As an avid music lover, I am always on the lookout for great new music, particularly new music by queer women and so I thought I would help you find my favourites with this Top 10 Albums of 2018 by Queer Women.

I find music not only soothes the soul, inspires the imagination and elicits profound emotions, but it is also a way to connect with one another, find commonality and relate to shared feelings and experiences. Also, it can be a heck of a lot of fun!

After much deliberation, I have compiled this list of my favourite new releases from 2018.  My criteria was as varied as my tastes, but each of the albums I have chosen had some sort of effect on me. Whether it was the emotions conveyed, the incredible vocal and instrumental talents, or maybe it just made me feel like dancing, each of these albums stood out to me in some way. Of course, this is by no means a comprehensive list of everything that was released this year and I am always happy to hear about your favourites as well.

Flow State by Tash Sultana1. Flow State by Tash Sultana

Release Date: August 31, 2018

Label: Lonely Lands Records

Genre: Reggae/Rock/Lo-fi

Website: https://www.tashsultana.com/

Twitter: @TASHSULTANAA

Artist Intro

Tash Sultana is a vibrant and talented musician from Melbourne, Australia who has exploded onto the scene via their viral videos, incredible talent and unique style of genre blending music.  They play an inane amount of instruments (somewhere around 20) and have an equally varied vocal range. Sultana identifies as nonbinary and prefers the pronoun ‘they’.

Why I love it

Flow State is an incredibly soulful, hypnotic and compelling album that captivated me completely. Evocative in its incredible blending of different genres, rhythms and vocals, Flow State is a truly magical experience. Mirroring the multitude of instruments and styles, Sultana’s voice ranges from ethereal to snappy to a Joplin-esque wail at times. Yet somehow, despite the disparities, everything just works. You really need to experience it to believe it. The song Pink Moon best encapsulates their talent for genre blending with gentle beats, screaming guitars, and subtle strings.

Get It On Amazon

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Heart to Mouth by LP2. Heart to Mouth by LP (Laura Pergolizzi)

Release Date: December 7, 2018

Label: Vagrant Records

Genre: Pop

Website: http://iamlp.com/

Twitter: @iamlp

Artist Intro

Laura Pergolizzi (aka LP) is an American singer and songwriter born in New York. She plays several instruments including the harmonica and ukulele, whistles like nobody’s business and has a voice more soulful than an angel, more alluring than a siren and more powerful than an amazon.

Why I love it

Heart to mouth is yet another poignant offering from LP. The much anticipated follow up to Lost on You does not disappoint. The title of the album aptly describes the content as being a vocal iteration of all that resides in her heart. The second single released from the album is entitled Recovery and my goodness it is gut-wrenching and heartbreaking. With her incredible vocal range that manages to be sweet and sorrowful at one moment then transition to powerful and angry the next, she conveys such raw emotion in the song that she could give a rock the feels. The song is a plea to an ex-girlfriend to let go so she can finally recover and move on.

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Common Blah by Weakened Friends3. Common Blah by Weakened Friends

Release Date: October 19, 2018

Label: Don Giovanni Records

Genre: Alternative Rock

Website: www.weakenedfriends.com

Twitter: @wkndfriends

Artist Intro

Weakened Friends are a Portland, Maine trio consisting of Sonia Sturino on lead vocals/guitar, Annie Hoffman on bass and Cam Jones on the drums. They are an alternative/rock band and get along so well they all live together in peace and harmony in the same house. Sturino and Hoffman are not only housemates and bandmates, but are also married.

Why I love it

There are some heavy emotional songs on this album such as Good Friend which is about losing a close friend to addiction. The overall sound of the album is reminiscent of good ole 90’s alternative (my happy place). It is a little angsty, a little loud, a lot moody and broody and very catchy. But what really sets their music apart for me is Sturino’s quirky vocals. Powerful, and out there, her voice gives their music a beautiful uniqueness.

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Expectations by Hayley Kiyoko4. Expectations by Hayley Kiyoko

Release Date: March 30, 2018

Label: Empire/Atlantic

Genre: Synth-Pop

Website: http://www.hayleykiyokoofficial.com/

Twitter: @HayleyKiyoko

Artist Intro:

Hayley Kiyoko Alcroft is an American actress, dancer, singer, songwriter, and if that isn’t enough, she is also a director. An eternal entertainer she is hailed by her fans as the Lesbian Jesus. She not only sings about girls loving girls but truly celebrates it, which is a major reason I enjoy her music so much.

Why I love it

Expectations covers a vast range of emotions and situations from sadness to anger to happiness and all from a queer perspective. Despite some of the melancholy topics the album overall is upbeat, positive and of course very catchy! And, dang I just love that album cover!

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Dirty Computer by Janelle Monae5. Dirty Computer by Janelle Monae

Release Date: April 27, 2018

Label: Atlantic/Bad Boy

Genre: Pop/Funk/HipHop/Soul

Website: www.jmonae.com

Twitter: @JanelleMonae

Artist Intro

Janelle Monae is an American singer, songwriter, producer, actress, and model who identifies as pansexual. This multitude of mediums contribute to the dramatic and theatrical aura that surrounds her music. Extremely artistic, her music incorporates several genres including R&B, soul, dance, pop. It is challenging in its diversity and material but oh so rewarding! 

