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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

From loud to loudest: The A.V. Club’s favorite queer rock of 2019 (so far)

Illustration for article titled From loud to loudest: iThe A.V. Club/i’s favorite queer rock of 2019 (so far)
Photo: Sleater-Kinney (Charlie Engman), Japanese Breakfast (Lorne Thomson/Getty Images), Vile Creature (Facebook)

Rock’s never lacked for queer visibility, though that depends, of course, on what one calls “rock.” We get it. It’s a big word. A fluid word. Maybe it’s an empty word now that mainstream rock’s not as loud, experimental, or antiestablishment as it once was. But Queen, The B-52’s, and The Runaways, all acts that satirized and toyed with social norms, were honest-to-god phenomenons in their day, and the influence of the queercore scene—a genre-spanning DIY movement distinguished by bold, theatrical acts like The Dicks, Pansy Division, Tribe 8, and Team Dresch—rings out to this day.


To try and distill the entire history of queer rock into a trim playlist is an absurd proposition, so we sought with the below playlist to take the temperature of LGBTQ rock as it stands in 2019, meaning that every song we’ve highlighted was released this year. As for our definition of rock, well, it contains multitudes; below, you’ll hear alt-rock, art-rock, indie, and punk, with a few selections from the metal and industrial scenes because, hey, why not. As such, some songs are much (much) louder than others, and we’ve arranged the playlist from softest to most ear-splitting as a favor to your ears.

Veterans like Courtney Barnett, Bob Mould, Sleater-Kinney, and Deerhunter can be found, as can upstarts like slow-burning Northwesterner Black Belt Eagle Scout, Philadelphia punks Thin Lips, and wunderkind experimentalist Jay Som. Below, dig into roughly two hours of our favorite queer rock of the year and do let us know who we missed in the comments. After that, be sure to bookmark our playlists of our favorite queer country and hip-hop.


From Loud To Loudest: A Guide To Queer Rock In 2019 (So Far)

1. Sammy Heck, “Parked Cars”
2. Japanese Breakfast, “Essentially”
3. Vagabon, “Flood Hands”
4. Future Teens, “Emotional Bachelor”
5. Mal Blum, “I Don’t Want To”
6. Black Belt Eagle Scout, “At The Party”
7. Girlpool, “Hire”
8. Palehound, “Killer”
9. Deerhunter, “Element”
10. Emma Lee Toyoda, “Lady Lola”
11. Marika Hackman, “I’m Not Where You Are”
12. Pronoun, “Temporary Tantrum”
13. Thin Lips, “Dear Beautiful”
14. Jay Som, “Superbike”
15. Sleater-Kinney, “Hurry On Home”
16. Partner, “Long And McQuade”
17. Imperial Teen, “Walkaway”
18. Courtney Barnett, “Everybody Here Hates You”
19. Alex Lahey, “Misery Guts”
20. Team Dresch, “Your Hands My Pockets”
21. Rat Fancy, “Making Trouble”
22. Halestorm, “Chemicals”
23. Ezra Furman, “Calm Down aka I Should Not Be Alone”
24. Niiice, “Blunt Force Marijuana”
25. Bob Mould, “Send Me A Postcard”
26. Priests, “Jesus’ Son”
27. Uboa, “An Angel Of Great And Terrible Light”
28. Doomstress, “Burning Lotus”
29. Vile Creature, “Harbinger Of Nothing”
30. Dreamcrusher, “Fever”


Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.

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