She is risen. Four years after delivering her debut LP Expectations, Hayley Kiyoko has returned with her sophomore album, Panorama, releasing an intimate video for the album’s orchestral, cinematic title track.
“I felt like I was catching up with my authentic self [on my debut album],” she told Rolling Stone earlier this summer. “I feel like it happens a lot with queer people. Once you come out, it’s like catching up with time. I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I can share who I love! I wanna tell this story! I wanna tell that story.’”
“It feels like a more refined version of myself,” she added. “Everything I’ve been through the past couple years, I feel like I know myself more than I ever did during the Expectations era.”
The album — which features songs such as “Luna,” “Deep in the Woods,” “Well…” and “Supposed to Be” — proved to be a slow burn for the 31-year-old musician and actress. “I went through a period of time after my last album where I’d lost my confidence and my self-worth,” Kiyoko said in a statement accompanying Panorama. “Thankfully I was surrounded by friends and family who kept me grounded, always supporting me in my lowest moments and reminding me who I was along the way.”
The “Panorama” video starts with a tight shot of water running down Kiyoko’s face before following the singer in a warm, utopic field with a faint rainbow in the background. She closes her eyes, smiles, and looks up, relaxed.
The video, shot in panoramic view for most of the visual, then shows Kiyoko’s background in full screen as she sings, “I don’t have to be on the top to see,” before faintly smiling.
“‘Panorama’ was the last song I wrote for this album, in a moment of clarity to enjoy the present and not let my trauma define me,” she said of the song in a statement. “One of my favorite lyrics from this song is, ‘I’m done confusing all these ashes with my worth,’ which is a metaphor for when we measure our own value only by our struggles and hardships, but in reality, our worth is unwavering.” She adds, “We just need to give ourselves the space to appreciate the highs and the lows of this beautiful journey.”
Kiyoko caught up with Rolling Stone ahead of the release of the album’s lead single “For the Girls,” which dropped alongside a Bachelorette-themed video starring her IRL partner, Becca Tilley.
“I love The Bachelor franchise. Honestly, reality TV is what gets me through everyday stress,” Kiyoko told Rolling Stone while en route to the White House’s AAPI Heritage Month festivities. “I just love the kind of mindless drama, but it’s also just so fun that you get invested into their lives and world. I wanted a queer version of that.”