As we enter the final four months of 20GAYTEEN, we have been treated to a plethora of music from LGBTQ+ artists this year. With Pride season coming to a close, we’d thought it would be a perfect time to reflect on the Nine albums you need to hear in 20GAYTEEN:
20GAYTEEN (noun): It’s 2018 but for gays only. Created by the Lesbian Jesus, Hayley Kiyoko. In her own words, “The gayest year ever”.
Hayley Kiyoko – Expectations
What better way to kick off this article than with the woman who started the ’20GAYTEEN’ movement. After announcing her debut album titled, ‘Expectations’ in early January 2018, Hayley Kiyoko vowed to make 2018 the ‘gayest year ever’ by deeming it as, ’20GAYTEEN’. She then released her banger of a single, ‘Curious’ ahead of the album’s release as well as unveiling the album’s artwork.
With a release date of March 30th 2018, fans had an anticipating build-up to the release of ‘Expectations’ as Kiyoko’s reign as the ‘Lesbian Jesus’ was thriving and still is. Highlights from Kiyoko’s debut album are the Kehlani-assisted single, ‘What I Need’, ‘He’ll Never Love You (HNLY)’ and ‘Feelings’ amongst other tracks.
Janelle Monáe – Dirty Computer
Next up, we have Janelle Monáe’s ‘Dirty Computer’ and what a year it has been for this woman. In February, she released the album’s lead single, ‘Make Me Feel’ which was praised as a bisexual anthem thanks to it’s accompanying visuals. Upon release, the single was instantly compared to a Prince track which Monáe later revealed was down to the fact that he the did work on the single alongside herself.
‘Dirty Computer’ was released on 26th April 2018 alongside an ‘Emotion Picture’ of the album. The ‘Emotion Picture’ is basically a short film for the album which consists of music videos for the album’s tracks which covert into a mini-film. One of the single’s visuals, ‘Pynk’ was praised as ‘an expression of unity’ whereas Monáe herself described the track as ‘a celebration of creation, self-love, sexuality and pussy power’. The entire album is just stellar.
Sophie – OIL OF EVERY PEARL’S UN-INSIDES
PC Pioneer and Producer SOPHIE released her debut studio album in June 2018 after long anticipation from fans and critics within the PC Music realm. Titled, ‘OIL OF EVERY PEARL’S UN-INSIDES’, this album is everything we wanted and more in 20GAYTEEN. From the excellent album title to the stellar PC production on all nine tracks, this album is a short but sweet one.
SOPHIE returned in October 2017 with ‘It’s Okay To Cry’, the first single to feature herself visually and her vocals. In the single, SOPHIE opens up about what it is like being a transgender woman and also spoke about it in the press. In December 2017, Sophie followed-up with ‘Ponyboy’ and then with ‘Faceshopping’ in February 2018. ‘Immaterial’ has been deemed as the fan-favourite track of the entire album.
Years & Years – Palo Santo
Our next album is synth-pop at it’s finest, that album being ‘Palo Santo’ by Years & Years. After the commercial success of their debut album, ‘Communion’ in 2015, the three-piece pop group had a lot of pressure surrounding their follow-up album. However, in March 2018, Years & Years released the lead single, ‘Sanctify’ for their sophomore album and our gay prayers had been answered.
Shortly after, they announced ‘Palo Santo’ as the follow-up album as well as the next single, ‘If You’re Over Me’. The single has received commercial success, peaking at number six in the UK Singles Chart. ‘Palo Santo’ was then officially released on 6th July 2018, with Years & Years heading out on a tour of the same title, commencing in October.
‘Love, Simon’ (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
‘Love, Simon’ introduced 20GAYTEEN to the film industry as well as dive into the music industry once again with its soundtrack. The ‘Love, Simon’ soundtrack features appearances from artists such as Bleachers / Jack Antonoff, Troye Sivan and MØ. We can’t say too much about the film just in case you are yet to see but we would definitely recommend a viewing in 20GAYTEEN.
‘Love Lies’ by Khalid & Normani was the lead single ahead of the soundtrack’s release and managed to peak at number eleven on the Billboard Hot 100 as well as chart internationally.
King Princess – Make My Bed
Whilst technically more of an EP than an album, there is no denying this Brooklyn singer-songwriter has contributed towards a musical 20GAYTEEN. After becoming the first artist to sign to Mark Ronson’s Zelig label, King Princess wowed music critics with her Harry Styles-approved single, ‘1950’. The single touches on the history of the LGBTQ+ community and how they have fought for LGBTQ+ rights to make society more accepting in the modern day and age.
King Princess then followed up with the single, ‘Talia’ in April 2018. Shortly after, the Brooklyn-based LGBTQ+ artist released her first body of work, ‘Make My Bed’. Hopefully, we get her debut album before 20GAYTEEN draws to a close.
Anne-Marie – Speak Your Mind
An album so good that Anne-Marie decided the album’s release was the perfect time to come out as bisexual. On track six of the album titled ‘Perfect’, Anne-Marie sings about her love being ‘gender-free’. She was instantly praised for the unique way of coming out by dropping it as a lyric in a song of her own. Anne-Marie has also had an LGBTQ+ following throughout her time as a music artist.
MNEK – Language
MNEK broke through the music industry in 2015 with his single, ‘Never Forget You’ alongside Zara Larsson. Ever since his breakthrough, he has made connections in the industry writing for huge artists such as Stormzy and Dua Lipa.
However, MNEK saw 20GAYTEEN as the year to finally release his debut album, ‘Language’ with a release date of 7th September 2018. We are yet to hear it but have been teased with the Hailee Steinfield-assisted single, ‘Colour’, ‘Tongue’, ‘Crazy World’ and ‘Correct’.
Cher – Dancing Queen
After appearing in the anticipated film sequel, ‘Mamma Mia 2: Here We Go Again!’, LGBTQ+ icon and icon as a whole, Cher announced she would be releasing an album packed with covers of ABBA classics. In August 2018, Cher released her cover of ‘Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)’ as well as the pre-order for the ABBA-inspired album titled, ‘Dancing Queen’.
‘Dancing Queen’ is set to be released on 28th September and we just know it will help continue 20GAYTEEN to thrive. On 24th August, Cher released ‘SOS’ as a promotional single from the upcoming album.
Troye Sivan – Bloom
Ending our article with one of the most anticipated 20GAYTEEN albums, Troye Sivan’s ‘Bloom’. After releasing the lead single, ‘My My My!’ way back in January 2018, fans have been waiting patiently for this album. Sivan has spent the most of 20GAYTEEN building up to the release of ‘Bloom’ with other singles such as, ‘The Good Side’, ‘Animal’ and ‘Dance To This’, which features Ariana Grande.
Sivan has one of the biggest LGBTQ+ followings since his YouTube days when he came out and released his debut album, ‘Blue Neighbourhood’ but with his popularity consistently rising, he is on his way to becoming an LGBTQ+ icon.
You can listen to our ‘Nine albums you need to hear in 20GAYTEEEN’ playlist below:
What do you think of 20GAYTEEN so far? What has been your favourite album of 20GAYTEEN so far? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter @CelebMix.