A previous Disney star, Kiyoko has done her fair time on screen; but the once demure persona has been stripped to emerge a woman embracing her sexual orientation. Her lyrics, both raw and energised, have established a platform for many to take solace in. Hayley Kiyoko’s ambitious debut album is, arguably, the soundtrack needed to combat underrepresentation of the LGBT community within POP.
Expectations, released March 30th, 2018, has been the long-awaited debut for the LA-born singer. With three released EPs; A Belle to Remember (2013), This Side of Paradise (2015) and Citrine (2016) Kiyoko has been building a hefty following all enamoured with her unashamed disclosure of candid and sincere sexuality.
Singles like “Curious”, “Feelings” and “Sleepover” released before the album itself, garnered the buzz needed for the debut album. With accompanying music videos that, like her lyrics, do not shy away from LGBT representation, the excitement for the coming album merely increased.
The album ranges in its chosen tracks. The enigmatic “Mercy/ Gatekeeper” sonically is buoyant and blithe. Lyrically, however, the track is heavy with anguish and hopelessness. The juxtaposition between the two leaves a track that is relatable in its sincere melancholy yet fun in its upbeat sound.
Radio-ready tracks like “He’ll Never Love You (HNLY)” and “What I Need” (featuring Kehlani) further captures this fun quality showcasing Kiyoko’s unashamed desires. G-Funky tunes are also included within the album with tracks like “Palm Dreams” which is reminiscent of Kiyoko’s hometown of LA. Both fun and optimistic it is befitting of the dominating pop sound for the track. “Molecules” is a definite highlight worthy of recognition with its lonesome guitar that builds into a bonafide ballad that harbours a dynamic quality.
Seeing an artist unabashedly expressing themselves, giving a platform to normalise queer females within mainstream music, is Kiyoko’s own niche. Being one of the only queer females within the industry she is delivering raw and intimate sentiments held by those otherwise marginalised. It is here and it is queer; a refreshing sound to embrace LGBT and to be proud of who you are, celebrating your sexuality. Expectation can be seen as a positive move forward for inclusion within music. The album far surpasses all presumptions and is worthy of the mass response it has garnered.
‘Expectations’ is out now. The albums full track listing is…
03. What I Need (feat. Kehlani)
06. Under The Blue/Take Me In
09. Wanna Be Missed
10. He’ll Never Love You (HNLY)
11. Palm Dreams
13. Let It Be