Written By: Michelle Doering
Originality: (5.0 / 5) Vocals/Flow: (4.5 / 5) Lyrics: (4.5 / 5) Production: (4.5 / 5) Average: (4.6 / 5)
Are you even a lesbian if you don’t listen to Hayley Kiyoko?
Yes. Yes you are. But she is pretty cool though.
I mean, anyone who can go from Disney starlet to one of the most authentic gay women in music is alright in my book.
Citrine is Kiyoko’s third EP consisting of five deeply personal songs about love and identity. Of these, my favorite would have to be, “Ease My Mind.” This is an upbeat and very hummable electro-pop song about having it bad for someone, to the point where you can’t think about anything else. I love pretty much everything about it; the beat, the synth, the lyrics, Hayley’s smoky vocals. They all complement each other so well, and the final result is somewhat reminiscent of a rougher and more stripped-down 90’s Mariah Carey song.
There’s also “Gravel To Tempo,” also known as the song that never leaves my Tumblr dash. This one’s got a stomping beat and an incredible message. The lyrics are all about internalized homophobia and being afraid of being outcasted because of your feelings. With this song in particular it is so easy to tell that Hayley is singing from personal experience. Anyone who has ever been there will definitely relate.
“One Bad Night” is the sexiest song of the bunch. It’s got this sense of longing and giving into temptation mixed with a fun and romantic vibe, with just a tinge of melancholy. It’s also really chill and singable, which I like.
Next we have the seminal “Pretty Girl.” This is definitely the most self-explanatory track. It’s got a dreamy techno-beat overlaid with dare I say–pretty–vocals, all about lusting after a straight girl. Again. Hashtag relatable.
The final track is called “Palace.” I feel like this is easily the most “radio friendly” of the bunch, but it still has its unique flair. The lyrics are simple, but beautiful, painting a vivid picture in your head as you listen. It’s a very freeing song, something you’d want to play during a road trip or whenever you want to leave complicated feelings behind.
So that’s Hayley Kiyoko for you; a lesbian Goddess unafraid to say it like it is and make F/F music that is NOT sexed up for the male gaze. If you liked her in Lemonade Mouth, or any of her other projects, just wait until you get a load of her music. Girl’s got pipes, moves, and my heart. I’m sure she’ll be able to capture yours as well.