‘Baby my job is just to rhyme, and I’m fine with that’ is one of the opening lines in K.Flay’s album ‘SOLUTIONS.’ Kristine Flaherty branded her nickname K.Flay to become a songwriter, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist crossing over various genres such as alt-pop, hip-hop, indie rock, and electronic music. K.Flay’s new album ‘SOLUTIONS’ shifts from her previous work towards a lighter place, both sonically and in her life.
After recording a parody of rap music with misogynistic nature, K.Flay was surprised by how much she actually enjoyed the process of making it. She discusses how she began to unveil her passion for music and songwriting: “I think the experience of taking physical nothingness and turning it into physical somethingness feels fundamentally human and kind of transcendent. And I don’t think that was the moment I was certain I wanted to pursue music, but it was definitely a moment in the process of deciding yes, this is a weird and exciting and compelling way to live. And maybe what I want to do with my life”.
You cannot box K.Flay’s sound into one specific category, and that is clear from the first song you play. For all first time listeners, this is what you can expect: “Well, it’s a little bit of everything, I guess. I’ve never been too caught up with genres or making music that adhered to particular rules or instruments or themes. People can expect honesty. And energy. And a unique take on the world, I hope”, K.Flay details.
Following the release of her 2018 album ‘Every Where Is Some Where.’, K.Flay gained the highest level of validation in the music industry in the form of nominations for two awards at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards: Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical and Best Rock Song for ‘Blood in the Cut.’ Recognition of this magnitude does not happen to everyone. Therefore the common instinctive reaction is a state of shock. However, after going through initial shock and excitement, K.Flay took her celebrations to McDonald’s.
For her newest project ‘SOLUTIONS,’ K.Flay is ‘finding light in each song’ with hits like ‘Not In California,’ ‘This Baby Don’t Cry,’ ‘Bad News’ and more: “On my past releases, I’ve dealt a lot with problems. This time around, I wanted to shift my focus. Take those same beginning points – pain, fear, loss – and travel somewhere different. Each song on the record is about finding a bit of light”, K.Flay shares the idea behind ‘SOLUTIONS.’
There’s a light at the end of every tunnel, and this also goes for K.Flay’s post-tour lost touch with songwriting. One of the most beautiful emotions like love brought her back and more optimistic: “I’d been touring pretty relentlessly, burning the candle at both ends, not taking good care of myself. And more importantly, I’d sort of lost touch with the joy of making and playing music. So when I began writing, I was also in the process of rewiring my brain in a lot of ways. And I was falling in love. Which is an inherently optimistic (and wonderful) thing to do”, she explains.
The artwork for ‘SOLUTIONS’ is screaming with optimism in terms of the selection of colors with K.Flay showing off her tribute tattoo for her second dad. This tattoo as well as the covers for the singles id one by a Berlin-based tattoo artist Rozita Sipos. “I was drawn to their work because of its power and simplicity. And I feel like that’s the spirit of the record”.
‘Not In California’ unquestionably captures K.Flay versatility and talent for songwriting. The song starts with a quote that goes hand-in-hand with the theme of climate change and the whole spirit of the song: “That’s actually a quote from an article by Nathaniel Rich called ‘Losing Earth.’ It’s an account of how climate change could have been significantly impeded – and ultimately wasn’t – in the 1970s & 80s. For me, it really encapsulated the spirit of the song”, K.Flay reveals.
Make sure to check out K.Flay and her new album ‘SOLUTIONS.’
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Words: Karolina Kramplova