Hayley Kiyoko - Citrine
4.0Overall Score

‘Girls Like Girls’ sent shockwaves across a predominately queer audience last year. The video, to which is now amassing nearly 50 million views, is a staple in an ever sought out genre of unabashedly queer pop music. Now Hayley Kiyoko is back with her third EP, Citrine.

The release looked like gold dust from the very start. Infectious opener ‘Gravel To Tempo’ was the first track the be released earlier this year. Mellow and out right honest, showcasing a battle with insecurities in between its charming delivery and contagious instrumentals mid chorus that’ll make you want to weird dance your heart out.

The sickly sweet chorus of ‘Ease My Mind’ won’t leave your head for good while, the high tempo melody and striking electronics take a little breather part way through, where “cause you haunt me, baby” is surrounded by a pleasant little piano section before boosting into a phrase of “do-do-do” which has the same likeable notions as ‘Gravel To Tempo’. 

Even though the track itself is overall quite mellow, ‘Pretty Girl’ serves up some pretty nifty old school instrumentals that would fit neatly into any modern rehashing of any 90’s film, however progresses into something much more psychedelic accompanied with suggestive lyrics, like “Wait let me in, I want to show you the shape I’m in”, make for an overall stand out track that would feel like a breath of fresh air among the Top 40. A more band heavy track, ‘One Bad Night’ could be that one song you’d always have on your road trip playlist. Kiyoko’s dreamy vocals intertwine with twinkly instrumentals that almost juxtapose the lyrics of “just give me one bad night.”

Easily the slowest track on the EP, ‘Palace’, doesn’t however steer away from that potent mysterious yet lively vibe that has travelled across the rest of the EP. A leisurely delivery mounts up to a bursting dominant display of harmonic lyrics about the struggles of leaving thoughts and feelings of someone behind, using some that are very abstract to create such an opaque vision of memory.

This entire EP creates the kind of head bobbing mastery combined with enough unique entities to set it apart from current alternative pop tracks. In such a wide spread heteronormative industry, it’s no doubt that these tracks with such a queer abode are with something this audience have been yearning for, giving some validity to a constantly persecuted group of people looking for those certain pronouns to feel relatable. Yet, without wanting to box Kiyoko inside, well any box for that matter, this EP is some of the most enjoyable electro singed pop that’s truly worthy of grabbing that hair brush, stepping in front of the mirror and just letting go.