Listen OUT: “Bad Influence,” "Here Come the Aliens" and more

by Jex Druerie
Music Critic

Baby Yors: “Bad Influence”

On his second release since changing his name (he used to make music under the moniker Resh), queer Argentinian singer-songwriter Baby Yors, ne’ Marco Palou, channels the glam-rock ethos of Bowie and Bolan over a dreamy Del Rey-esque slow-burner.

The song showcases the dynamic singer’s vocals, which range from guttural to angelic piercing highs, as he slinks adeptly over the song’s smoky mid-tempo procession; one never quite overpowering the other, but rather melting into the sonic equivalent of LSD, to the listener’s delight.

The accompanying seductive black and white video pay homage to Jean Genet’s 1950 queer classic Un chant d’amour, in which two young men in prison can only interact via shared cigarette smoke through a hole in the cell wall. Baby’s got style in spades, and thankfully, more than enough substance to back it up.

Check out his catalog while you eagerly await more.

Belinda Carlisle: Wilder Shores

Belinda Carlisle’s 21st-century musical output has been eclectic, to say the least, considering her past successes as frontwoman for The Go-Go’s and her own storied solo pop career.

After 2007’s album of French chansons, Voila, Carlisle returns with the even more left-of-field Wilder Shores, an album comprised almost entirely of Kundalini mantras in the ancient Gurmukhi language. The album fuses east and west by setting mantras such as Adi Shakti, Har Gobinday, and Aad Guray Nameh to lively pop music and a traditional verse bridge chorus structure.

Largely authentic to the genre of kirtan, the album still manages to sound at home alongside other current pop chart-toppers. Alongside the gorgeous raga rock are the English tracks “Light of My Soul,” “Long Time Sun,” and a new acoustic version of Carlisle’s mega-hit “Heaven Is a Place On Earth.”

Throughout, Carlisle’s famously honey-sweet voice sounds both smoky and joyous over the tracks, and the overall vibe never feels forced.

Kim Wilde: Here Come the Aliens

Eighties hitmaker and LGBT icon Kim Wilde (“Kids In America”) is back with her first album of original material since 1992, titled after her recent headline-grabbing UFO sighting.

The 57-year-old chanteuse kicks off the out of this world set with the rollicking “1969” before hitting familiar territory with “Pop Don’t Stop,” an ode to the power of, well, pop music.

While “Kandy Krush” very easily could have been one of her many 80s hits, the album’s centerpiece is the gorgeous “Solstice,” a lush power ballad with a glorious crescendo.

On the album’s second half, Wilde keeps the energy high on the punchy “Birthday,” sexy “Different Story,” and driving “Rock the Paradiso” before teaming up with Frida Sundemo on the introspective “Rosetta.”

The album is a solid comeback, perfectly in step with her prior catalog. Plus, Wilde’s familiar voice is in pristine form. Fans will be pleased with this one.

Various Artists: “Universal Love – Wedding Songs Reimagined”

Just in time for Pride season comes this six-song collection of classic love songs reinterpreted by an eclectic selection of contemporary artists.

Beginning the set is Bob Dylan himself with a sweet, low-key version of Billie Holiday’s “He’s Funny That Way.” The collection then moves to St. Vincent’s rambunctious lo-fi cover of “And Then She Kissed Me,” followed by Kele Okereke’s reinterpretation of “My Girl,” retitled “My Guy.”

Valerie June covers Dinah Washington’s “Mad About the Boy,” retitled here as “Mad About the Girl,” her voice lending gloriously to the nostalgic feel of the original preserved in her loving tribute.

The set closes with Kesha’s “I Need a Woman to Love,” reimagining the rollicking Janis Joplin classic “I Need a Man to Love.”

Copyright The Gayly. June 7, 2018. 10:58 a.m. CST.