Our Top Songs of 2019 by Lesbian and Bi Women

The end of the year is quickly approaching, which means it’s the time for reflecting back on the past 12 months as we prepare to look forward to the year ahead. Regardless of what genres you love, 2019 has been a fantastic year for music by lesbian and bisexual artists. Whether you’re looking to discover new artists or want to listen to your favs for the thousandth time, we at AfterEllen have you covered with this playlist highlighting 2019’s top tracks by lesbian and bi artists:

Brittany Howard – Stay High

Brittany Howard, front-woman of Alabama Shakes, released her first solo album in September. Although the album is full of dreamy songs, such as “Georgia,” which about being infatuated with another woman, “Stay High” is the standout hit. Howard recently stated that the song is about wanting to be present when spending time with a loved one.

King Princess – Prophet

What list of the best songs from 2019 would be complete without mentioning King Princess? It’s hard to pick just one top song off of her album Cheap Queen, released this October. She sings about a range of relationship experiences through songs like “Ain’t Together” and “Hit the Back,” but the one to play on repeat is “Prophet.” The song mixes a strong baseline with airy bells and vocals, and the lyrics express not just desire but also its dark side. If you simply cannot get enough of King Princess, we’ve got you covered- be sure to check out her interview with AfterEllen from earlier this year.

Shura – Religion (u can lay your hands on me)

Religion can be a difficult subject, as many of us have had painful experiences with homophobic religions. In “Religion (u can lay your hands on me),” Shura reclaims religious imagery in celebration of love between two women. Imagery that is traditionally religious, such as “consecration” and “laying on hands,” become imagery representing devotion to one’s partner and of physical intimacy.

Betty Who – Language

“Language” by Betty Who is simultaneously sassy and sexy. She expresses how she wants her lover to stop talking and start kissing her, singing over a funky electronic beat.

Teyana Taylor ft. Kehlani – Morning

“Morning” is one of the steamiest songs of 2019. Bi-con Kehlani joined Teyana Taylor for the chorus and one of the verses of this explicit song. Kehlani describes feeling her lover’s orgasm and kissing her partner after going down on her. The music video is sizzling enough to match the lyrics, depicting lesbian desire.

Lucy Whittaker – Miracle

“Miracle” is the second song on this list to use religious imagery, this time to express needing a miracle to handle a difficult situation. Whittaker told Gay Times that the song “speaks about being with someone who is not right for you and being in a bad situation that needs sorting out.”

Banks – Gimme

Banks’ “Gimme” uses electronic sounds and bolt beats to complement her lyrics about getting what she wants. The song is confident and demanding, with lines like “Oh, you’re mine to take / I wanna hear the sounds that you make.”

Halsey – Graveyard

Halsey mixes gentle acoustic sounds with pulsing electronic beats in “Graveyard.” The song describes the experience of loving someone who is in a dark place in their life. She cautions how “the warning signs can feel like butterflies.”

Marika Hackman – hand solo

If you’ve been on the lookout for a good song about female masturbation, Marika Hackman has you covered with “hand solo.” Although she jokingly references cultural concepts told to children in order to scare them away from masturbation, e.g. that it will make them blind, Hackman also brings up serious cultural criticism. She takes on the homophobia of our society, noting the patriarchal norm that says lesbian sex is not “real” sex.

Hayley Kiyoko – I Wish

Hayley Kiyoko takes on a lover that doesn’t treat her right in “I Wish.” Her lyrics reference crying over a partner that’s neglecting her and paying attention to a man instead. This song is for anyone who has ever been heartbroken or longed to be loved.

Tove Lo – Sweettalk My Heart

According to Tove Lo, “Sweettalk My Heart” is “about being happy with the ability to be naive when it comes to love. It’s not about being cynical, it’s about choosing to believe someone because you feel them in the moment.” The song is pop, but with tender, intimate beats.

The Highwomen – If She Ever Leaves Me

Brandi Carlile’s female supergroup The Highwomen formed this year, and it’s just what country music needs, a refreshing return to Americana roots and away from the highly commercial pop-country radio grating the ears of truck dykes on highways across America. “If She Ever Leaves Me” features Brandi’s striking voice backed by beautiful harmonies, guaranteed to give you chills.

“Bring My Flowers Now” by Tanya Tucker and featuring Brandi Carlile is also nominated for a Grammy at the 2020 ceremony.

Melissa Etheridge – Wild and Lonely

This year Melissa Etheridge was back with her 14th studio album, The Medicine Show. “Wild and Lonely” is an anthem, with a melody that will haunt you until you give in and sing along. It’s that classic Etheridge combo of scratchy-voice paired with smooth, full-bodied guitar.

Chika – Can’t Explain featuring Charlie Wilson

Chika’s been blowing the fuck up on Instagram these last couple years, but bubbling just under the surface of the charts until she finally boiled over in 2019 with endorsements and mentions from Erykah Badu, Jada Pinkett Smith, and a deal with Warner Music. But it was all over when she appeared on Kimmel guest hosted by Lena fucking Waithe. So much power lesbian energy on one stage! In 2019 she dropped several hot tracks, but the best of the bops is “Can’t Explain It.” Chika’s bars are spit with the speed and accuracy of a goddamn viper, but “Can’t Explain It” features a gorgeous melodic refrain, elevating it to sexy-sweet sing-a-long status that fits with Charlie Wilson’s collab.

Which lesbian or bi artist released your top track for 2019? Let us know in the comments.