K.Flay | Can’t Sleep | Live Review + New Video

K.Flay | Can’t Sleep | Live Review + New Video

On tour in the UK and dropping a new video for the stand-out track Can’t Sleep from her recent album, K.Flay’s busy building something big.

29th January 2015

At the front end of this year K.Flay toured the UK in support of Lights. Both artists have a similar agenda, Lights is a female artist building a strong following through a busy touring schedule, and a packed out venue (Scala in London’s Kings Cross) on a monday night is testament to her appeal with a young, cool audience.

I hadn’t gone to see the headline act, for me this was what I considered to be a rare opportunity to catch K.Flay, an artist I’ve admired for some time now. At least, it should have been. In reality, such was the venue’s door policy that I spent half of K.Flay’s set queuing in the cold outside. The three songs I did get to see didn’t do much to inspire. She seemed lacking in energy, I left disappointed and feeling shit out of luck. The prospect of having another opportunity to catch the U.S. singer/rapper/song-writer/producer any time soon seemed distant.

12th May 2015

Such little faith. Less than four months later and I’m at the O2 Academy in Islington, London, standing three feet from tonight’s headliner. In her appearance K.Flay comes across very much as a tom-boy, you’d expect her to be more brash in personality, but to talk to she’s awkward in her mannerisms. In contrast, when she takes to the stage K.Flay demands your full attention. Backed by Nic, a powerful drummer who drives the energy behind each song, On the night K.Flay demonstrates the diversity widely found in her music. A girly charm to her singing, her cool and flawless rap style all delivered with a slight abrasion. She doesn’t hold back on the course language in her lyrics and you’ll find honesty, hurt, loss, pain and a degree of ambiguity disguised in catchy melodies and hooks. She plays tracks mostly from her recent album Life As A Dog but for the long-term fans there are a few songs the precede her debut full-length studio release.

It seems I wasn’t alone in regarding the night’s performance as one of the most enjoyable I’ve witnessed this year. K.Flay finished her set and left the stage to drummer Nic to play out. Job done? Alas not! The crowd weren’t quite ready to leave, not yet… We needed one more song to send us on our way. And so we waited, we chanted and after a brief respite our headline act returned with a look of genuine surprise. ‘We don’t really have anything else to play’ she apologised. But of course, the pair managed to rouse another and left the sizeable audience satiated, heading out into the warm London evening.

Any disappointment I may have felt at the Scala in January is exorcised. K.Flay is extremely talented and working hard to reach fans, entertain and grow her already faithful following. A live performance is thoroughly recommended.

K.Flay takes in her final UK date in Brighton this evening (16th May), heads to Germany for one show before crossing the Atlantic back to the states. Find her tour schedule at kflay.com and check out her new video, for the track Can’t Sleep from her debut album Life As A Dog.

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Will Harrison

About the author | Will Harrison

Founder of The Unheard Nerd. A husband and father of two girls, Will is a fan of Nerdcore Hip-Hop, a comics fiend, a podcast host and champion of independent nerd culture. | Follow will on twitter: @TheUnheardNerd

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