Hayley Kiyoko has appeared in a number of children’s programming, from guest spots on Nickelodeon’s Unfabulous and Disney’s Wizards of Waverly Place to starring in Lemonade Mouth, as well as a number of movies, such as the upcoming Jem and the Holograms. She is also a prolific musician. Previously in the band The Stunners, Hayley released her solo debut, A Belle To Remember in 2013. She’s now featured in the new CBS drama CSI:Cyber, along with her brand new EP, This Side of Paradise, released in February 2015.
I downloaded the title track when it was the free track of the week on iTunes (which it might still be today, not sure when that resets) and was immediately hooked. After getting my iTunes money counted by the Coinstar machine, I downloaded the full This Side of Paradise EP. Like my previous music review, I’m going to break this down track-by-track with my initial observations.
This Side of Paradise
- Given It All
Pure dance track – think the likes of Elie Goulding. Simple, sing-along-able lyrics over a great track. Love this as the opener. Sets the vibe for the rest of the album.
- Cliff’s Edge
Good, driving beat. Flows well as the second track. This one has a bit more of a story element in the lyrics, though still kept simple.
- This Side of Paradise
It’s not often I have a single song I can listen to for half an hour on repeat without going crazy, but due to a mix up with my music on my phone, I did as I drove home Sunday. And then I bought the rest of the album on Monday right after I turned on the computer. That should tell you how awesome this song is. Again, lyrics gain slightly more complexity from the last track.
- Girls Like Girls
This one has a definite increase in the story complexity of the lyrics, I’m also really loving the track on this one. It feels like an updated 80s/90s throwback, but I can’t place it. Maybe it’s all those Beck videos I’ve been watching since Sunday’s “Teens React” episode.
- Feeding the Fire
Along the same lines as the last track, definitely hearing an 80s influence in this one. Definitely a good note to wrap up this EP.
This album definitely has the (sadly) “old school” album flow, where you can tell the songs were intended to be listened to as a whole album. But, since no one seems to do that anymore, I will say that each track is great on its own as well. You just can’t hear the progression that way. It also has a very ethereal quality in terms of sound.