Courtesy of Ace Hotel Sydney.

IF YOU’VE WALKED INTO Sydney’s Ace Hotel these last few weeks, chances are, you’ve heard a notably camp soundtrack playing in the lobby and bar. This is because Mardi Gras is in full swing, and the hotel, which has become the place to stay for those attending the festivities—its Open Air laneway party with House of Mince was one of last year’s highlights—has tapped Melbourne record store Queer Records to curate a collection of 46 particularly iconic LGBTQI+ vinyls for guests to browse, borrow and listen to in their rooms until this Sunday. If you like what you hear, you can even purchase the record when you check out on Sunday.

But whether or not you’re staying at The Ace, if you’re celebrating this weekend, you’re going to need a playlist full of bangers to get you in the mood, make memories to and, ideally, carry you from Friday to Sunday. Whether you’re a Kylie fan (prepare to hear Padam Padam booming out of house parties) or you prefer something a little more niche, Queer Records will have it on file. Ahead of the Mardi Gras Parade, we asked co-owner Joseph Perry to put together a collection of six records that are non-negotiables when it comes to Mardi Gras listening. Keep scrolling for their selections.

What to listen to this Mardi Gras

Menergy (Purple Disco Machine Remix), by Patrick Cowley feat. Sylvester, 2021

“Hi-NRG pioneer Patrick Cowley’s biggest hit. This record includes a posthumous version with the iconic queer singer Sylvester plus a remix by German DJ Purple Disco Machine. The story goes that an ‘M’ was added in front of the original title track, ‘Energy’ at the last hour. The result is an unapologetic dancefloor filler, which is 100 per cent gay as hell.”

My Back Was A Bridge For You To Cross, Anohni and the Johnsons, 2023

“This was one of our favourite releases from last year. The artwork features a photo of pioneering LGBTQ+ rights activist Marsha P. Johnson, who was both Anohni’s muse for this album and inspiration behind the band’s name. Check out the stunning music video for ‘It Must Change’ featuring trans icon Munroe Bergdorf—a rousing reminder of why Mardi Gras is still as important as ever.”

Body Language, Kylie Minogue, 2003

“2023 was a huge year for our homegrown pop princess and no Mardi Gras playlist would be complete without her. This party season we’re revisiting her ninth studio album, Body Language, the masterpiece which gave us ‘Slow’ (and a music video that led to many a queer sexual awakening!) Keep an eye out for the 20th anniversary vinyl reissue of this gem, due for release next month.”

Club Shy, by Shygirl, 2024

“This one is giving 00’s club banger realness. At just 16 minutes long, the latest EP from South London rapper Shygirl is a rampant journey through humid laneways and sweaty underground raves. ‘mr useless’ featuring British pop producer SG Lewis is a key standout and guaranteed to bring the Mardi Gras vibes.”

STARFUCKER, by Slayyyter, 2023

“Headlining the Bondi Beach Party last weekend, Slayyyter is an electro femme fatale force to reckon with. Their 2023 album STARFUCKER takes us on a sleazy ride across Hollywood—from dingy house parties to the plastic surgeon’s table. If you’re a fan of hyperpop queens Kim Petras or Charli XCX, add this to your regular rotation.”

Heart of Stone, Cher, 1989

“The woman who invented re-invention. Heart of Stone may just be peak Cher, featuring the corset-clad classic ‘If I Could Turn Back Time’ and Western-inspired ‘Just Like Jesse James’. Enjoy.”


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