Loren Kramar’s Pride Playlist

"To me, pride month is about knowing your queer history and not hating yourself..."

Loren Kramar can’t help but speak his truth. The American songwriter’s debut album ‘Glovemaker’ was a piece of theatre, with his voice in the central role – with song titles like ‘Gay Angels’ and ‘I’m A Slut’ it focussed on directness and honesty, with Loren acting as the magnetic core.

Out now, the songwriter touches down in Europe this month. Playing shows in Amsterdam and Paris, he’ll also headline London’s The Grace on June 18th.

It’s Pride month, so CLASH invited Loren Kramar to craft a special playlist, spotting some inspirational talents from the queer community. Responding with some wicked choices, he introduces the playlist by commenting…

These are songs that I love. Some of the artists are friends. Most of them are queer. To me, pride month is about knowing your queer history and not hating yourself.  This music makes me love life, love people, and remain in awe of what’s possible as a creative person who allows themselves to feel deeply and express themselves with power.

Tune in now.

Loren Kramar – ‘Hollywood Blvd’

This is the lead single from my debut album, which just came out. If you don’t know anything about me, listen to this song first. It tells the whole story. I recently performed this song at The Troubadour in Los Angeles with a horn section and it felt like a hallucination. This song makes my life feel bigger and more beautiful than I ever thought it could be. 

Zsela – ‘Lily of the Nile’

Zsela is my baby. I’ve known her for many years and remember her first shows in LA vividly. Her impossible voice – the tone, how she uses it – it’s all hills and valleys and bass. She writes the best songs, has the best producers in Daniel Aged and Gabe Wax, and I just want to go wherever she wants to take us. Her new album is going to destroy. 

Chappell Roan – ‘Good Luck, Babe!’

I love when a new pop star is born. Everybody adores Chappell and they should. She released an album seven years ago, got dropped from her label, but kept it moving. Her songs are concise and ecstatic and I find her whole world fun as hell. I live for the big belt that she lets out towards the end of Good Luck, Babe. Elton loves her and so do I! 

Jess Williamson – ‘Time Ain’t Accidental’

I saw Jess perform live about a year ago on a bill with Weyes Blood and I fell in love. She has a quality that is so rare – ease. Her voice, the little twang, the perfect storytelling. She’s a giant of songwriting and I worship this song. 

Casey MQ – ‘Grey Gardens’

Casey sings like he’s in love with the listener. Such sensitivity and delicacy in every word and breath. This song opens with the most elegant and pained piano melody. The whole thing is divine and you can listen to the demo (which is just as beautiful) on his IG. I feel lucky to call him a friend and to have sung karaoke with him on his birthday a few months back. 

June McDoom – ‘Emerald River Dance’

I don’t drive but if I did, I would listen to this song on repeat while driving to the beach at night and then listen a hundred more times while walking along the ocean in the darkness. 

Jobriath – ‘I’m a Man’

Jobriath was a BRILLIANT gay musician who was basically America’s answer to David Bowie in the 70’s. He never achieved mainstream success and retired in 1975. He eventually moved into a pyramid-shaped apartment on top of the Chelsea Hotel in New York and became a cabaret singer. On YouTube, you can find an all-too-brief interview with him in the pyramid under his other stage name, Cole Berlin. He died of AIDS in 1983 and is a true musical hero.

Photo Credit: Jason Al-Taan

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