Q-Music: The sounds of Pride, part 1

  • by Gregg Shapiro
  • Tuesday June 7, 2022
Share this Post:
Michelle Malone, Ramesh
Michelle Malone, Ramesh

This month, let's focus on some lesser known musicians who more subtly fly a rainbow flag.

The title of out singer/songwriter Michelle Malone's new album, "1977" (SBS), is a reference to the year she first began to play guitar. It's fitting then, that album opener "Not Who I Used To Be" opens with the bold sound of an electric guitar. A self-described "big fan of 1970s music, especially singer/songwriters from the Laurel Canyon scene," Malone succeeds in capturing the spirit and energy of the period on standout tracks "Even The Queen," "Georgia Made," "Know My Name," and "River Song" (featuring Amy Ray on backing vocals).

Ramesh (Srivastava), the queer, former lead singer of Austin band Voxtrot, returns with "Eternal Spring" (Cult Hero), his first solo album since 2014's "The King." "Redemption" kicks things off to a rocking start. However, the songs that follow reveal Ramesh's mellower (although no less energetic) side via queer power-pop tunes including the exhilarating title cut, "Wilderness of the Heart," the synth-driven experimentation of "New Style" and "Valentino," and the dance-beats of "Acid & Tender."

Berlin-based, Ireland-bred Wallis Bird releases her 'summer album' "Hands" in May 2022, between the milestone seventh anniversary of marriage equality in Ireland and Dublin's Pride Festival. Warm as sunshine, this soundtrack for the season is meant to be listened to with all the windows rolled down on the car while zooming through traffic.

Wallis Bird, Jenny Parrott, Edie Carey  

Most of the 10-songs, beginning with the political statement of "What's Wrong with Changing," as well as "No Pants Dance," "I Lose Myself Completely," and "Aquarius," are driven by synth-beats aimed at your feet. Bird also spreads her folky wings on "I'll Never Hide My Love Away."

Landing four years after her debut album, "The Fire I Saw" LP by queer singer/songwriter Jenny Parrott is a scorching effort. Thirst-quenching opener "Knocking Back Some Cokes," while "My Hero" gives her a chance to demonstrate her vocal variations. The strings on "Georgia" are a nice touch, as are the a cappella vocals on "July." If there's one complaint, it's that at eight songs, Parrott leaves listeners hungry for more. www.jennyparrott.com

Now married to a man (!) and a "new mom," Edie Carey never sounded more like Ani DiFranco than she did on her bisexuality anthem "The Middle" from her 2000 album "The Falling Places." That was then, this is now, as you can hear on her new record "The Veil." The twelve originals (including one collaboration with Megan Burtt) find the Colorado-based singer/songwriter settling into domesticity and an Americana style, hoping her songs "bring a measure of healing and reconnection" during these "deeply divided" times.

Help keep the Bay Area Reporter going in these tough times. To support local, independent, LGBTQ journalism, consider becoming a BAR member.