The Best Overlooked Albums

By Advocate Contributors

Originally published on Advocate.com November 14 2011 4:00 AM ET

 Josh Klipp & the Klipptones, Live at Enrico’s (Klipp)
The transgender Billboard chart-topper has another homerun with his first jazz pop album.

The Shondes, Searchlights (Fanatic Records)
Another riot grrrl–inspired but modern rock classic from the world’s best Jewish gender-queer band.

Brilliant Colors, Again and Again
(Slumberland)
Hazy melodies and dreamlike cacophony by this lesbian trio make for a lovely and mellow playlist.

Toro Y Moi, Freaking Out (Carpark)
Gay singer-songwriter Chaz Bundick has mastered chillwave, but this CD is more Gap Band and retro make-out jams.

Mad Noise, Noise Complaint
(Mad Noise)
Bisexual crooner Khalil Sullivan and his band offer up sharp but folky take on R&B with a Tracy Chapman meets Ben Harper vibe.Josh Klipp & the Klipptones, Live at Enrico’s x390 | ADVOCATE.COM Dirigible Ego, Entanglement(Dirigible Ego)
This three-man indie rock band (one bi, one straight, one gay) is the hit of Boston, and no wonder: The trio’s easy mix of rock, new wave, and raunchy humor (“Your Beard’s on Fire” is a surefire queer hit) is a great playlist addition.

Marc Almond, Feasting With Panthers
(Ais)
This three-CD set pairs Soft Cell’s Marc Almond with composer Michael Cashmore setting poems from Jean Genet, Rimbaud, Jeremy Reed, and others to music with haunting melodies and stories of love and loss.

Socalled, Sleepover (Mb3 Records)
This gay Canadian rapper-pianist has a supporting cast of 34 musicians, making for a fascinating musical slumber party effect.

Holcombe Waller, Into the Dark Unknown (Napoleon Records)
Waller’s a gay wanderer known for his breathtaking vocal stylings, and on this album his voice makes even the tiniest kernel of an idea sound like a multilayered emotional journey.

Camille Bloom and the Recovery, Never Out of Time (Camille Bloom)
The genre-straddling lesbian singer-songwriter earns comparisons to Melissa Etheridge or Gwen Stefani—unlikely musical bedfellows though they’d be. Eight different TV shows have optioned works from this album alone.Marc Almond, Feasting With Panthers XLRG | ADVOCATE.COM Excuses for Skipping, Tonic for Hysteria (Make Records)
This queer San Francisco quartet is hot as hell onstage, and the band’s fiesty hybrid of new wave, old-school, space-age drama rock translates through earbuds too.

Girl in a Coma, Exits and All the Rest (Blackheart)
This thundering all-girl San Antonio–bred trio combines punk, Tejano, and indie rock with lyrical metaphors on real issues like border patrol and immigration.

Shunda K, The Most Wanted(Fanatic)
One half of the popular lesbian Christian hip-hop group Yo! Majesty offers an equally outspoken mix of up-tempo electro, freakazoid rhymes, and Southern hip-hop stylings.

Men, Talk About Body (I Am Sound)
J.D. Samson (of Le Tigre fame) teams with Michael O'Neill and Ginger Brooks Takahashi for an album that’s still queer and charged, with anthems like “Off Our Backs” that are liberal and liberating.

Driftwood Fire, How to Untangle a Heartache
(Self-released)
These Virginia-based lesbian balladeers play beautiful roots rock with touches of Emmylou Harris. Knowing they’re a couple in real life is pure icing.Girl in a Coma, Exits and All the Rest XLRG | ADVOCATE.COM The Sheryl Bailey 4, For All Those Living (PureMusic)
A smoky, melancholic jazz meditation on healing from one of the best lesbian guitar players around.

Otep, Atavist (Victory)
Lesbian-fronted band offers up a burning gothic funk-metal album with hints of Siouxsie Sioux and Henry Rollins.

Gypsy Fuzz, Searching.Finding.Living.(Boxrilla Music)
Lesbian singer-songwriter Christine Havrilla performs ’70s-inspired powerhouse rock with some dark lyrics, mean guitar, and ethereal introspection.

Blame Sally, Speeding Ticket and a Valentine (Rocket Science Records)
Think Joan Jett meets Lucinda Williams with self-reflective and lyrical masterpieces from this lesbian band.

Sir Ari Gold, Between the Spirit & the Flesh
(Gold18 Records)
A sexy, clubby, intentionally auto-tuned R&B meditation on the balance between literal spirit and flesh.