K. Flay’s ethereal vocals combined stripped back instrumental beats with glass shards of honest, relatable lyrics. The solo-artist’s new album, ‘Every Where Is Some Where,’ shouts her inner feelings and opinions with an infectious attitude, filled with addictive poetics.
The album title summarizes the collection, “each song on the record is about creating a different kind of meaning out of a different kind of something,” she explains. “Even the dark places are places. You’re still somewhere.” As she surrendered her feelings, world views, and experiences into her songs with a refreshing bluntness rarely seen, our own emotions and thoughts are unearthed and explored with searing poignancy. K. Flay’s unique husky voice adds to her edgy sound that hypnotizes us from the get-go.
The American singer and songwriter, Kristine Flaherty, came to the centre stage with her chart-topping 2014 album ‘Life As A Dog’, but has been producing music since 2005. She signed to Interscope Records (Night Street Records) in 2016, and her newest album has shown the artistic freedom given. She was inspired to create music by the superficial status quo rap music churned out, described by her as “simplistic, misogynistic and formulaic,” and has since become popular for uprooting hip-hop to show a new side.
The 2017 album merges heavy base electronica with mellow indie-pop to reflect the mood of her ingenious lyrics. She breaks through issues with short, punchy lyrics and ironic song titles. ‘The President Has A Sex Tape,’ and ‘Hollywood Forever,’ express her political and cultural views through lyrical phrases – “The immigrant died at sea, first they come for you and then they come for me,” and “I’m hiding from mirrors, I’m frightened of sex, Despising my image…”
Many of the songs touched on the artist’s personal relationships, including hints to her rocky family past (“I was born next to my mother, she sang me to sleep, and I grew to adore my father as he drowned in a drink”). It’s this open vulnerability and confession-like voice that draw you into her intimate, emotional world, like a best friend in confidence. Her self-reflections are empowering, and as they are heavily influenced by life experiences, it’s no surprise that she is able to capture a brutally honest snapshot of life (“Thought if I was smart I’d make it far, but I’m still at the start”), along with uplifting insights (“This one goes out to all the dreamers at sea, this life is only what you want it to be”).
Flay steered more towards indie than the hip-hop prevalent in her past albums. However, for all those long-time fans, her original sound still appears through the powerful rap song ‘Champagne,’ and the subtle undertones of ‘Dreamers.’ The songs are well-balanced with an unusual musicality, ranging from the heavy beats of ‘Blood in the Cut’ to the melodic tunes of ‘It’s Just A Lot,’ and ‘Hollywood Forever.’ The most likely listeners will be hip-hop and indie enthusiasts, but her stereotype-smashing style will convert the least expected music-lovers.