Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Music for Pride

Three songs and albums we have been listening to all month
MUNA, Arlo Parks, and Janelle Monáe (left to right). Photos courtesy of their official Facebook pages.

June is LGBTQ Pride Month, and this year our staff compiled sounds created by LGBTQ artists that we have been enjoying this past month. Here are three works of music that poetically capture the LGBTQ experience, creating a soundtrack of visibility and celebration for Pride and beyond.

“Make Me Feel” by Janelle Monáe

James Rosales, Head Arts Editor

Repeat after me: I will never justify who I am, to anyone. That is your right. Always. With bisexuality often stigmatized as a “gateway sexuality” for those who are either ‘gay with apprehension’ or ‘heterosexual and bored,’ the lead single on Janelle Monáe’s acclaimed “Dirty Computer” (2018) is here to tell all the doubters and critics: well, it’s just the way we feel. Held together by funky guitar riffs, lip pops and psychedelic whispers, the track has been long compared to the unabashed ‘camp’ of the late Prince. The music video for the track is assertive in its representation of bisexuality, with Monáe finding herself caught between two lovers of different genders, running back and forth as if she can’t make up her mind. In terms of lyrical content, Monáe sets off on a mission to reframe preconceived ideas of bisexuality — that it is not a fleeting vice driven by greed or confusion, but like all attraction, it is as natural and instinctive as the hand you use to write. For bisexual people all around, this song is light in a world that is always trying to tell them who they are. But we are who we are and that is our right, no less. Always.


Amy Aguayo, Collegian Staff

The self-titled album, “MUNA,” just arrived on the 24th, marking a celebratory end to pride month. MUNA’s third studio album marries a twist of soft vocals, eccentric instrumentals, and joyous lyrics, making the album a lively, queer work for that infinite summer feel. This genre-bending 2000’s alt-pop inspired album features lead vocalist, Katie Gavin, along with guitarists Josette Maskin and Naomi McPherson. Released through Phoebe Bridgers‘ Saddest Factory record label, the album features promoted singles “Anything but Me”, “Kind of Girl”, “Home by Now,” and “Silk Chiffon,” featuring Phoebe Bridgers. “Silk Chiffon’s” music video paid homage to the much-loved 1999 film, “But I’m a Cheerleader.” Bridger’s charming vocals paired with an upbeat percussion, bass, and lyrics like “Life’s so fun, life’s so fun,” is a fresh batch of serotonin. “Anything but Me,” says a gentle farewell to someone one had previously loved with a contrasting energetic electro-pop beat and assertive vocals, “You say that you wanna change/I hope you get everything you want.” The album translates various moods and the gleaming admiration of one’s self-identity, and celebrates the unconcealed love one has for another.

Eugene” by Arlo Parks

Jarius Kidd, Assistant Social Media Editor

The relationships that we hold with those closest to us can be the cause of great pleasure, or in the case of singer-songwriter Arlo Parks, remind us of our pain. Released on her debut album, “Collapsed in Sunbeams,” Eugene tells of the bond between two female friends and a man by the same name that captures the attention of one of women. His arrival leads the narrator to reminisce about the fond moments that she and her friend share while simultaneously unveiling a layer of envy she feels seeing her friend go towards a romance that she had wanted for herself. On its own, the song eases audiences in with its mellow acoustic patterns and lo-fi ambiance, but beneath the poetic sounds comes a message that can resonate especially with queer listeners. In a society where heteronormativity is ever-present, the line between same-gender platonic and romantic relationships can be complicated when one side is unaware of the affections the other might hold, especially if they may not share similar orientations. And as an openly bisexual woman, Arlo poetically describes the feeling that embodies this sense of yearning: the nostalgia of times before, the resentment for what isn’t, and the hope of what could be. Blending all these emotions to create one cohesive experience that makes you reflect on personal connections, and if they could be something more.


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