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Hayley Kiyoko’s Debut Album ‘Expectations’ Is Everything We Wanted

Image Credit: Billboard / Trevor Flores.

In 2015, Hayley Kiyoko released her smash-hit single “Girls Like Girls,” immediately taking the music world by storm and earning herself a name, not just for her brilliantly crafted pop songs, but also for her unapologetic expression of her sexuality and self-image within her music.

Since then, she has gained millions of fans, including a large following within the LGBT community, even being dubbed as ‘Queen of the Gays’ and ‘Lesbian Jesus.’ As a part of 20GAYTEEN, she has continued to release unwavering bold and emotional pop hits with the sapphic vibes and messages of empowerment that we all admire. Hayley Kiyoko’s debut album Expectations has finally dropped, and it is everything.

Courtesy of Amanda Charchian

The journey to this album has undoubtedly been a long one. Kiyoko herself has expressed the longevity of it, and just how eventful the two and a half years leading up to Expectations have been.

MTV reports that during her album release pre-party the singer was so emotional that she broke down on stage when talking about all that she has experienced in the past few years, ranging from her dealing with her self-image and battling through a brain injury.

She delved further into her experiences in an interview with Nylon:

I had high expectations that I would succeed and get everything I want and also date a lot of hot women. The reality is, I’m single. [Laughs] I’ve gone through a lot of health problems, which I wasn’t expecting. I’ve dealt with a lot of family issues. The reality is my twenties have been a huge growing period for me, maturity-wise, and learning to really value life and the small moments.

The sound of Expectations is similar to most of Kiyoko’s music — chill and exciting in its execution, but with deep, special messages.

Kiyoko’s lyrics are incredibly honest and open, and it’s refreshing how unashamed she is to express herself.

Such openness can be heard on the track “Under The Blue/Take Me In” where she discusses the deep emotions behind an incredibly meaningful love. There are more upbeat and bold songs like “Curious” (which was released as a single prior to the album) and “He’ll Never Love You (HNLY),” which deal with the complications of Kiyoko’s lovers.

New depths are also explored on “Molecules.” The track was written about mental health and death, specifically referencing one of the singer’s friend’s late brother. The vulnerability and emotion expressed in both the lyrics and the production of the song may have you weeping before the song is even over.

Lastly, there is an exciting collaboration with openly bisexual singer Kehlani titled “What I Need.” Not only is this song one that will have you dancing and singing along in no time, but it’s also refreshing to have two openly LGBT women collaborating in mainstream media.

It’s safe to say that the journey to Expectations may have been a long and bumpy ride, but the end result has been undoubtedly worth it. Listen to all 13 tracks on Hayley Kiyoko’s debut album Expectations here.

Cover Image Courtesy of Billboard / Trevor Flores

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Written by Niamh Parr

Aspiring writer by day. Occasional crime-fighter by night.