K. Flay finds self-expression
Titled true to its intention, Inside Voices is a peek at K.Flay’s deepest inner thoughts and self-expression. Released June 11th, the five-track EP showcases her loud, alternative outside voice to let out all of her hidden inside voices.
As a pop-rock musician who can do it all, from songwriting to rapping to playing the bass guitar, K. Flay flaunted her talents in this EP, incorporating different elements with each song smoothly and cohesively. Featuring Travis Barker (blink-182) and Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine), these heavy hitters of the rock community serve as a cherry on top of the overall flow of Inside Voices.
Starting off the EP with “Four Letter Words,” Flay spills angry thoughts of what seems to be a result of heartbreak. The deep bass guitar chords create a tone that sounds like a dark, revengeful emotion that piles up inside. Paired with the lyrics of the chorus, “I wanna be mean, I wanna fight. I wanna say things I’ve been keepin’ inside. Four letter words, I’m cursing. F*** you, you didn’t deserve me,” this grungy, rock track serves as a strong kickoff.
The style of “Good Girl” is very pop-rock and indie-film as if it would play during a scene of a movie where a teenage girl is jumping and screaming on her bed. It highlights the angst most young women feel with constantly being told to be perfect angels, thus creating a very relatable tone for most of Flay’s listeners.
“Dating My Dad,” featuring Barker, is one of the most creative but truthful songs on Inside Voices. Flay describes a toxic relationship with a guy whose behavior is similar to her drunken father and how it takes her back to her childhood days of witnessing the same destructive dynamic with her parents. Flay told Spin that “Dating My Dad” is months of therapy condensed into a track and, “There are patterns in our lives and in our families that we can either choose to perpetuate or choose to stop. That’s what growing up feels like, at least to me.” Despite the serious issue it addresses, the song has a very playful feel, similar to the sound of a blink-182 track with Barker’s carefree drumming.
Referencing the band Rage Against the Machine in the lyrics, Flay and Morello mesh their sounds together to create another punk-like, angry track titled “TGIF.” Head-bobbing in the middle of a mosh pit on a Friday night is what this song is reminiscent of. Flay’s alternative rap flow alongside Morello’s dragged-out, face-punching guitar chords produces a euphorically enraged emotion/tone for the EP.
The final track, “My Name Isn’t Katherine,” is a contrast to the rest of the album, combining rap and EDM-inspired sounds. However, the lyrics are significant in closing off the intention of Flay creating Inside Voices. In a Twitter post announcing the album, Flay said, “there are these voices in my head. voices i try to silence or censor or ignore. voices saying uncomfortable things, speaking truth when I’d rather not face it. voices telling me that the rules i’ve internalized might be bulls***, that i’m angry, that the building is made of playing cards but also somehow solid bricks and i want to burn it down but i happen to live inside that building…” This is a perfect description of the thoughts that “My Name Isn’t Katherine” highlights.
Once Flay learned about the existence of her inner thoughts and how significant it is to release them, she decided the right thing to do for herself was to express them loudly and proudly. Inner Voices is an angry and truthful project that can serve a great emotional benefit to anyone dealing with angst, confusion and frustration. Flay’s pop-rock tone and punk features from two music legends fluidly emphasize the greatest struggles of growing up.