This week, we’re channelling pop, house, electronica and more
BY ELEANOR NOYCE, IMAGE VIA HALESTORM PR
Happy Bisexual Visibility Week, DIVAs! This week, we’ve been celebrating and uplifting the bisexual community in its entirety, from our favourite bi historical figures to championing visibility in the workplace. The latest rendition of DIVA’s weekly music round-up is no different, centring bisexual musicians GRETCHIN and Maggie Lindemann amongst other contemporary LGBTQIA artists. Let’s dive in!
girli – I Really F**ked It Up
girli is back! And she’s entered her pop era. Today, she releases I Really F**ked It Up via Allpoints/Believe and she’s channelling nothing but authenticity. The moniker of pansexual-identifying Milly Toomey, girli has journeyed the waves of self-discovery and now, she’s concluding that she can’t be boxed in. “I wrote this song about doing destructive things to feel excitement, and absolutely hating myself for it. Writing this song made the whole project fall into place; why am I like this? Who is controlling my puppet strings when I do things I don’t want to do?”, she explains of the track.
Gretchin – Coffee (Voice Memo)
Serving queer, coming-of-age realness, Gretchin is placing bisexual visibility front and centre this week. Her latest single, Coffee (Voice Memo) follows the music video for Petals On The Dash, penned and co-produced with her brother Joe after she came out as queer, channelling a soft-rock, 90s sound. Coffee (Voice Memo) explores the various love languages and was, amazingly, recorded in one take on the voice notes on her phone.
“I was dating as an out queer person for the first time and everything felt brand new again. It was like being a teenager and experiencing these new feelings for the first time. I wanted that innocence and excitement to really reflect in ‘Petals On The Dash’. I hope it makes them feel nostalgic and full of joy! I feel like its perfect to dance in your kitchen too and I hope queer people can really hear themselves in it”, Gretchin says of Coffee (Voice Memo).
“I wrote Coffee when I was going through my camera roll and found an old video of me bringing my ex a cuppa in bed and noticed how disinterested they seemed in me (lol). It’s about having different love languages and being different to the person you’re with. They like coffee and you like tea!”
Elkka – I Just Want To Love You
Fans of Kelly Lee Owens and SHERELLE: brace yourselves. I Just Want To Love You – fresh from Elkka – explores different forms of love and what they may look like. A cross-pollination of house, electronica, beats and lush vocals, this track came at a time when she needed a medium beyond words to express her feelings.
“At the heart of it, I hope it will be a soundtrack for everyone and anyone to have the freedom to express their love – whether it’s romantic, between friends or a mother and daughter. Everyone deserves to be loved”, Elkka states of I Just Want To Love You.
Elkka founded her own record label – femme culture – to take full artistic control over her music. Comprised of a desire to champion women in the arts, the label’s annual HeForShe compilation in aid of U.N. Women has gathered critical success.
Kelela – Washed Away
“I love a banger, but for the first point of contact out of my hiatus, it felt more honest to lead with an ambient heart-check”, Kelela shares of her latest track, Washed Away. Accompanied by a visual directed by Yasser Abubeker, the video depicts Kelela amidst the Danakil Depression, sitting in Ethiopia’s Afar region.
“I specifically want to speak to marginalised Black folk and highlight the work we do to find renewal in a world that’s built to make us feel inadequate. This song is the soundtrack to the relief we find after going inward”, she states. This track spans R&B and dance music, with Kelela’s creativity exploring the intersections between music, art and fashion.
Mawness – Carbon Monoxide
Today, French-born, Brighton-based singer-songwriter Mawness makes her debut with haunting track Carbon Monoxide. Penned after she lost neighbours in a fire in her Parisian apartment block, it explores the path an intoxicating relationship can take.
“When something traumatic happens to you, it can become all-encompassing”, she explains. “I found writing Carbon Monoxide a means of expressing, and in some ways expelling, the emotions I was struggling with at the time. But applying them to an intoxicating and unhealthy queer relationship.”
Carbon Monoxide has already received recognition in Frame for its use on a L’Oréal Kérastase advert. “This was very special for me. French media tends to platform French-language music over music in other languages, which is understandable, so to have Carbon Monoxide used in such a high-profile advert felt incredible,” Mawness states.
The video was shot in rural Wales, channelling a stunning mountainous backdrop, white horses and all. Filmed and produced by Camp Productions – known for its work with Little Mix and Bimini Bon Boulash – queer, Pakistani-Welsh director Yassa Khan helped to bring this captivating track to life.
“Everything I write is underpinned by my identity as a queer person”, Mawness furthers. “But if Carbon Monoxide is a nod to that identity, I’d say most of my other material is more of a scream and shout to that identity.”
Maggie Lindemann – SUCKERPUNCH
After amassing over one billion streams in the past two years, Maggie Lindemann has released debut album SUCKERPUNCH. Best known for her tracks Pretty Girl, Couple of Kids and Obsessed, Maggie is now entering a new era after coming out as bisexual a few years ago. Speaking to Nylon, she revealed that for her, “coming out is not just one moment. It’s everything.”
Depicting a journey of self-discovery and actualisation across 15 tracks, Maggie explains of SUCKERPUNCH: “It’s an unexpected punch, a blow you didn’t see coming. When I was making this, I had those blows in my own life; when I listened to the album back from start to finish, I realized the entire thing was a sucker punch – for myself, for my fans – and I knew it had to be the title.”
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