Album of the Week: Expectations by Hayley Kiyoko

by Hayley Kiyoko (also referred to by fans as “lesbian jesus”) is her debut album, which was predated by the singles “Sleepover” “Curious” and “Feelings.”  Clearly, Hayley’s first single in 2015 “Girls Like Girls” off of her EP Citrine was purely a taste of the queer femme magic that was yet to come on Expectations, which she has continued to surpass. Expectations, which dropped on March 30th, is the iconic queer electro-pop album that fans have been waiting for an actual LGBTQ+ identified artist to create.  Many straight artists, or artists who have not claimed any sexuality, have been profiting off of the performance of queerness from Katy Perry’s famous “I Kissed A Girl” to Nicki Minaj’s various lyrics about engaging in sexual actions with women. Meanwhile, queer female singers have been contributing to the cultural production of pop music since its inception, yet, their identities have been marginalized by critics in the industry and/or they have not explicitly sung exclusively about their relationships with same-sex partners.

Hayley Kiyoko often talks about her identity and the shame she barred for a long time since she realized that she was gay at the early age of seven. Although Kiyoko has been singing and performing since she was five years old, the artist at twenty seven now never expected to be singing about kissing girls at massive festival events like Coachella, alongside Beyonce and Eminem or headlining on tour for the famous pop-punk band Panic! At The Disco, because of how uncomfortable she was with her identity. Fans denoting Hayley Kiyoko as the pop “lesbian jesus” definitely has awakened many to the widespread acceptance of openly LGBTQ+ folks in the music industry.

Expectations presents an honest dynamic perspective and euphoric sense of identifying with being queer aka. falling in love with your straight best friend, making your ex regret replacing with their boyfriend, and kissing girls during a west coast sunset. The lyrics also acknowledge how lonely it can be to be out as a queer woman and how hard it is to navigate the oppression that is associated with queer female sexuality. Hayley Kiyoko often talks in interviews about how she is inspired by the queer community that has emerged as her outspoken fan base, a strong community that she lacked when growing up. Thus, Hayley Kiyoko is smashing all of the sexism and homophobia in the metaphorical glass ceiling, especially since this album was released on such a major label like Atlantic Records. The dreamy synthesizers, Hayley’s mystical voice, and bumpin’ bass lines all contribute to the newwave pop drama that is Expectations.

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