Country Queer

Lifting up LGBTQ+ voices in country and Americana.

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CQ Roundup, February 4th

By Country Queer Staff

Blake Rave

Our shotglass runneth over. We’ve got a slew of new tunes, and maybe there’s something in the water or in the whiskey, because everybody seems to be in a sentimental mood. No cheap whiskey and no cheap sentiment: these seven songs, by queer artists both established and emerging, will get you right in the feels. Pour yourself a shot of something, grab a hankie, and start listening.

Song of the Week: “Oxygen,” Blake Rave

With a name like this and a song like “Oxygen,” we’re surprised that we haven’t come across Blake Rave before, but we’re sure glad we have now. Rave comes from a family of musicians and it sounds like he hasn’t missed an ounce of his inheritance. His intentions for “Oxygen”? “Words I wish someone had said to me in my darkest moments. This song is meant to be a beacon of hope for anyone suffering.” Walk toward the light.

“Heart of My Home,” Della Mae

We missed it when it was released in December, but we’ve got it now. Comfort is the watchword in this holiday treat from the veteran trad outfit; everything about the video (directed by Front Country frontwoman Melody Walker) envelopes you in the yeasty warmth of a fresh loaf of homemade bread.

“way down below,” the garages

Undeniable undertones of Dusty and Bobbie float through this softly apocalyptic minor ballad; it sneaks up on you like something rustling outside your tent on an otherwise peaceful campout. From their bio: “the garages are a collective of LGBTQ+ musicians with members around the globe, who take inspiration from the browser sports horror sim Blaseball to write songs about being gay, the apocalypse, and fighting the gods.” Open up your earholes for the garages!


A Honky-Tonk of Our Own

“Hurtin’ For a Letdown,” The Whitmore Sisters

Eleanor and Bonnie Whitmore, aka The Whitmore Sisters, just released a lyric video for this single from their new album, Ghost Stories. It sets their classic honky-tonk weeper against a backdrop of slapstick gags from century-old silent screen comedies, and the results are delicious. Directed by Ainjel Emme and Sloane Lenz.

“Sober,” LJ Tyson

A beatbox and a pedal steel: from the opening bars you know you’re getting something cool with “Sober”, the new single from Canadian LJ Tyson. Tyson, an Indigenous person who identifies as part of the 2SLGBTQ+ community, tells us that “Sober” digs into “the struggle of sobriety while trying to maintain relationships and day to day to life.” And it does it with maximum sonic seduction: “Sober” may be serious, but it’s still a treat.

“Scrambled Eggs,” Gray Ellis

Gray Ellis is a 22 year old trans musician based out of New Orleans, who tells us “Scrambled Eggs” is “a reminder to center yourself. And also how tricky it can be to do so. The song, like a trusted friend, helps me get back to myself when I feel lost.” We believe it.

“The Robin (for Mei Mei),” Dwayne Jarrell and the Truer Sound

Jarrell calls himself a “late bloomer with an explorer’s heart.” He wrote this song for his 20-year-old niece, who, as alluded to in the song’s lyrics, died by suicide the day after calling her grandfather on his birthday in 2020. “I needed to write this song to process my emotions, and I was able to play it at a family memorial service.” Try to keep it together when you hear it. I dare you.

Got a great new song? Submit it to CQ!