Kristine Flaherty, known professionally as K. Flay, has had a busy summer, releasing a new single and video, “Bad Vibes,” as mxdwn previously reported, in preparation for her new album Solutions, which includes “Bad Vibes”. K. Flay has released a new single from Solutions titled “Not In California,” which is the fourth single released, after the aforementioned “Bad Vibes,” a single titled “This Baby Don’t Cry” and “Sister.”
The press release for “Not In California” describes the new single as having K. Flay’s “trademark grit and spitfire lyricism” and that “Not In California” is “a thundering foot stomper of a tune with a adrenaline-boosting chorus guaranteed to make you move.” It is all that and more, as the song is actually quite deep as well. The first lines of the song are spoken and way more existential than one might think. “We have not allowed ourselves to comprehend what failure might mean for us/ Is it a comfort or a curse, the knowledge that we could have avoided all this” and the existentialist commentary on modern society doesn’t stop there as the first verse is about climate change, the government’s current denial of climate change, how television has changed society, drug issues in modern day America, and turning to religion after the world has seemingly “gone crazy.” That’s K. Flays “trademark grit” for sure.
The song does have a danceable enough beat, but it is almost like listening to a Lorde song; you’re dancing, but if you listen to the lyrics, you also find yourself reflecting on society as a whole, as well as every action you have ever taken, or haven’t taken. The edginess of the song makes sense, as K. Flay has stated that she wrote the song after getting out in the wilderness for a week and returning to a place where she feels like Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, she feels as if she “isn’t in Kansas anymore” and that she’s frightened by “the plastic islands and the melting glaciers and the 24 hour news cycle where people shout because loud seems to win and I think to myself. ‘We’re Not in California anymore.’”
Listen to “Not in California” below and pre-order Solutions, which drops July 12th, here.
Photo Credit: Mehreen Rizvi