With so much negativity everywhere you look (and to be fair, there are plenty of problems in the world that need solving), it can be refreshing to indulge in some gratitude every now and then. So let’s be thankful for some of the good things that happened this year. Among them, FX’s Pose, the success of Love, Simon, the return of Will & Grace, the ouster of Roseanne from The Connors, and lots of new gay anthems. Here are the top tracks we’re most thankful for this season.
Wanna Be Me
Everyone’s favorite twink returns with a nasty jam about self-empowerment and confidence. PrettiBoiRoq wrote “Wanna Be Me” in response to comments he received after the music video for his previous single, “You Don’t Own Me,” went viral on the internet and the adorable little red head was body shamed for not looking like porn star Arad Winwin, featured in the video. The song isn’t as pop-infused as we’re used to hearing from PrettiBoiRoq. It has a more trap sound to it that works. It allows him to flex a more traditional hip hop beat. The song’s music video is as bright and bad-ass as the song. It’ll make ya want to pinch the little naughty boy’s cheeks.
Kingdom: The MixTape
From Pop to R&B, with influences of soul, no one song on the sexy American Idol’s new album is the same. Many reflect on the heartbreaks and loss he has endured over the last decade since rising to fame from the show. The title track is a mid-tempo power ballad that soars with electric guitars, triumphant drums and a grand piano. “Beautiful” is a pop anthem while “Last Supper” and “Animal” are beat driven dance numbers. Then there’s “Break,” an introspective mid-tempo song, where David opens up about his struggles with addiction. It’s a powerful album where David proves he is an adept salesmen of emotions, especially of matters of the heart and distance.
The latest song from Out actor/musician is a call to action, urging liberals to stand together and fight the oppressive right. With an 80s Prince-inspired militaristic beat, it stands apart from most anything else playing on today’s dance floors and that, along with it’s smart lyrics, is what it makes it special. The music video is a nod to Janet Jackson’s “Rhythm Nation,” shot in black-and-white and featuring many of the same iconic dance moves from the 1989 hit.
The first single off of Kfir’s Free Delivery EP is catchy, funky and almost a futuristic throwback to the disco era. In addition to it being sung by a dreamy singer who makes his dance floor debut directly from the stages of Broadway, what makes the track stand apart from mainstream releases is it’s biting attitude that seems to take a page from queen of soul Aretha Franklin by unabashedly pointing a critical finger at people who fail to pay proper respect. It doesn’t get more NYC than this.
Kendra Erika’s latest single release pays homage to her musical hero, Laura Branigan on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the deceased icon’s 80’s dance hit, “Self Control.” The song has become one of the defining songs of the 1980s and has received a number of recorded remakes over the years. Notable covers include Ricky Martin’s in 1993 and a hit dance remake by Branigan herself in 2004, the same year of her death from an undiagnosed cerebral aneurysm. Kendra Erika’s version, produced by Grammy Award winning producer Damon Sharpe, adds a futuristic new age spin to the dance classic. Its remix package includes exclusive productions by Ralphi Rosario, Moto Blanco, and Dirty Werk.
Fix Yo Face
Step aside Cardi B. Straight shooting hip hop trans artist Epiphany Mattel is here with a beat-driven hip-hop club banger that takes aim at all you perfect 10s who love to pretend like you can’t be bothered by the 5s and 6s at bars and clubs. #FIXYOFACE” is an incredibly playful song but its message is serious and right on point. Epiphany is the perfect artist to serve it. She is raw, unapologetic, provocative and she is making her voice heard by speaking the truth. You best listen.
“Rainbow,” the first single from the bands new EP, and its title track, is a high energy pop anthem with an explosive hook that will get listeners dancing and singing. The song reflects the group’s decision to be out and loud about their sexuality. It is intended to inspire fans to stand up and claim their truth, too, and why not? We should all be happy with who we are and find comfort in the fact that we are not alone.
Round in All the Right Places
Five years after the release of “Bears,” an all grown up but still adorably youthful Tom Goss is back with a new song that reinstates his commitment to plus-sized men. “Round in All the Right Places” is so much more soulful than the comical “Bears”. The love pours out in this Harry Connick Jr. from When Harry Met Sally tune that brilliantly combines sultry, intoxicating lyrics with shapely tones. The song and it’s music video are a feast for the ears and eyes.
I’m in Love with You
Two-time Grammy nominated dance producer Tony Moran and Out Music Award winner Jason Walker are together again in a brand new euphoric dance anthem. It is the third #1 from the power house duo whose previous tracks, “So Happy” and “Say Yes,” also climbed to the top position on the Billboard club charts. Written by Tony Moran, Ryan Shaw and Mike Greenly and produced by Tony Moran, “I’m in Love with You” is meant to be a bold declaration of the love we hold in our hearts for those who matter most to us and features another awe-inspiring vocal performance by Walker.