Unrequited love is the pits. Hayley Kiyoko knows this, and she also knows where so many broken hearts go: straight to the bottle. In the case of her latest single and accompanying video, that bottle is filled not with your standard old Hennessy, but with a stiff potion that promises to magically wash the pain away.
“I Wish,” which she also directed, finds the queer pop star gathering with a posse of girlfriends to lament the fact that her crush barely knows she’s alive. “It’s like I don’t exist to her anymore,” she says, before downing an elixir one of her pals has provided.
Soon enough, she’s fallen under a spell signaled by some taunting vocals pitched up to the heavens. “I wish, I wish, I wish I’d found love,” croon the chipmunk-y spirits, and Kiyoko is suddenly up and dancing and reading her love interest the riot act.
“You don’t pay me no attention, and you’re selfish with your affection,” she sings, a coven of pissed-off, candlelit teen witches swirling, gyrating, and pounding their fists in the air behind her. By the time she gets to the second verse, Lesbian Jesus is working through things. “You don’t mind that it’s raining oceans from my eyes,” she accuses, before dropping a “muthafucka, what’s up?” into the mix.
There’s some real hurt and vulnerability buried beneath all that anger, and it shines through in the track’s sweeping, radio-ready chorus. The first cut she’s released since putting out her debut album, Expectations, in spring 2018, “I Wish” may be Kiyoko’s most exhilarating offering yet. Between Charli XCX and Christine and the Queens channeling Bound in their sopping-wet duet “Gone,” which they unveiled yesterday, and Kiyoko conjuring her inner Sabrina, this is shaping up to be a pretty excellent week for queer music.
Kiyoko recently made a cameo in Taylor Swift’s latest (and astonishingly gay) video, “You Need to Calm Down.” Last year, she took home a Moon Person for Push Artist of the Year at the MTV Video Music Awards. In her emotional acceptance speech she declared, “This validates any queer woman of color that you can follow your dreams.”
Watch the video for “I Wish” below.