5 Chappell Roan songs to get into her campy, queer, glittery, pink pony world

A totally subjective, definitely not definitive selection of Chappell Roan songs

chappell roan coachella-photo-by-luxxienne

If 26-year-old queer pop artist Chappell Roan is not yet on your radar, well, she’s about to be. The American singer just made her Coachella debut, released a new single, and did an NPR Tiny Desk Concert.

Roan, born Kayleigh Rose Amstutz in Missouri, famously opened for Olivia Rodrigo’s “Guts World Tour” this year. With her effervescent, unapologetic music, she has since catapulted from every cool girl’s secret playlist into mainstream-ish pop stardom. 

Known for her ultra-glam pop visuals—big curly auburn hair, sparkly bodysuits, and hyperfeminine makeup looks—Roan’s fan base consists mostly of Gen Zs who consider her songs like the campy bop “Hot To Go!” and the sad girl ballad “Casual” their anthems.

The singer-songwriter’s debut album, “The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess”—where said songs can be found—was described by The Guardian as “one of the most over-the-top, gloriously tasteless debuts in recent memory.” Meanwhile, Rolling Stone magazine called it the “Future of Pop.”

Signed in her late teens to a music label, she released “Pink Pony Club,” an empowering show tune inspired by her first visit to a gay club and where she sings of a dream nightclub “where boys and girls can all be queens every single day.” “Shortly after its release, Atlantic dropped her, feeling the single had underperformed,” read a profile in The Guardian.

Thankfully for her fans, she didn’t let this stop her from producing music and in 2023 put out her ’80s synth pop-heavy, early 2000s pop hits-inspired debut album to much acclaim. 

“I was so close to giving up. If I wasn’t going to do music, then I would probably just go back home and be an aesthetician and a drag queen,” Roan told the LA Times. Funnily enough, she considers Chappell Roan the drag queen version of herself.

In February, she announced the 23-leg “Mid-West Princess Tour” that kicked off at Coachella this early April. And in honor of this, we are listing down five quintessential Chappell Roan songs to listen to—in case you haven’t—to fully get into her campy, queer, glittery, pink pony world.

“Good Luck, Babe”

Roan’s latest single—a banger if we’ve ever heard one—slowly simmers into what may be this summer’s most danceable situationship song. BRB learning the steps.
Listen to this if: You want the perfect soundtrack to your summer Reels
Our favorite line: “And I cry, it’s not fair; I just need a little lovin’, I just need a little air”

“Naked in Manhattan”

The singer-songwriter was famously raised a “god girl,” which made her queer journey a little complicated (see: “Pink Pony Club”), but in this song, she makes amends with the fact that sure we may go to hell, but you know what? It’s fine.
Listen to this if: You want to reminisce about your stupid little first crush
Our favorite line: “Touch me, baby, put your lips on mine; Could go to hell but we’ll probably be fine”

“Casual”

She seldom does slow-burn ballads but when she does, ooh, girl. This was my gateway to Chappell Roan (shout out to “Las Culturistas” podcast!), which also solidified my campaign for her Nobel Prize for Literature (see: our favorite line).

Listen to this if: You want a good cry in your Grab commute home while stuck in traffic

Our favorite line: “Knee deep in the passenger seat, and you’re eating me out. Is it casual now?” But also, “Dumb love, I love being stupid”

“Hot to Go!”

Ah, the danciest of all Chappell Roan tracks! Also a very good learning companion to spelling and counting! Also a good song to run to if you want to pick up pace!

Listen to this if: You like going out to dance on sweat nights in your DIY cropped and fringed(!) top

Our favorite line: “It’s all in my head but I want non-fiction”

“Coffee”

Again, Chappell Roan is a very good writer in the way that she paints pictures with her words. A first listen to this sad song instantly brings you there: an awkward reunion with an ex, trying to remember which places to avoid to make it less, well, awkward.

Listen to this if: You’re alone in a coffee shop and want a good cry

Our favorite line: “Here come the excuses that fuel the illusions but I’d rather feel something than nothing at all”

Header image from Chappell Roan on Instagram

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