Who You Need: K.Flay

K.Flay solutions.jpg
Image via rivieratheatre.com

WHO: K.Flay

WHERE: Chicago

GENRE: Alt-Rock

TOP SONGS: “Blood In The Cut” and “High Enough”

On her latest album, Solutions, Flay sings, “you gimme bad vibes, bad times, bad nights with you, yeah I get bad energy, sick pleasure from you.” Through a punk filled haze, this Chicago native manages to steal your attention with her timely metaphors and teenage attitude.

“Bad Vibes” is just one of several politically charged anthems off Solutions. “Vibes” talks about society pressures to be depressed or unhappy and how the singer wants to move away from negativity and into a brighter future. Songs like “Not In California” and “Good News” take inspiration from current-day society and how the world might be crumbling around us, so we need to react, stay positive, and be good people. “Good News” says, “I could use some good news, blue dreams, green lights, brighter views.”

You might know K.Flay from her 2017 hit, “Blood In The Cut“. For a song written in 20 minutes, it manages to resonate with so many people who soon knew K.Flay was going to be someone special. On creating “Cut”, Flay says, “I was actually at home for Christmas, so I was in my parents’ basement doing that. I was in a somewhat dark emotional place. I wrote that, and I immediately felt filled with this vigor that I had previously been missing. And then producing the song, just embracing that spirit of release in the chorus.”

Solutions feels like K.Flay in her prime, as a musician and artist. “Bad Vibes” keeps your punk spirit alive, “Good News” inspires you, while “Ice Cream”, and “Sister” are fun sing-a-longs carrying important messages.

 

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Sure Sure Talks Inspiration Behind New Album, “What’s It Like?”

sure sure album cover.jpg
Image via suresuremusic.com

This foursome released their sophomore album What’s It Like and immediately filled the music scene with the retro/hip void. Bouncy piano chords, falsetto verses, and cheeky lyrics hoist Sure Sure to the top of my summer playlist. Each track feels vintage and yet timeless at the same time. I’ll enjoy this album at 25 and 50 with no concept of when the songs were actually released – that’s the beauty of music, right?

After listening to the album on repeat for several days, I knew I had to talk to these guys and get their insights on the album. I saw they posted their phone number on their social media accounts, I thought “well I might as well send a text and see if they answer.” THEY DID. I sent some questions over about this superb album and they answered that day. Everything about Sure Sure is fun and just plain honest.

How would you describe this new album “What’s It Like?”

What’s It Like is like time traveling back to the 90s, when you were growing up, except you go back in your current adult form; there’s a pool party, and everyone is invited. The party starts in the afternoon, and it’s hot, but it goes late, and the mood softens when the sun goes down and the fireflies come out. At one point, once most of your friends have gone home, and it’s just the core crew sprawled out in the grass, you get a little sad. You reflect on what you’ve lost and how you have changed (or not). And then it’s time to sleep. You wake up and it’s 2019 again and it’s time to get to work.”

I hear a lot of retro sounds and musical compositions on this album. Who are you inspired by while creating this music?

“We made this record over a period of about a year, so we were listening to so many different artists during that time. Prince was a big influence on the title track; Lou Reed inspired the vibe for ‘Might Might Not,’ D’Angelo was big for ‘Sedona,’ and we wrote ‘Good Thing’ in the Elton John//Frank Ocean tradition, i.e. ‘Benny and the Jets’ and ‘Super Rich Kids.'”

What song are you most excited to perform off the new album and why?

“I think we’re most excited to perform ‘Good Thing.’ We’re about to make a live video for it this week. We’ve only played it at a couple shows so far, but you can feel the whole crowd bumping to the slow groove, and it feels great.”

What are the main themes of this album and why were they important to you?

“Probably the biggest theme on the record is love and relationships—’What’s It Like?’ is about how easily you can fall in love with a stranger, ‘Warm Animal’ explores the exhilarating feeling of a new relationship, ‘Out of My Element’ is about feeling too down on yourself to even ask your crush out for ice cream. We also wrote some of the tunes about what it’s like to be in a band (see ‘Good Thing’ and ‘Sedona’). I think we all gained a huge appreciation for being home and relaxing once we started touring. I mean, we love touring, but it’s kinda like when you move away from the place you grew up, and you realize how much you loved that place… That’s what ‘Sedona’ is about. For ‘Good Thing’ we took some of our own experiences, like when Kevin was sick for a while in 2015, or when we hit a deer in the Cascade Mountains, and we created a song about the trials and tribulations of a semi-fictional band.”

Giving out a number to fans. Who decided to do that and why? Also, how has it been to have a direct line to fans?

“Well, back in 2017, we realized we were paying for a landline in our cable bill, so Mike and Charlie went to Staples one day and bought a telephone. And that was that. Sometimes people call expecting it to be fake, and when we answer ‘Hi, Sure Sure here,’ they get freaked out and hang up immediately. Lots of times we just have a casual chat with a random fan, maybe they’re studying for finals, or procrastinating studying for finals. One time we got invited to a birthday party in Eagle Rock; turned out to be the birthday party of the prop master for that show Nathan For You. He told us a great story about the chili-dispensing suit he had to build for Nathan on the Chili Man episode. In short, the landline phone has been well worth the $10 per month.”

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Who You Need: FINNEAS

FINNEAS.jpg
Image via summerfest.com

WHO: FINNEAS

WHERE: Los Angeles, CA

GENRE: Pop

TOP SONG: “Let’s Fall in Love for the Night”

While searching for “FINNEAS” on Spotify, you might find his artist page and feel inclined to read his “about” where he honestly writes “Bios are boring”. Not only is this a testament to FINNEAS’ overall view on the music industry but also deconstructs the notion that listeners should just care about the music and nothing else.

On his latest single, “Angel” a gentle piano guides the song into a lovely ode to his girlfriend, Claudia. He dedicated another song to her appropriately titled “Claudia” earlier this year. There’s no doubt love is on the brain, but FINNEAS also took the time to write a song about losing a best friend on “I Lost A Friend“. He opened up in regards to this change of pace saying, “I’ve made a lot of music covering romantic relationships and a lot covering family but I’d never been able to articulate what it feels like to lose a friend until now.” The song is a raw look into a meaningful friendship and how sad it is when it’s gone. “I’ll be fine without him, but all I do is write about him,” FINNEAS achingly sings throughout the powerful track.

Oh…did I mention he’s on tour with Billie Eilish? Playing guitar and opening her shows… because he’s her BROTHER. Somehow, amidst the fame chaos, he remains “low key” in his musical endeavors, not trying too hard to be seen. FINNEAS seems to genuinely be happy with making music – no matter the success. Grounded and mature are two words to describe the singer, songwriter, producer after watching a recent interview he did with his sister and Zane Lowe.

With a slew of impeccably produced singles under his belt, I can only hope FINNEAS is working on an album to be released sometime in the near future.

 

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