Influenced by the likes of Missy Elliot and MIA, Kristine Flaherty became K.Flay and entered the hip-hop world and eventually touring with Snoop Dogg. She has since leaned more towards indie/alternative music but the hip-hop influence is still noticeable on her second album, Every Where Is Some Where. Her new direction led to tours with Passion Pit, Awolnation, and Dashboard Confessional, as well as her featuring on the annual Warped tour in the USA.
The opening track, ‘Dreamers’, starts out with a piercing hook that screams “alternative”. It’s a synth line straight from the Chemical Brothers songbook but, having picked the alt/indie route, Flaherty hasn’t completely left behind her hip-hop roots. There’s a 16-bar breakdown where she shows off her flow and, with the catchy chorus beside it, it sounds poptastic.
Her breathy, babyish voice may be a deal breaker for some but the power of her songwriting and the quality of the music it resides in should be enough to allay any doubts. ‘Blood In The Cut’ was the lead single last year. Its brash sexuality is as honest and confrontational as Nine Inch Nails’ ‘Closer’ or Alanis Morissette’s ‘You Oughta Know’. Where Morissette sang over the Red Hot Chili Peppers, K.Flay provides her own backing, a blend of lo-fi pop, hip-hop and electronica with live drums and guitar, while she delivers her revelatory analysis in the throaty, lazy fashion of MIA or Martina Topley-Bird.
The mid-album one-two punch of the blissfully ferocious ‘High Enough’ and ‘Black Wave’ are an injection of adrenaline that get the heart racing and the endorphins flowing. ‘Black Wave’s electro punk instrumentals and tense verses are made for a mosh pit. There’s something of a slow set with the introspective ‘Mean It’ and the swaying groove of 'Hollywood Forever'. The latter surfaced previously on the Crush Me EP and takes its name from the celebrity graveyard.
The hip hop history has made her lyrics more interesting and more inventively rhythmic than your average indie pop singer. 'You Felt Right' looks to her beginnings more than the other tracks. The album combines Flaherty’s hip hop roots, experimental electronica and acoustic balladry. The variety of music stands out, and the common thread of her voice ties everything together. K.Flay has delivered a collection of intelligent and adventurous pop music that works as a personal album and dance floor filler with an alternative bend.