First of all, if you haven’t listened to K. Flay’s last EP, I Stopped Caring in ’96, you should go download it right away. ’96 is an existential look at life, purpose and the search for love, like a more personable Man on the Moon 1. In fact, ’96 looked at life so thoroughly, I really wasn’t sure K would have much more to say on her new Eyes Shut EP.
Boy was I wrong. Eyes Shut is another terrific look at the everyday through the eyes of a borderline burnout frustrated with the world around her. Where ’96 dealt with coping and nostalgia, Eyes Shut focuses more on feelings of anger (on a track like We Hate Everyone) and social stigmas (10th Ave). What the EP lacks in length is made up for with bold sound. K makes progressions on the trip-hop sounds she has mastered in the past and takes steps into guitar heavy anthems and dub-step jams. And she succeeds. By expanding her music sonically, K is able to examine a wider range of themes and emotions.
I don’t mean to lay on another comparison to KiD CuDi, but it is hard not to. Eyes Shut is the type of ambitious hip-hop that a lot of people expected CuDi to be making in 2012. But there is a divide between K and CuDi; K. Flay is undeniably a rapper. That’s not a slant on CuDi, but it is apparent that he is moving his music in a direction beyond rap, whereas K. Flay spits viciously on every track. Although K is not afraid to sing and bear her soul it is her flow that really catches ears. While Nicki Minaj is rapping things like, “Stupid Hoe/You a, you a stupid hoe”, K provides deep, introspective lyrics. I would quote one of those lyrics here, but you really just need to hear one of her songs to get a sense of her thoughtfulness.
Eyes Shut is a successful follow-up to ’96. K. Flay is a rapper to watch in the next few years, pushing the boundaries of trip-hop without losing any of the meaning.
Top Track: Stop, Focus
The Power Remix featuring Jay-Z and Swizz Beatz
Two days until Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band return to the Q. I can’t wait.
2. We Take Care of Our Own
3. Wrecking Ball
4. Ties That Bind
5. Death to My Hometown
6. My City of Ruins
7. E Street Shuffle
8. Jack of All Trades
11. MY LOVE WILL NOT LET YOU DOWN
12. Shackled and Drawn
13. Waiting on a Sunny Day
14. The Promised Land
15. Racing in the Street
16. Apollo Medley
17. Because the Night
18. The Rising
19. We Are Alive
20. LIGHT OF DAY
21. Rocky Ground with Michelle Moore
22. Out in the Street
23. Born To Run
24. Dancing in the Dark
25. Tenth Avenue Freeze Out
This show was really something special for me. I’ll post more in-depth thoughts soon.
Trailer for a documentary profile that Trix (@WeAreIndieNs) did on me on the way to sxsw!
Back when Euge co-hosted War Rocket Ajax, I became aware of him, not only as a person but also as a rapper. I liked his music as a side-project to his side-project. When he announced that he was quitting his day job and planned on moving towards a music career, I was certainly excited for him but to be honest, I did not think he would make it. I ordered the album (The War for Infinity), and when it arrived, I was proven wrong.
This guy is talented. His music may not seem super accessible. He may not be the biggest name in the scene. But to me, Adam Warrock is an indie rap icon. Eugene Ahn really seems to be doing what he loves, and on top of that he is creating on a budget. And nine times out of ten, he creates something awesome.
I also owe a huge debt to Euge. Here is a quick list of things that I found as a result of supporting him:
1. Childish Gambino
2. Scott Pilgrim
3. This American Life
I saw this poster around town and it got me so excited for this show.
And then, I missed it.