favorite songs are breakup songs and I probably related to this a little too well a few years back...
- Tajah Eddy, Senior Strategist
Bessie Smith - "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out"
Bessie Smith was an unabashed bisexual woman and her music expresses some of the pain of the era in which she lived. The same themes of alienation and wanting to be heard have been with us for decades.
- Ashley Hirt, Staff Writer
Editor's Note: The views and opinions expressed on our Artist Corner and Blog are exclusively of the author and do not reflect the views and opinions of Punk Out as an organization.