(5 / 5)
Masks. We all wear them. Even before and after the pandemic laws….Stopping ourselves being who we want to be sometimes; having to bite our tongue and not scream out what’s in our head.
We all have an inner voice. Twice-nominated K.Flay explores that theme on her irresistible and quirky five track EP, “Inside Voices” which just dropped on BMG.
Follow-up to her acclaimed third album “Solutions” which appeared in 2019. A set of “bright, airy pop” songs, in contrast to the material here: “a guitar-heavy and volatile sound spiked with left-of-centre hip hop”.
There’s guest spots from Travis Barker (on the excellent “Dating My Dad”) and from Tom Morello (on “T’GIF”), and a co-write collab’ with Imagine Dragon’s Dan Reynolds on “Good Girl”.
The latest release is a mix of “dark-electro soundscapes, art-pop sensibilities and spitfire rhymes propped up by an industrial rock backbone and effervescent versatile vocals”.
K.Flay explains the theme of the tracks, thus: “…..the things in your head that you don’t normally say out loud. The thoughts bouncing around your brain like pinballs, swimming like sharks, swirling like thunderstorms, knocking like fists. You feel the pressure building, the tension mounting. It’s like a kettle about to blow.”
She’s been at her art for the last 15 years or so, and found her own sound in the mid-2010s. She’s topped the US Billboard chart. By the sound of how strong this new release is, it’s likely she’ll be bothering the higher reaches of charts in many countries in the future.
“Four Letter Words” opens proceedings with an infectious, up-beat cut; the vocal is very cool and the song is a nicely crafted piece of radio-friendly pop/indie rock. Good start…
“Good Girl” hits the spot too. “Dating My Dad” is my fave of the five. “TGIF” is packed with angst, attitude and rebellion, and another perfect fit for this exciting rising star.
“My Name Isn’t Katherine” closes the set, and put me in mind of the wonderful Ting Tings idea of their global smash “That’s Not My Name”. But this one is more spoken word than Katie White’s shouty vocal on the fab Ting Tings cut.
K.Flay is well on her way to super stardom – pretty much in her own lane, musically. A strength and a weakness is perhaps her chameleon-like desire to change styles with each project.
But this EP is impressive stuff and a refreshing change from the conveyor belt mediocrity that many labels and artists are bashing out during the pandemic. Bring on album # 4 and soon!
By Andy Faith
(2 / 5) ‘OK Zone’
(3 / 5) ‘Decent Zone’
(4 / 5) ‘Super Zone’
(5 / 5) ‘Awesome Zone’