I am excited to bring you my first Top Ten list and I can’t think of a better topic for it than the Top 10 Lesbian & Bi Pop Musicians. Other than reading, music is one of my biggest passions.

To make this list extra special, I thought why not combine these two passions and pair a book with each song. I decided to focus on the Pop category for the first list because it is an eclectic genre and encompasses elements from many other styles, appealing to a broader audience. I may have stretched the definition of the category once or twice, but I tried to include as broad of a selection of artists that identify as either lesbian or bisexual as possible.

I am always happy to discuss your favourites as well.

1 LP (Laura Pergolizzi)

LP is an American singer and songwriter who has a voice that can reach down into the depths of your soul and fill it with longing, heartbreak and joy in equal measures. The lyrics she writes are so poignant and when combined with her voice, make her music all the more powerful. With a voice that varies between low and rhythmic at one moment and then explodes in incredible crescendos the next, LP is able to drag you through the full gamut of emotions. If you have the chance to see her live, I highly recommend it!

Top 10 Lesbian & Bi Pop MusiciansFavourite Album

Title: Lost On You

Artist: LP

Release Date: December 9th, 2016

Label: X-Energy, Bmg Rights Management

Genre: Pop

Website 

Lost on You is by far my favourite LP album. Every single song is incredible! From the ukulele led Into the Wild where her voice explodes out of the speakers to the somber and soulful Muddy Waters, this album has it all. And you have to hear her whistle!

Favourite Songs From the Album

Muddy Waters is a song that will course through every vein your body until your extremities are tingling and you feel your heart will burst. It has a gospel feel to it, a deep thrumming rhythm perfectly accompanied by her voice. And her voice… the vocals are raw, pleading, searching. This song gives me goosebumps every single time I listen to it with its incredible depth of lyrics and raw emotion.

Perfect Pairing Book: Reverie by Eliza Andrews

Lost on You is a deeply emotional song portraying feelings of betrayal and frustration over the demise of a relationship. The song begins calmly questioning past intentions, expressing the love she had felt, but then climbs steadily building to a chorus which erupts into an injured rage. It is gut-wrenching in its depiction of lost love.

Perfect Pairing Book: Pink by KD Williamson

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2 Tegan and Sara

Tegan and Sara Quin are twin Hesisters that form this pop-rock band hailing from Canada. The twins are incredibly talented songwriters and play multiple instruments. The duo has consistently released catchy tunes that, while they may sound conventionally poppy, are often full of deeper meaning dealing with loneliness, loss and happiness. They write personal and relatable music from a queer perspective and have a very loyal following. Their live show is infused with such energy and fire you can’t help but be drawn in.

Top 10 Lesbian & Bi Pop MusiciansFavourite Album

Title: Heartthrob

Artist: Tegan and Sara

Release Date: January 29, 2013

Label: Vapor Records/Warner Bros

Genre: Synth-Pop

Website

Heartthrob lives up to its title with a boatload of songs about affection and desire. Covering the range of scenarios that surround these emotions, the duo sings of the heartache and happiness that accompanies the risky affairs of the heart with an overall cheery feeling.

Favourite Songs From The Album

The song Closer is a catchy tune that is just a lot of fun to listen to.  I love the portrayal of a strong and confident woman who is 100% sure that she is going to get what she wants. There is a wonderful flirtiness to this song and it’s hard to fight the itch to get up and dance to it.

Perfect Pairing Book: Turbulence by EJ Noyes

Now I’m all messed up deals with the heartbreak of a dying relationship. Alternating between screaming to ‘Go if you want to’ and pleading ‘Please stay’ it is a moving and tragic rendition of the conflicting feelings one experiences during a breakup without sounding overly heavy.

Perfect Pairing Book: Dark Garden by Jennifer Fulton

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3 Hayley Kiyoko

Hayley Kiyoko Alcroft is an American actress, dancer, singer, songwriter, and even a director. An eternal entertainer she is hailed by her fans as the Lesbian Jesus. The fact that she not only sings about girls loving girls but celebrates it, is still fairly rare and her brazen representation is a major draw for her fans. The most attractive thing about Haley Kiyoko’s music is its predominant positivity and the way her songs normalize queer relationships in mainstream music. And, erm…have you seen the album cover for Expectations?

Expectations by Haley KiyokoFavourite Album

Title: Expectations

Artist: Hayley Kiyoko

Release Date: March 30, 2018

Label: Empire/Atlantic

Genre: Synth-Pop

Website 

Expectations covers a vast range of emotions and situations from the sadness of unrequited love, the anger of being toyed with, and the happiness and hope of self-acceptance. The album covers these emotions and topics from a uniquely queer perspective. Despite some of the difficult and painful topics the album is overall upbeat, positive and of course very catchy!

Favourite Songs From the Album

Curious is a wonderfully confrontational song about an ex-girlfriend that, while now dating a man, is still playing attraction games with her. The music is upbeat and ultimately the message is to know when it is time to sever ties and walk away. You won’t be able to help but tap your feet to this song!

