Intern Picks of the Week — Pride Month

Jake Wesley Rogers Intern Picks

Welcome back to Lightning 100’s Intern Picks of the Week! In celebration of Nashville Pride, we’re sharing our favorite songs by LGBTQ+ artists!

Sarah’s Pick

“Momentary” – Jake Wesley Rogers

Jake Wesley Rogers is destined to skyrocket into superstardom. I can’t think of a better song to celebrate Pride Month than “Momentary,” the final song on his 2021 EP “Pluto.” I almost chose his 2019 single “Jacob From the Bible” but decided to go with this one. The song serves as an ode to the queer icons that preceded him. 

The ballad commemorates legends like Marsha P. Johnson, Oscar Wilde, Elton John and even Peter Pan. His soaring vocals amplify the progress that has been made and how much further there is to go. “I suppose the yellow brick road is easier to navigate than it’s ever been before,” Rogers sings. “I feel like the red finish line keeps getting pushed back every time I learn a little bit more.”

Feel like hearing the song live? Rogers is hitting the road with Panic! At the Disco this fall and will stop by Bridgestone Arena in October.

Christina’s Pick

“I Eat Boys” – Chloe Moriondo

In celebration of Pride Month, I chose Chloe Moriondo’s “I Eat Boys.” The queer indie-pop artist uses she/they pronouns, and avoids labeling their sexuality. Moriondo got their start playing songs on YouTube, but quickly grew to stardom, being featured on tracks with Cavetown and Ricky Montgomery. 

“I Eat Boys” is a single off of the young artist’s sophomore album Blood Bunny. The track, along with its music video, is heavily influenced by cult-classic Jennifer’s Body. Referencing the song, Moriondo says, “It comes from a lot of real frustration that I and many other feminine people have experienced growing up with teenage boys, and the part of the male population that can be a little shitty.” 

Yvette’s Pick

“Balloon” – Crumb

My pick in celebration of Pride Month is “Balloon” by Brooklyn-based psychedelic indie-pop group Crumb. Crumb is made of four college friends: Lila Ramani (vocals, guitar), Jesse Brotter (bass), Jonathan Gilad (drums), and Bri (Bree) Aronow (synth, keys, saxophone). Bri is a part of the LGBTQ community, as she identifies as queer, trans, non binary and uses they/she pronouns. 

“Balloon” is the eighth track off Crumb’s latest release and second full length LP from 2021, Ice Melt. With Ice Melt, Crumb continues to develop their psychedelic sound with more complex arrangements and a darker, more mature tone than their prior works. “Balloon” features eerie yet dancey synths intertwined with punchy drums and bass. As the song spirals on, it warps into a gritty jam until it comes to an abrupt, yet climactic ending. 

Austin’s Pick

“Hide” – Rainbow Kitten Surprise

For this week, my intern pick to celebrate pride month was Rainbow Kitten Surprises’ Hide from their 2018 album How to: Friend, Love, Freefall. The track itself serves as an anthem for being your authentic self and never hiding any part of you. The band consists of lead vocalist Ela Melo, Darrick “Bozzy” Keller (guitar, backup vocals), Ethan Goodpaster (electric guitar), Jess Haney (drums), and Charlie Holt (bass). Both Melo and Holt  are members of the LGBTQ+ and identify as transgender, with Melo using she/her and holt using they/them pronous. 

The message of the song is carried over into the video as well, with director Kyle Thrash presenting a short documentary highlighting the lives of 4 drag queens in New Orleans as they have to conceal what they do for fear of not being accepted in their communities and their families. You can hear the song and check out the beautiful video below.