Country Queer

Lifting up LGBTQ+ voices in country and Americana.

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CQ Roundup, February 16th

By Sara Gougeon

Lucy Dacus. Photo by Ebru Yildiz.

This week, in honor of Valentine’s Day, we are sharing a handful of new releases centered around love by LGBTQ+ artists. Dive into these lovely tunes by Lucy Dacus, Kai Warrior, Olivia Klugman, Snail Mail, and Mo Kenney. These five tracks have something for everyone: intimacy, angst, longing, becoming, and love. Enjoy!

— Sara

Song of the Week: “Kissing Lessons,” Lucy Dacus

Somehow, Lucy Dacus managed to sum up so much of the queer experience in a single song. “Kissing Lessons” is about a queer kid who has a crush on a straight friend. The girl she likes wants a “normal” white-picket-fence life: a house, a husband, “three sons and a beautiful daughter.” When they practice kissing, her crush calls her by the name of the boy she likes. In the end, she wonders if this girl “thinks of me as her first kiss.”

“i lied to love you,” Kai Warrior & Christian Inman 

This tender duet between Kai Warrior and Christian Inman will break your heart and stitch it back together all at once. At only 19, Warrior dropped this stunning debut. So good it’s addicting!


A Honky-Tonk of Our Own

“Self Help,” Olivia Klugman 

TikTok sensation Olivia Klugman released their song “Self Help”. While not specifically a love song, this tune explores self-discovery and self-love. The song opens with “Who I was three years ago would have a crush on me today” and is filled with a handful of stunning lyrics, a gorgeous melody, and a lovely concept. They sneak in many lines that the resonate with the queer experience, “They say just be yourself / Well they forget that order’s tall.”

“Adore You,” Snail Mail 

This stripped-down demo is an intimate Valentine’s Day release. It feels confessional, “She spends the night / And I still think of God under Bowery bathroom lights.” This one brings a little bit of angst and a little bit of love to the table. Toward the end, the singer declares, “Not even scared of getting old now / Long as it’s us two.” We hope you adore this song as much as she adores this girl.

“Dirty Love,” Reilly Downes

There are all kinds of love. Downes is talking about the dirty kind – but it’s not all about rolling in the sheets. It’s (also) about cherishing the kind of grittiness that’s the hallmark of anything real in this life. A downright nasty fuzzed-out slide guitar brings it all home.

“With You,” Mo Kenney

This Canadian singer-songwriter shares their new song, “With You”. Atmospheric guitars soothe while their warm voice calls, “I just wanted something new and I wanted it with you.” The song pulses with queer longing, “Maybe it was too good to be true / But I couldn’t let go of it.” 

Got a great new song? Submit it to CQ!