Perfect Pairing Book: Damage Control by Jae

Sleepover is a heart wrenching song expressing the pain and longing of falling for a straight best friend. It is a sad, sweet and entirely relatable song. With a ballad feel, the song combines the excruciating pain of longing for unrequited love with a little happiness that at least she can still fantasize about having a relationship with her.

Perfect Pairing Book: Always Alex by Robin Alexander

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4 Anika Moa

Anika Rose Moa is a recording artist and television personality from Auckland, New Zealand. She has a penchant for very thoughtful lyrics and most of her songs are extremely personal in nature. Her sweet and melodic voice and use of a diverse range of instruments in her music create a fresh and passionate sound.

Love In Motion by Anika MoaFavourite Album

Title: Love in Motion

Artist: Anika Moa

Release Date: March 12, 2010

Label: Flightless Birds/EMI

Genre: Pop

Website 

The album love in motion is a very expressional and introspective compilation of songs ranging in themes from meeting and falling for her wife to the people who have come and gone in her life. It is about different forms and levels of love as well as the conflict and loss that can sometimes be the result of it.

Favourite Songs From the Album

Secrets and Lies is another one of those songs that sounds catchy and upbeat but with its accusing and scathing lyrics, it is at once delightful and cutting to listen to. The song is calling out a lover who has lied and cheated and also wrestles with feelings of regret for causing them pain.

Perfect Pairing Book: Behind the Green Curtain by Riley LaShea 

Running Through the Fire (storm) has a wonderful retro 80’s feel to it complete with a great guitar riff. It is one of the songs focusing on loss and has some pretty powerful lyrics but again, it doesn’t feel heavy to listen to with a faced paced beat and solid vocals.

Perfect Pairing Book: Fated Love by Radclyffe

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5 PVRIS

PVRIS is an American trio composed of Alex Babinski, Brian MacDonald and Lynn Gunn as the lead singer. The band has an ethereal and dreamy sound with a darker and a bit heavier edge than conventional pop music. Their sound is riveting and Lynn’s voice is sweet and serene some moments, and then powerful and poignant at others. She can really belt out a tune and carry incredible emotion with her voice.

All We Know Of Heaven All We Need Of Hell by PVARISFavourite Album

Title: All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell

Artist: PVARIS

Release Date: August 25, 2017

Label: Rise Records

Genre: Indie-Pop

Website 

All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell is a bit harder and darker than conventional pop music but still has a very poppish feel to it. To say this album is energetic would be an egregious understatement. The ferocity of Gunn’s voice as she belts out emotional tunes dripping with melancholy, anger and passion is shattering! This is one of my favourite albums of any genre.

Favourite Songs From This Album

Heaven, far from being the idyllic sweet song the title implies, is a slow burning, epic song of anger and frustration. Gunn’s voice builds into a roar and rage as she yells at her lover “you took my heaven away” Her voice perfectly expresses the frustration of a broken heart. I seriously can’t get enough of this song!

Perfect Pairing Book: Christabel by Karin Kallmaker

What’s Wrong is a catchy, upbeat sounding song that is covering for much darker lyrics. With furious exclamations mid-song, the message surrounds feelings of cynism and depression but tempered with the realization that she knows what she is going through and has the strength to deal with it.

Perfect Pairing Book: Slow River by Nicola Griffith

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6 Janelle Monae

Janelle Monae is an American singer, songwriter, producer, actress, and model all of which contribute to the dramatic, theatrical aura surrounding 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! 

Archandroid by Janelle MonaeFavourite Album

Title: Archandroid

Artist: Janelle Monae

Release Date: May 18, 2010

Label: Wonderland Arts Society/Atlantic/Bad Boy

Genre: Psychedelic Pop

Website 

Archandroid is an incredible conceptual work by Monae continuing the themes of her previous EP, Metropolis. I can’t say enough about this album. As a science fiction fan, I can’t deny the appeal of the futuristic themes and focus on an android as the central figure. Monae sings of the quest for love and identity when you are ‘other’ in a cruel world and while it is future focused it strongly resonates with history. Having said all of that, it is also a playful and fun listen.

Favourite Songs From This Album

Tightrope is a superbly upbeat song that I challenge you not to tap your feet to, or break into a full-on dance. I confess I can’t help myself. The song deals with the importance of keeping everything in life in balance, you know like a tightrope walker.

Perfect Pairing Book: How Still My Love by Diane Marina

Cold War has a futuristic, yet retro sound, I know oxymoronic, but it will make sense when you listen to it. It is an emotional powerhouse of a song that delves into the internal conflict of accepting and embracing who you are and the external conflict of resistance through being who you are, not who you are told to be. And her voice…simply stunning.

Perfect Pairing Book: An Outsider Inside by RJ Samuel

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7 Kany Garcia

Encarnita (Kany) Garcia is an incredibly successful Latin Pop singer from Toa Baja, Puerto Rico. Famous for her emotional lyrics and raspy voice her music covers a vast spectrum of topics and feelings and is very appealing in its honesty. Most of her music is also very danceable if you’re feeling the urge to let loose!

