A great love song has the power to inspire new romantic heights. With Valentine’s Day coming up, that extra push is exactly what many of us need.
Reaching those heights and channelling that newfound confidence, however, often comes much easier when you can personally relate to the lyrics you want so badly to emulate. But unfortunately, in a music industry so heavily saturated with hetero-centric love stories (and queer-stories-turned-hetero-stories with a simple switch of a pronoun by artists afraid to live their truths), a huge sector of listeners simply cannot relate. A good, queer love song can be hard to come by. A whole collection of such songs is even rarer.
Our Culture Editor aims to fill that void, or at least start the dialogue. A self-identified queer woman, she’s created “Lez fall in love & get it on,” a short, 14-track playlist featuring songs by (mostly) queer women, for queer women.
Everyone is in different stages of their journey, and this playlist was crafted with that in mind. So whether the genre of choice is R&B, hip hop or pop– whether the occasion calls for an anxiety-ridden love confession or an intimate night with your long-term lover– “Lez fall in love & get it on” has something for every women on this extra special day. Some favorites include:
“What I Need” – Hayley Kiyoko feat. Kehlani
A collaboration between two of the biggest queer icons of today, “What I Need” completely shocked fans when released in 2018. This song and video follow two friends, played by Kiyoko and Kehlani themselves, who are very much in love but are not yet ready to completely embrace it.
With lyrics like “I only want a girl who ain’t afraid to love me” and a chorus that goes “what I need, what I need, what I need is for you to be sure,” “What I Need” is equal parts pop-perfection and a realistic look into the battle lots of young women face every day. In a world where love between women is often portrayed so wrong, Kiyoko and Kehlani managed to get it so right.
“Pussy Is God” – King Princess
At first impression, many may assume the song to be vulgar, but King Princess’ “Pussy Is God” is nothing more than an unapologetic ode to the beauty of queer love, especially that between two women. Unable to be played on the radio due to its title, the language may leave some feeling a bit uneasy. But it is important to consider why– in a music industry so saturated with aggressively sexual rhetoric regarding love between men and women– this is where it becomes “too much.”
Much like Ariana Grande’s hit “God is a Woman,” Princess compares the female body, something that has been policed and marginalized since the beginning on time, to the divine.
“Motherlove” – Bea Miller
Singer Bea Miller has not identified herself as LGBTQ+. She has, however, been an advocate for the community since she burst onto the scene, frequently citing her two mothers as sources of her success. She also created “Motherlove”– an absolute pop-rock banger about female masturbation.
The reality is that not everyone will have a special someone this Valentine’s Day. So, Miller encourages you to make yourself that special someone. She encourages her fans to “do what they like” and “do it just right” instead of trying to force a connection where there simply is not one.
“Like You” – Asiahn
A Grammy-nominated, proud lesbian, Asiahn tells a story of love and lust in “Like You.” The video depicts the R&B singer joining her friends after a heated lovers quarrel with her partner. During their night out, a special lady catches her eye. However, she warns about giving into that vulnerability and ultimately obtains, singing “maybe in another lifetime, this just ain’t the right time.”
Not only does “Like You” tell a familiar story of love, pain and temptation, but it also reminds listeners that love will not always be easy, and that sometimes the easy thing is not the best thing. Even more refreshing is that Asiahn entered the industry without a major “coming out” moment. She simply burst onto the scene being unapologetically herself and depending on her music to speak for itself– which it definitely does.
“Stubborn Ass” – Young M.A.
While many love songs focus only on the good times relationships bring, “Stubborn Ass”– released last Valentine’s Day– details the very real struggles that even the happiest couples face. Coupled with an intimate video featuring Young M.A. and rumored girlfriend Bernice Burgos, the track shows the ups-and-downs of a long term relationship.
From the simple things like fights over unwashed dishes to larger, deep-rooted issues, the rapper expresses frustration over lack of communication and willingness to compromise. Ultimately, she reminds her partner that she is still very much in love, with a chorus that goes “with your stubborn ass / such a stubborn ass / you lucky I f*cking love your ass.”
“Girl” – The Internet feat KAYTRANADA
This 2015, neo-soul love song details feelings of lust and desire that we can all relate to, regardless of sexuality. In it, Syd, an openly gay singer-songwriter and founding member of the collective The Internet, pleads with her love interest not to settle for less. Syd believes this “Girl” deserves the best, and with lyrics like “Tell ’em you’re my girl / and anything you want is yours” and “Would you let me call your my girlfriend? / I can give you the life you deserve,” it is clear that she intends to give it to her.
“religion (u can lay your hands on me)” – Shura
First dates can be tough— awkward, to say the least. The ideal one, though, goes so well that you are filled with enough love-struck feelings to channel into a chart-topping song. For synth-pop newcomer Shura, that dream came true, birthing the vulnerable, sophisticated track that is “religion (u can lay your hands on me).”
In it, Shura tells the beautifully true story of her first date with the woman that would later become her girlfriend. According to a 2019 interview with Clash Magazine, Shura traveled to New York City for the date, where the pair attended a show for the pop band MUNA. “I wasn’t sure how the date was going until she took my hand whilst trying to lead me to a spot where I could see them play (i.e. basically nowhere in the venue as I’m too short!),” the singer said. “Then, I knew it was all going to be OK.”
In “religion (u can lay your hands on me),” Shura takes that moment a step further, begging her partner to lay her hands on her body and never let go.
Click here for the full playlist.
Featured image source: flickr.com