Review: K. Flay – “Every Where Is Some Where”

K-Flay

Don’t you ever dare cram K.Flay into the narrow box of hip-hop music — she’ll shred the damn thing apart, tape-gun your eyelids open, and run off with scissors. Yes, she is a superlative MC, but her style is so much more, a quirky new school articulation of indie electronica that has the unapologetic bluntness of a bottle to the head.

I do not say this lightly – this woman is a modern heroine.

She is at once combative and playful, feisty and vulnerable; her lyrics contain such boundless multitudes. K.Flay clearly loves the music she makes, her joy of expression exudes from her work, and she pours a wealth of talent into every last bass line and verse. If this is your first encounter with her, for the love of all that is art, go back through her catalogue of mix tapes, EPs, and collaborations, and consume everything!

K.Flay shoots rhymes and witty insults like the best in class rappers, and if you need any further endorsement, her collaboration with legend MC Lars is nothing short of lit-hop gold. The scrappy punk kid with an Ableton Live Rig image is marketable, and nobody can deny K.Flay’s anarchic demeanour, but she shines brightest in moments of raw, often painful introspection and brutal honesty. If Life As a Dog taught us anything it’s that this artist wears her heart on her sleeve and she is as prone to despair, fear and insecurity as every one of us.

Let’s get something straight:  K.Flay is a young, talented, educated and relatively well-off woman. She’s not masquerading as an oppressed artist for street cred; she doesn’t have a political agenda to shove down your throat; she’s not here to convert, rally or instigate you. She is K.Flay and her story as the angsty girl next door, stumbling drunk through New York, questioning her poor decisions, and cursing at her dog, is so utterly relatable it immediately strikes a chord with her audience: “I don’t have an apartment, thought if I was smart, I’d make it but I’m still at the start”.

“Every Where Is Some Where” is a wonderful medley of all the flavours that make up K.Flay’s worldview. “Champagne” leaves you reeling from the sheer velocity of her rhymes, while “Blood in the Cut” and “Black Wave” flash her punk rock edge. Yet packed among layers of wisecracking and thunderous snarls, we once again find ballads that bare K.Flay’s soft and emotional core: “I should have known, don’t trust a poet ’cause they prefer to bleed”. An optimist for all her hardships, heartbreaks, and failures, she tells us “the darkest nights mean you see the stars the most” and “the only thing to fear is never being scared”.

If K.Flay pressed a book of free verse poetry, I’d fire money at it out of a cannon because notwithstanding her musical aptitudes, she is par excellence a sublime writer. She expresses the most complex emotions with such ease, her analogies are simply genial, and she is utterly fearless to dig up her darkest demons, pinion and dissect them under the spotlight, with a mic in hand. This new album is a synthesis of everything there is to love about K.Flay as an artist.

Categories: Reviews