If you’re reading this and wondering, “Who the heck is Hayley Kiyoko?” – well, I’ve got a question for you. Remember back in the days when we’d actually watch Disney Channel and enjoy it? If you do, then I’m sure you remember the original movie ‘Lemonade Mouth.’ As it turns out, little Stella is all grown up now.
Hayley Kiyoko released her latest EP last Friday, September 30th. I couldn’t wait to listen to the EP’s five tracks – here’s my take on them:
“Gravel To Tempo”
This is the album’s debut single and the first song I heard from the EP. I instantly fell in love with the unique sound that Kiyoko brings to the table. The song is about Kiyoko standing up to her high school crushes, a theme that anyone can relate to because of how common it is to feel alienated at some point in our lives by crushes who seem unattainable.
Favorite Lyric: “I thought I was depressed, but I think I just needed to cry”
Note: If you haven’t seen the music video for this one, definitely check it out for its awkward (yet amazing) choreography, women loving women, and of course, the iconic “Headphone Girl.”
“Ease My Mind”
This song has definitely grown on me, even though I wasn’t so sure of it at first. I suspect my change of heart has something to do with its catchiness. It’s the kind of song that makes me want to dance around while wearing my heart-shaped sunglasses at the beach, maybe twerk a little in the sand. This is electro-pop at its finest.
Favorite lyric: “And it’s so real, straight through my bones”
This song sounds very different from what I’m used to Hayley Kiyoko putting out, but I’m digging it. She was definitely channeling Chromatics in this track (if anyone knows me, they know I love some Chromatics). This song reminds me of driving around in the middle of the night back when I was in high school. The song is clearly about Kiyoko telling a crush of hers that she is pretty. So far, this is my favorite track on the EP.
Favorite Lyric: “Feel it all despite the fact you don’t like my type”
“One Bad Night”
I wouldn’t be surprised if this song gets picked up for a movie soundtrack. It sounds like the musical embodiment of the view of a skyline in a movie, or the transition between sunset and sunrise and all the hours in between: dancing in your bedroom alone, reading a book on the floor, texting your crush, etc.
Favorite Lyric: “Talk with your fingertips/Don’t stop the car, let’s drive”
This is the slowest song on the EP, with the deepest lyrics. I enjoy this song because it tells a story in a more obvious way than her other tracks: a story about a lover that was lost. The end of the song and thus the end of the album is mesmerizing and calming, closing the EP with what could be water or the sound of falling beads.
Favorite Lyric: “Turn your shattered dreams into rhapsodies”
All in all, I’m digging Kiyoko’s latest EP. I’m waiting with baited breath for her to release some more music videos for these songs. Kiyoko has gained a following for her music videos and their content, like the video below for “Girls Like Girls” from her 2015 EP This Side of Paradise.
Check out Citrine by Hayley Kiyoko!
Photos from Hayley Kiyoko Facebook Page