With its name deriving from the crystal meaning success, Japanese-American artist Hayley Kiyoko’s latest EP “Citrine,” released Sept. 30, was destined to be a hit.
As Kiyoko was recovering from a concussion she had suffered earlier this year, the citrine crystal she carried with her during the writing of the EP inspired the album. For her, the crystal acted as a healing mechanism, which is why she hopes “Citrine” will help her fans during their time of need.
Since the release of the single “Girls like Girls” from her pervious album, her music has gained a following in the LGBT+ community providing representation in a genre that usually lacks it.
From start to finish, its 18-minute track list creates an infectious positive energy. The overall message of the album is clear from the lead single “Gravel to Tempo” — Kiyoko has gained acceptance for herself.
The song’s accompanying music video, directed by the singer herself, is set in a high school where she acts as a melancholy student insecure and bored. She dances in front of a group of girls she describes as the kind of people who would judge her in school. She chooses to express herself without caring about what other people think showing that she understands that validation should come from herself and not depend on others.
The lyric “I don’t feel adequate/thinking I’m a monster is disguise,” is powerful and resonates particularly with anyone who has ever struggled with their own identity. This song accurately sums up the feelings of inadequacy and self-hatred felt when a person can’t accept themselves for who they are.
Her music videos are always told in a beautiful and unique way, so I can only hope that the rest of the EP will get to be told visually as well.
Unfortunately though, some of the tracks on the album falls short lyrically and do not hold as much weight on other songs on the EP. “One Bad Night” is fun, but it does not seem to have the same vibe as the rest of the record.
On the other hand, “Palace” is lyrically beautiful and deals with a different kind of acceptance. It’s about mourning the death of a loved one. As album that is meant to help fans in need, ending with this song provides the perfect song to help them heal.
Despite my wish for more lyrical substance, Kiyoko’s overall delivery on her album keeps me listening.