K.Flay’s new single “Black Wave” off her upcoming album (available April 17th) sounds like something you’d hear playing at a pivotal moment in some angsty, coming-of-age indie film. A self-destructive protagonist rises up against a conflict in a drug-fuelled furious rampage brimming with determination. “Black Wave” assaults your eardrums with white hot anarchy, but in a good way.
According to K.Flay, the song is “about facing something immense and menacing and choosing not to cower, but to rise up,” and that’s exactly what the lyrics suggest. They tell the story of someone who’s frustrated and fearful of this metaphorical black wave. The wave could be a political statement; a manifestation of all the inner-conflict in the United States as suggested with the line “who you gonna trust when the killer is a cop” which could be referencing the high number of police brutalities. The black wave could also be an overbearing personal problem that’s been building slowly but now has the power to completely decimate the speaker’s life. Whatever the black wave is, one thing is certain; the speaker’s prepared to fight tooth and nail.
The song uses a concoction of instruments that rise and fall like some choppy, stormy ocean waters. The most prominent of the line-up is the wicked sounding bass line that falls in and out going from gentle to a distorted force of nature. There’s also an electric guitar that sounds subtle at times and like an air-raid siren at others. It’s often said that K.Flay’s music is genre-defying and this song definitely supports that claim. It’s damn near impossible to label this song as anything; it’s a unique blend of alternative hip-hop and rock with a splash of indie.
Much like her last single “Blood In The Cut”, “Black Wave” is packed with an emotional edge and sounds unlike anything else.