En Vivo by Kany GarciaFavourite Album

Title: En Vivo

Artist: Kany Garcia

Release Date: August 19, 2014

Label: Sony BMG

Genre: Latin Pop

Website 

En Vivo is a compilation of Kany’s greatest hits showcasing her amazing songwriting talents and incredibly sensual voice. If you are into Latin music this album is a must have! This album is one of my summer favourites!

Favourite Songs From This Album

Duele Menos is the only new song on this album. It begins with a mellow harmonica solo and the dulcet voice of Kany but quickly builds to a faster pop beat. The song is about looking to the past, relishing it for what it was but also having the strength keep moving forward.

Perfect Pairing Book: Dark Horse by AL Brooks

Que Te Vaya Mal is a song inspired by heartbreak and the feelings of ill will one harbours for the cause of the heartbreak. The music is a combination of Latin pop and ska and is impossible not to groove to. Kany’s voice is incredibly expressive and wonderfully reflects the emotion of the lyrics.

Perfect Pairing Book: Her Shadow by Sally Xerri-Brooks

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8 Sia

Sia Furler is an accomplished Australian singer-songwriter, producer and director with a powerful and unique voice combined with incredible lyrical talent.  She has written several hit songs for artists such as David Guetta and Rhianna in addition to several hits performed by herself. Her voice is spectacularly tumultuous and will grasp hold of you with the raw emotion she infuses into it!

1000 Forms Of Fear by SiaFavourite Album

Title: 1000 Forms of Fear

Artist: Sia

Release Date: July 4, 2014

Label: Monkey Puzzle/RCA Records

Genre: Pop

Website 

1000 Forms of Fear is primarily a pop album with hip hop influences. There is an emotional theme in many of the songs pertaining to her past struggles with addiction and some of love’s more painful elements, but the album also contains several highs and upbeat tempos.

Favourite Songs From This Album

Chandelier is an incredibly catchy song that delves into a party girl’s lifestyle. While the music is very danceable, the lyrics are more about the pitfalls that come with the fame and fortune of being a partying superstar.

Perfect Pairing Book: The Red Files by Lee Winter

Big Girls Cry is a pop ballad that extols the virtues of just letting your emotions out and having a good cry no matter what people might tell you to the contrary. Sia sings in a toned down, huskier voice that vulnerability is ok and it doesn’t detract from your strength to release some tears when your heart is breaking.

Perfect Pairing Book: After Mrs. Hamilton by Clare Ashton

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9 Rituals of Mine

Formally known as Sister Crayon, Rituals of Mine is comprised mainly of Terra Lopez and Dani Fernandez. Their musical style is so varied it is hard to actually pin them down into a category. Songs such as I’ll always be in Love with You sound like classic 1950’s style pop with croony vocals and a contemporary baseline whereas songs like Devoted have a killer tempo with strong vocals that verge on alternative. I am including them in the pop list because I absolutely had to include them somewhere and Pop is a broad reaching category.

Favourite Album

Title: Devoted

Artist: Rituals of Mine

Release Date: June 2, 2015

Label: Warner Brothers Records

Genre: Electronic-Pop

Website

Devoted is one of the more original albums I have ever listened to. With voices ranging from sanguine to ethereal to piercingly dark and aggressive, and the continuity of a steady beat, the album completely pulls you in to another world. An oh it is a rich and layered world. Lock the door and crank the volume for this one!

Favourite Songs From This Album

Devoted is the title track of the album and, in my opinion, the most gripping. The song has a steady rhythm which is almost soothing but is contrasted by piercing vocals and heavy lyrics that reach deep into your core and tug at your soul.

Perfect Pairing Book: Five Moons Rising by Lise MacTague

Ride or Die is a song yearning for the undying loyalty of a lover, someone that will stick with you through thick and thin no matter the cost. This song has a hypnotizing sound that will lure you into the aching desire for that one woman that will go to hell with you.

Perfect Pairing Book: A Knight’s Sacrifice by Nita Round

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10 Saara Aalto

Saara Aalto is a versatile Finnish singer and songwriter who has just released her first international album.  Her music is emotional and dramatic and is an inspiration for people who just want to be themselves. She has an extremely powerful voice and her music and personality can be summed up with the words ‘a whole lotta fun!’

Wild Wild Wonderland by Saara AaltoFavourite Album

Title: Wild Wild Wonderland

Artist: Saara Aalto

Release Date: April 27, 2018

Label: Warner

Genre: Pop

Website 

Wild Wild Wonderland is the debut international album by Saara Aalto. It is an intensely catchy album crammed full of amazing, unapologetically pop songs and one inspiring and powerful ballad. Believe me when I tell you, her voice is shattering!

Favourite Songs From This Album

Monsters is an empowering anthem about overcoming fear and trepidation and emerging as a stronger woman. Upbeat, aggressively pulsating music combined with Aalto’s soaring voice make this song stand out as an energetic rally call for the marginalized.

Perfect Pairing Book: Timeless by Rachel Spangler

Dance Like Nobody’s Watching is the only ballad on the album and it is an epic LGBTQIA affirmation song exclaiming with ethereal vocals to celebrate who you are and don’t let the haters bring you down. It is a song of solidarity and resistance that really showcases Aalto’s vocal ability. 

Perfect Pairing Book: Goldenrod by Ann McMan

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