Let's take a look at what's called Art Pop. A definition from RYM:
Art pop is a loose subcategory of Pop that is characterized for its manipulation of signs and its synthesis of cultural art forms; where artists reflect an affinity with art school practices or other musical/non-musical art sources such as pop art, literature, cinema, traditional music, theater performances, Experimental, Electronic, and so on. This can be musically expressed through the subversion or deconstruction of various styles, for example, by reimagining historical genres in a disparately contemporary setting, or by adopting traditions from 'serious music' (like those from Western Classical Music). In any case, the music remains in a fairly pop context.
While many art pop examples may also be considered 'experimental pop' or 'avant-garde pop', the music does not have to be challenging or inaccessible. In addition to this, relatively complex or atypical structures (for pop) should not be considered an inherent feature of the genre (unlike Progressive Pop). Art pop's main distinction to Art Rock (a related genre which contains overlapping characteristics) is that it does not confine itself to Rock idioms through the extensive use of guitars, electric bass, drum kits, etc.
Early artists who helped to develop the genre, without necessarily always fully embracing it, include Brian Wilson, John Cale, David Bowie and Brian Eno, most of whom integrated inspirations from their art school studies to their music. They were followed in the 1970s by musicians such as Sparks, Todd Rundgren, Slapp Happy, Godley & Creme and Japan, who continued to integrate art school sensibilities prominently in their work. In the 1980s, Kate Bush was influential to a new wave of melodramatic art pop, while in the 1990s, Björk characterized the genre with a heightened emphasis on digital electronics. Recently, art pop artists come increasingly more often from an Indie Pop/Indie Rock background, for instance St. Vincent, alt-J, Julia Holter. There is also a big part of art pop artists with Contemporary R&B sensibilities, for example Janelle Monáe and FKA twigs.
- Björk - Homogenic (1997)
- Kate Bush - Hounds of Love (1985)
- Gorillaz - Demon Days (2005)
- Sheena Ringo - Kalk Samen Kuri no Hana (2003)
- Stereolab - Emperor Tomato Ketchup (1996)
- FKA twigs - Magdalene (2019) [ ---> fairly new, beware of the hype...]
- Julia Holter - Have You in My Wilderness (2015)
- David Sylvian - Secrets of the Beehive (1987)