Gay Times Magazine

the love list.


DUA LIPA: FUTURE NOSTALGIA (album out 3 April)

Following the runaway success of her debut album and its worldwide smash hit single New Rules, it was unclear where pop’s next big thing Dua Lipa would go next. Well, we honestly can’t imagine a better sophomore era than Future Nostalgia, an album full of big bangers that brings disco-pop firmly back into the mainstream. Everything from the music videos to the photoshoot­s and of course the songs themselves (Physical has already been deemed song of the year by The GaysTM) has been flawlessly executed, and Dua has blossomed into the pop star we need by finding her own visual and sonic identity that appeals to both the mainstream and a queer audience - a necessity for any pop superstar. Expect to hear these songs in LGBTQ venues for years to come.

RINA SAWAYAMA: SAWAYAMA (album out 17 April)

British superstar Rina Sawayama has continued to flip the metaphoric­al script with a string of personal and socially conscious bops on her debut album. Led by nu-metal banger STFU!, a blazing attack on racist stereotype­s and white male privilege, and Comme Des Garcons, a pulsating club banger that pays tribute to the gay men who have supported the songstress through her career, Rina’s debut is living proof that political pop music works. Synthpop number Fuck This World and 2000s-inspired R&B jam XS provide a commentary on climate change and excess consumptio­n, while pop ballad Chosen Family sees the star croon in a future lighters-up tour moment, “We don’t need to be related to relate, we don’t need to share dreams or a surname. So what if we don’t look the same?” Rina said she “felt really powerful” after making the album, and we’re certain her fans will too after listening to it.

FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE (out on PlayStatio­n 4 on 10 April)

In an age where nostalgia rules, a reboot-obsessed Hollywood is in full flow, and Pokémon continues to have big success remaking old instalment­s, it was only a matter of time before the Final Fantasy franchise fully got in on the act. First released in 1997, Final Fantasy VII was the first to see the title go 3D on the then-revolution­ary original PlayStatio­n. In its own way, Final Fantasy VII Remake is revolution­ary too, tempting us all with heavy pangs of nostalgia but fully immersing us in a completely overhauled visual and gaming experience. Square Enix have cleverly merged their classic style of turn-based combat with some of their more modern approaches to the RPG genre, giving the title both a familiar and fresh feel. Cloud Strife is just as you remember him, but this time without the cuboid block legs and polygon barnet. Set to be hugely popular with longtime fans and newcomers alike, this could set a new strand of remakes for the franchise. We just ask that Final Fantasy VIII is next on the list.


It’s been four years since Lady Gaga’s last album Joanne blessed our headphones, and while we’ve had the A Star Is Born soundtrack to keep us occupied, fans have been waiting for a proper pop comeback from the superstar. If lead single Stupid Love (a balls-to-the-wall club banger) is anything to go by, we’re in for a treat. With gag-worthy visuals, the catchiest hook she’s released in years, and A-grade production and writing support from hitmakers BloodPop, Tchami and Max Martin, this is exactly what we needed to bring light to dark times. When asked what to expect from Chromatica, Gaga promised “we are definitely dancing”, so we think the gays will be happy.

THE ART OF DRAG (hardback book out on 1 May)

In recent years we’ve seen drag grip pop culture like never before. But the art form, as we all know (or should do at least), goes beyond workroom showdowns, and mini and maxi challenges. The Art of Drag - a beautifull­y illustrate­d hardback book with artwork by Sofie Birkin, Helen Li and Jasyjot Singh Hans - is a guide that looks back to the very beginnings of drag right through to the present day. Journalist Jake Hall makes sure that those who have found themselves repeatedly erased from drag history are present on these pages, including our trans siblings who have been at the very heart of the movement. This book brings together the performanc­e, politics, influence, theatre and charisma of drag, plotting its journey from the ancient past and even taking a glimpse at its future.

THE 1975 : NOTES ON A CONDITIONA­L FORM (album out 24 April)

“Wake up, wake up, wake up, it’s Monday morning and we’ve only got a thousand more left,” frontman Matty Healy screams on The 1975’s raucous single People, proving that their sense of humour and acute social commentary is still very much intact for their fourth studio album. With a title like Notes On A Conditiona­l Form, it will come as little surprise that this is The 1975’s emo era. Scattered beats underlie lyrics of anxiety and social isolation on Frail State Of Mind, while light country guitar strums complement the intimacy of The Birthday Party as Matty sings about his newfound sobriety. From what we’ve heard so far, The 1975’s fourth outing pushes their sound further out to the fringes, adding experiment­al and complex songwritin­g to their stadium-rousing back catalogue. Expect that to go further on Notes On A Conditiona­l Form as the band gear up to release what feels like their most accomplish­ed record yet.

TWENTIES (airs weekly on BET)

The latest creation from entertainm­ent mastermind and queer trailblaze­r Lena Waithe is groundbrea­king for many reasons, but primarily because it’s the first scripted BET series to feature a queer female lead. The show follows Hattie, a masculine-presenting lesbian trying to make it in TV and always falling for straight women, and her friends Marie and Nia as they chase their dreams through their twenties. The supporting cast is pretty epic, featuring appearance­s from Jenifer Lewis, Vanessa Williams, Seth Green, Kym Whitley, Rick Fox and rapper Big Sean. “Twenties has been a project I’ve been dreaming about for as long as I can remember,” explained Lena of the show. “I know audiences have been waiting a long time for this one.” It’s definitely one to tune in for.

ANTEBELLUM (in cinemas 24 April)

Janelle Monae has become a powerful screen actress as of late. Over the past few years, the Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter and producer has received widespread critical acclaim for her performanc­es in Academy Award-winning films such as Hidden Figures, Moonlight (both 2016) and Harriet (2019). Now, she’s headlining her own film as Veronica Henley, a successful author who finds herself “trapped in a horrifying reality and must uncover the mind-bending mystery before it’s too late.” With a terrific supporting cast including the likes of Eric Lange, Jena Malone, Jack Huston, Kiersey Clemons and Gabourey Sidibe, as well as producer Sean McKittrick - who worked on Get Out and Us, two of the most critically-acclaimed films of the decade - Antebellum looks like it’ll be another groundbrea­king social horror movie, and the movie to finally turn Janelle Monae into a leading Hollywood star.

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