Why I love it

This album is a whole lot of wow! A brilliant combination of catchy, fun tunes and politically charged narrative that works on so many levels. The music itself is sexy, empowering and so very danceable! But the underlying themes of rebellion, freedom and inclusivity add infinitely more layers to it. There is also a film or ‘emotion picture’ that was released to accompany the album. It is about a woman named Jane 57821 living in a totalitarian future where citizens are referred to as robots and those who do not conform are dirty robots needing to be cleansed. I highly recommend checking it out as well.

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Sappho by Zolita6. Sappho by Zolita

Release Date: May 18, 2018

Label: Tuxedo Media Group LLC

Genre: Pop

Website: www.zolitamusic.com

Twitter: @zolitaofficial

Artist Info

Zoe Montana Hoetzel, also known as Zolita, is an American singer, songwriter, director and photographer. She openly identifies as a lesbian and also identifies as a feminist. She came out at an early age and has been a voice of resistance and proponent for change ever since.

Why I love it

What is not to love about this album?! With feminist, overtly queer lyrics in songs like Fight Like a Girl, heartbreaking songs such as New You about a relationship falling apart, and sensual songs such as Come Home With me, Sappho is a wonderful combination of emotions from a queer perspective. Add to this the visually stunning aesthetics in her videos such as Come Home With Me, a sensuous feast for the eyes which depicts her and her girlfriend in Renaissance garb and setting, and this album is truly an experience.

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Hey Mayhem by Heather Peace7. Hey Mayhem by Heather Peace

Release Date: October 12, 2018

Label: Kaleidoscope Records

Genre: Pop/Adult Contemporary

Website: www.heatherpeace.com

Twitter: @heatherpeace

Artist Info

Heather Peace is an actress and singer from Bradford, West Yorkshire, England. She is classically trained on the piano and also plays the guitar. She came out as a lesbian in her late teens and has been a prominent supporter of LGBTQIA+ causes and charities ever since. Heather also came up with the concept of the Diva Music Festival, a predominantly lesbian and bisexual female music festival celebrating women in music.

Why I love it

And now for something a little out of my normal listening habits. Heather Peace has a voice that I just can’t get enough of. If you are in the mood for some mellow feels, this album is a must listen. Hey Mayhem is an emotionally charged album stunning in the raw and beautiful vocal talents of Heather and backed by equally charming music. The title track, Hey Mayhem, is an honest and visceral song that highlights her smooth yet strong vocal abilities.

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Make my Bed by King Princess8. Make my Bed by King Princess

Release Date: June 15, 2018

Label: Columbia Records/Zelig Records, LLC

Genre: Pop

Website: www.kingprincessmusic.com

Twitter: @KingPrincess69

Artist Info

King Princess, born Mikaela Straus, is from Brooklyn, New York, USA. She plays multiple instruments including piano, bass, guitar and drums. She has a storied background in production techniques from a childhood spent hanging with her father, a recording engineer, that shines through in her music. She identifies as genderqueer and gay, is a huge supporter of drag and is becoming a queer icon for today’s youth.

Why I love it

I love everything about this album. Despite not being overly complex musically, her vocal range and tonal variations keep it entirely engaging. The songs on the album are wonderfully varied in style and subject matter and the appeal of her overall confident and suave presence gives her music a great aura. The combination of pop music with her sultry and raspy voice is extremely sensual in songs such as 1950 while her strong vocals convey a great deal of emotion in songs like Talia. The album is full of queerness and brimming with personality.

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Distraction by Paper Citizen9. Distraction by Paper Citizen

Release Date: September 7, 2018

Label: Independent

Genre: Indie/Pop/Rock

Website: www.papercitizen.com

Twitter: @PaperCitizen

Artist Intro

Based in Boston, Paper Citizen is an indie/pop/rock trio consisting of Claire Gohst on vocals, guitar and violin, Colin Fleming on drums and Theo Brierly on bass. Claire, is a singer and songwriter from Singapore who also plays the violin, piano and guitar. She was kicked out of her home at the age of 17 for being a lesbian but ended up receiving a scholarship to Berklee for music and formed the band Paper Citizen.

Why I love it

Gohst has a sweet and melodic voice and the music on this album provides the perfect complement to her singing. Songs like Shkn and The River’s Blue have some light but grungy guitars backing Gohst’s graceful vocals and the variations in tempo, build and ebb mirroring the feelings of isolation and connectivity expressed in the lyrics. I really enjoy the cohesiveness of the album and how the music with its delicate strings and a gentle beat allow the beautiful, harmonious vocals shine through.

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The XPeriment by Freckles the Writer10. The XPeriment by Freckles the Writer

Release Date: September 21, 2018

Label: Freckles TheWriter

Genre: R&B/Soul

Website: www.facebook.com/tanya.freckles

Twitter: @FrecksTheWriter

What it’s about

Tanya White, aka Freckles the Writer is a talented Chicago based songwriter who has recently made the jump to recording as well. She has written for several artists such as R. Kelly, Seal and Janet Jackson to name a few. She is an androgynous lesbian and her songs and videos are full of queer representation and soulful, catchy music.

Why I love it

The album has a lot of R&B, some Hip Hop and a touch of jazz thrown in for good measure. It is wonderfully eclectic and deals with the good and bad aspects of personal relationships. The song Uh Huh is a groovy song about the tortuous desire for a straight friend that toys at reciprocating the feeling but is still in a relationship with a man. Pretty girl is an upbeat and catchy song that speaks of the love of a woman.  The entire album is a deliciously sensual and inspires you to want to groove.

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