I am obsessed with queer indie artists. I know, how quirky of me. Still, I find that, in our modern music landscape, the best queer artists often take some digging to find. In an industry where LGBTQ+ artists aren’t often taken up by record labels, or at least LGBTQ+ artists who sing about their lives and experiences, it’s often the independent and uncommon artists who I gravitate towards. Though I do like the Boho, grunge, or off-the-beaten path style of most indie music, that’s not why I listen to underground queer artists. I listen to these artists for queer stories, no matter the genre.
It took me a little while to come across one of my current top artists, Myylo. I truly found him through the “Fans Also Like” bar of Spotify for another of my favorite queer indie artists, JORDY. It’s rare finds like these, however, where I can find some of my favorite queer music. Myylo, my current music obsession, uses a traditional pop sound, mixed with an unrivaled flair and charisma, to create magic. His music styling is nothing particularly out of the ordinary: listening to a Myylo song feels familiar, almost in a comforting way. Still, Myylo steals the competition with his personality, and with his fun and uptempo style. Take it from one of my favorite Myylo songs, “Doc Martens”, from his 2019 album “I’m A Nice Boy”. Myylo starts off the song, even before any background music has begun to play, with a high and exasperated “ow!”. At the end of the day, Myylo music makes you feel happy. It makes you feel bubbly, feel joyful, feel like bopping out even on a dreadful Monday night.
This is the magic of Myylo: Myylo seamlessly intertwines queer narratives with traditional, uptempo music. This is a balance that I often struggle to find in my chosen queer artists: I want an artist who tells queer experiences, but one that doesn’t feel forced, like a community money-grab or a flaunting of sorts. Myylo’s queer narratives in no way feel forced. He’s not simply switching the “she” to a “he” in a heterosexual narrative: he’s truly telling queer stories. Still, the storytelling is not obnoxious in any sense of the word: the music is still, in essence, music. It’s important to recognize that this balance is incredibly difficult to find.
So what are some of these queer narratives that Myylo tells? In another of my favorite songs of his, “I Saw a Boy at a Party”, Myylo tells a story of seeing a boy, not knowing whether he is queer or not, and still instantly falling in love. The questioning lyrics of the chorus, with Myylo asking “should I ask him if he’s into chicos or chicas” are quickly replaced by cycling bouts of “I love him”, over and over again. This feeling of love, even when one doesn’t know whether the recipient is queer, is incredibly relatable. When I listen to the song, I truly feel what Myylo is feeling. Still, the tempo remains largely upbeat. If I were to zone out of this song, and miss the lyrics, I would still enjoy it. That’s the power of Myylo’s music: queer narratives through powerful lyrics, while maintaining a general enjoyability sans lyrics.
While Myylo often tells more joyful and heartening stories, such as the story of “I Saw a Boy at a Party”, he also tackles some of the hardest experiences of being queer. In his collaboration with JORDY entitled “Tuck Your Head Under The Covers”, the two tackle the struggles of coming out in a non supportive family or community. He tells his closeted friend that he himself will always be there, that he can be family, and that his friend can tuck his head under the covers to feel his comfort. With powerful lyrics such as “even when you cry yourself awake, know when you’re in my arms you’re always safe”, Myylo tells the beautiful and common story of trying to create an inclusive environment, trying to create an environment in which all queer people can feel comfortable. He tackles this vulnerable topic with ease, creating a beautiful narrative that all can relate to.
Myylo is an artist for all. If you relate to his queer narratives, Myylo’s music provides a powerful example of how far our community has come in the push for social inclusion. If you can’t relate to queer music, Myylo serves as a music-master to bop and sing along to.