Cards on the table, pop isn’t my world, but something about the second K.Flay album Every Where Is Some Where (Night Street / Interscope) piqued the interest. It’s not your standard Ghost Cult fare by any stretch, but we’re up for chucking things your way from time to time that sit outside the realms we normally cover, cos, at the end of the day, good music is good music. And while K.Flay wouldn’t be picked up by my usual radar, I’m not disappointed it did hit my desk.
Coming from a white suburban hip-hop background, via a successful crowd funded début that topped rap charts before winning over audiences aplenty on Warped Tour (which is a pretty mad route, tbf), musically this weighs in somewhere between indie electronica and alternative pop. Every Where Is Some Where it’s definitely very much of the here and now (including the affectation of her name in that oh-so-modern way than makes my toes curl so horrifically, they’re now permanently inverted), minimalistic and lyrically honest, free to drop f-bombs and discuss a life growing up in a broken family, and with a father who subsequently passed away, nestling these observations obtrusively alongside the musings of one whose current life is still yet to quite fall into place, even if her musical success has.
There’s the occasional rawky swerve, the excellent ‘Black Wave’ teases a punkier chorus, ‘High Enough’ dances next to The Black Keys and ‘Giver’ reminds of 2.0 Garbage, though these “rockier” elements are more to do with attitude, as the sparse electronica and scant and understated cleaner guitar strums provide the majority of the background to K.Flay’s simple, yet oh so effective, airs and distinctive tones and inflections. ‘Blood In The Cut’ takes the plaudits, though, a simple clean guitar lick and an earworm of a verse that rhythmically moves and grooves.
Bearing in mind that pop is in an exceptionally safe space at the moment, K.Flay does offer an alternative option, and you can see the fit with a Twenty One Pilots, who she has toured with. Add in touches of stripped back (as in right back) hip hop, and a healthy nod to PJ Harvey, Every Where Is Some Where has chilled tunes, a very listenable flow (both in terms of album dynamics, and also vocally), and even if it is so 2017 it’s trying to take the courts to court, is full of very listenable and gracefully assembled songs.