If you’re like me, creating or receiving the perfect playlist is truly a love language. However, when it comes to songs about relationships, I’ve often found myself thinking, “where are all the good songs about polyamory?”
Living in a mononormative society means that the general vibe of most love songs is about owning or restricting your partner. Even the progressively non-monogamous 1920s tune Tonight You Belong to Me (made famous in the 1950s by Patience & Prudence) smacks of a pretty unpleasant possessiveness.
There are many supposedly polyamorous playlists out there, some featuring 100+ songs. Yet most of the tracks are vaguely non-monogamous at best and downright offensive at worst (they even have Mambo No. 5, I kid you not). Most include songs about threesomes – especially by Britney and Rick James – and hilariously, many even list Dancing in the Moonlight for some strange reason.
This playlist is different. It features fifteen hand-selected songs that encompass many aspects of polyamorous love. Like a true music nerd, I’ve also organised the playlist by BPM, so it should flow nicely in your ears. I hope you enjoy these songs and find something that resonates with your life.
Can’t Help But Fly (feat. Luqman Frank & Be Steadwell) by Climbing Poetree (2017)
What a lush, loving track to open this polyamorous playlist. Everything about the Brooklyn-based queer soul sisters, Climbing PoeTree, is entirely on message with how I approach polyamory. This song talks about celebrating the joy of love and the object of your affection without placing restrictions on them. You’ll want to listen to this one on repeat, I guarantee.
36 by kwes. (2013)
I still remember the first time I heard British musician kwes. (who produced Loyle Carner’s latest album) crooning, “oooooh, I love you both.” It left me swooning a little with its open-hearted romance. It turns out I did a polyamorous reading of this track, as it’s actually a song about his love for his grandparents, which is extra cute either way.
L’Amour À Trois by Stereo Total (2009)
How good is your French? Unfortunately, the English version of this song, Love With The 3 Of Us, isn’t available on Spotify. Yet once you understand how adorable the lyrics are, you’ll be happy to play it en français all day. The French-German duo Stereo Total originally recorded this track in 2001 as Liebe Zu Dritt (German version), which fits as the song has that early noughties vibe. (Ps. You can also hear it in Spanish too – Amo Amor A Tres)
Freelove by Depeche Mode (2001)
Another early-noughties track, this one from the tenth album by British dark synth deities Depeche Mode. I’m pretty sure I first heard this when a lover sent it to me. It’s essentially a love song with one partner assuring the other that they don’t need to fear a relationship as they have no intention of restricting them. Naaaaw.
You and Your Friend by Snake River Conspiracy (2000)
This sweet track from the American industrial rock band Snake River Conspiracy is about acknowledging an unspoken triad. “I can’t see / You and me and her without each other.” The song was originally recorded by another band from San Francisco, T-Ride, but this song works better from a female perspective.
Relationship Anarchy by Mx Wander (2019)
Mx Wander is an awesome trans-masc, non-binary folk punk musician based in Philadelphia. Clocking in at just under two minutes, this track has great energy, but I still need to find the lyrics to this song online. However, it’s clear that Mx is questioning if their new love connection will help them finally embody relationship anarchy.
Everybody’s Girl by Jinkx Monsoon (2014)
Sometimes polyamory can get a bit serious, so here’s some camp silliness from RuPauls’ Drag Race winner, Jinkx Monsoon. This energetic track covers the Broadway classic Everybody’s Girl, about delighting in your sexual freedom. After all, as the song says, “smart girls always share their riches.”
In the Middle by Dodie (2017)
I’m still unsure if this song is about a) the singer’s current partner meeting their ex, b) the singer introducing her partners as metamours, or c) the singer arranging a potential threesome with a current and former partner. Who knows, but English singer-songwriter Dodie seems pretty happy to be in the middle of all of this.
Compersion, Pt. 1 by Arab Strap (2020)
As the title indicates, this track has a few knowing polyamorous references, such as fluid bonding and unicorns. Such lyrical admissions are a wonderful surprise from the Scottish indie rock duo Arab Strap considering both members are pushing 50. It shows that non-monogamy isn’t just for those born after 1990
There’s no need to read a polyamorous storyline into this track from Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s third album. Ruban Nielson, the muscle behind this New Zealand psych-funk band, has talked openly about his marriage opening up to include another person. As explained in a Pitchfork interview, “think about the two most serious relationships in your life so far, and then experiencing them simultaneously.” Ooft.
In or Out by Ani DiFranco (1992)
Feminist folk-rock legend Ani DiFranco has never seemed wholly sold on monogamy, as her 2012 song Promiscuityshows. I love how this track showcases Ani’s feeling about not fitting into any box regarding sexuality and relationships, yet as she says, “I owe my life to the people that I love.”
Lovin is Easy by Carsie Blanton (2016)
Firstly, Carsie Blanton is so adorable you need to Google her. Once you’ve done that, listen to this equally delightful song about being someone who loves love. She’s confessing her affection for someone but telling them not to worry too much as she is also in love with pretty much everyone she meets.
Polyamory by We Are Temporary (2018)
A sweet track from the Brooklyn-based electronic project We Are Temporary. Creator Mark Roberts talks about loving his partner but realising that he can’t be everything to them. It’s a conversational song about opening up a relationship and writing the rules for yourself.
Triad by Jefferson Airplane (1968)
The pioneering psychedelic rock band of White Rabbit fame truly blazed a trail for polyamorous songs with this track from the late 60s. The iconic Grace Slick from Jefferson Airplane sings about the woes of being in love with two people and how everyone has to overcome the opinions of others to find happiness. Suitably dark and a little trippy.
Perils of Poly by Gaia Consort (2007)
The perfect track to end this playlist. Seattle-based folk rock group Gaia Consort write many songs about polyamory, but this one is quite funny as it explores some of the perils, as they put it. I especially like the verse where they repeatedly say “hot bi babe”, like they are flicking through profiles on a very questionable dating app.