Guest Playlist: Sydney-based artist BOLEYN shares the queer and LGBT+ artists dominating his playlists

Sydney-based queer-pop artist BOLEYN dropped his sophomore single, “Re: 21”, yesterday. Produced and mixed by Clockwork Odyssey at their studios in Kings Cross, the single sees BOLEYN challenging the generalisations that surround life in your twenties, with each of the verses dealing with a specific anxiety: alcohol, mental health, drugs, the hook-up culture and more. As BOLEYN describes it:

“I remember sitting at home in my early twenties one night, with my guitar in hand, and thinking ‘Taylor Swift lied!’ she has her song 22’, right? Well, I was in my twenties and wasn’t having any fun. I was going out with friends and having anxiety attacks in the club, waking up next to strangers and feeling empty and in general, feeling like I wasn’t living my life properly. So, instead of writing a party anthem about being young and not giving a fuck, I wrote what felt like the truth of my years as a young adult”.

It’s a warm, emotive and utterly endearing track. So it frankly comes as no surprise that BOLEYN has been picking up plenty of buzz since the release of his debut single “The Revisionist” last year. 

To celebrate the single’s release, BOLEYN has kindly curated a playlist of tracks from his favourite queer and LGBT+ artists from both here in Australia and abroad. You can check out the playlist below and read more about some of BOLEYN’s choices.

Kevin Abstract – “Peach”

This Jack Antonoff-assisted cut feels like lounging around with a lover in the summer sun, wasting the day in bed. I love the lazy guitar and the wistful harmonies in the chorus, which reminds me of late-90s, early-00s California alt-rock

Keiynan Lonsdale – “Preach”

If you’re into the DC universe Keiynan will be no stranger, for the rest of us though it’s time to wrap your ears around Preach – an electro-pop track which showcases his R&B vocals and sultry lyricism. Definitely check out the accompanying video too, which shows off Keiynan’s insane dance moves and all-around creative dopeness.

Miss Benny – “Every Boy”

Miss Benny’s “Every Boy” is a glittering dream-pop track that has endless replay value.

Maribelle – “Down For You”

I first stumbled across pop powerhouse/producer/label owner Maribelle on Young Franco’s “Girls Dont Cry”, and was lucky enough to share a spot on the Gay Times 2019 line up with her. Her latest track sees Maribelle’s buttery voice weaving in and out of an amazing R’n’B groove, exploring the bittersweet reality of young love. The perfect bop to put on when you’re getting ready for a night out and need to start feeling yourself.

Deer – “Let Me Know (feat. Genes)”

“Let Me Know” is a bright infectious piece of well-crafted pop. This is the first offering with Maddy Rowe (as Genes) as a vocalist; her songwriting credits include Maribelle, Young Franco & Sam Bluer. The track presents melancholy lyrics over bouncy electro-pop production – I love the dichotomy and the earwormy vibe. If you love pop music, you’ll love this.

Jesse Saint John – “What Do U Like 2 (Ojivolta Remix)”

Jesse’s been working as a songwriter for artists like Britney Spears, Charli XCX and Camilla Cabello for years now, so it’s no surprise that, now that he’s stepped into the limelight, his songs are perfectly crafted pop music gems. “What Do U Like 2” is a remix of an earlier song. Featuring lil aaron and Ojivolta, the reworked tack transforms the dreamy pop of the original into something a bit edgier with a strong electronic facelift. .

Donatachi – “Do What I Want (feat. Evangeline)”

This is bubblegum pop at it’s absolute brightest. The production is ridiculously polished and there’s a clear aesthetic which runs through Donatachi’s discography. “They tell me to straighten up but I love my curls,” words to live by, if I’ve ever heard them.

Orla Gartland – “Flatline”

I’ve been listening to Orla for about five years now, after stumbling across a video of her on YouTube doing this really eclectic cover of “The Wire” by Haim. “Flatline” embodies everything I loved about that first video, left-of-field vocal delivery and catchy guitar melodies. The song has slightly 1975-ish melodies and an insanely memorable hook, which I always find myself singing along to. Her confessional-style of songwriting reminds me of Regina Spektor and St. Vincent. She also does this amazing mash-up of The 1975’s “Girls” and Charli XCX’s “Boys” which she turns into a bisexual anthem, which I am so here for.

HANDSOME – “TV Set”

I love HANDSOME’s unique mix of electronica and R’n’B. This track is bittersweet in the best way, dripping with longing and the feeling of letting go. It also has a distinct hint of soul that isn’t apparent at first listen, which I really really love.

Kira Puru – “Everything Is Better Without You”

I. Love. Kira. Puru.

This track embodies everything I’ve loved about her previous releases, the funky production, self-assured lyrics and bombastic emotion. This is the perfect track if you’ve just stopped texting back that fuckboi your friends hate, or cut out a toxic friend from your life. Thank me later.

Electric Fields – “2000 and Whatever”

They may have missed out on repping Australia in Eurovision, but this track is still a winner. Zaachariaha has a seriously insane voice (if you get the chance, definitely see them live) and I’m in awe of the way the two of this guys manage to blend pop with traditional Aboriginal culture. “2000 and Whatever” is endlessly joyous, I dare you to play it and not feel like dancing.

Brendan Maclean – “Hibernia”

This track is so full of swagger & style, complete with hints of old-school disco funk and a star-studded choir (Kira Puru, Montaigne & Ainslie Wills). If you’ve never had the chance to watch an intimate gig at Hibernia House in Sydney, you’re definitely missing out.

Frank Ocean – “Swim Good”

Old school Frank Ocean will never not be a whole mood.

“Re: 21” is available now – grab yourself a copy HERE.

You can also keep up to date with all things BOLEYN via his Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

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Simon Clark

Simon Clark is the Books Editor at the AU review. A reader of books and admirer of songs, Simon has a PhD in English and Comparative Literature. All errant apostrophes are his, and his alone. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram at @simonjclark

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