Icona Pop – K.FLAY and Sirah
Aino Jawo and Caroline Hjelt met on a Saturday night in February 2009. It was, Aino says quite reasonably, “the best thing that ever happened”.
So the day after the best thing that ever happened happened, these two girls from the Stockholm suburbs formed a electronic pop duo band, and on the Monday – when the hangovers had cleared and it still all seemed like the best thing that had ever happened – they booked their first gig – Icona Pop was born. This felt all very well, but then they realised they had four weeks until their gig, but no songs.
Autumn of 2011, Icona Pop moved from Stockholm to London, and with an album ready to go the tunes are in no short supply. Icona Pop says: “We like galloping drums, and synthesisers, but we still like the classical pop melodies. And that’s ‘what we are’. We don’t have to decide, because there’s no decision to be made. We just have to do exactly what we want.”
In the intervening years they’ve working with The Knocks (voted one of NME’s hottest production outfits of the hour), Patrik Berger (Robyn), Elof Loelv (Niki & The Dove), Fredrik Berger (The Good Natured) and Style of Eye, as well as sessions with UK producers like Starsmith (Kylie, Ellie Goulding) and Burns. Their Neon Gold-released double a-side single ‘Manners’ / ‘Top Rated’ prompted journals like NME and The Guardian say things along the lines of “effortlessly cool” and “all the makings of a 24-carat pop hit”, and the duo have perfected their live show, too – that first performance back in 2009 went rather well, all things considered, while their first London gig was impressive enough to bag them a management deal with Artist Company TEN, the team behind Niki & The Dove and Erik Hassle.
K.Flay’s new EP, Eyes Shut, is a response to apathy. Thematically, the disc’s five tracks offer a dialogue about what it means to care—and not care—in the twentysomething era. K.Flay, the moniker for San Francisco-based musician Kristine Flaherty, reacts to this generational indifference musically. Her spit-fire rhymes and distorted indie-electro production are infused with unabashed passion and thoughtful concern.
Flaherty, who grew up outside Chicago and launched her music career while enrolled at Stanford University, arrived at this subject matter after spending nearly a year touring the country solo. Although she was opening for artists like Passion Pit, 3OH!3 and Wallpaper, Flaherty took the stage alone each night, urging a deep sense of introspection that initially resulted in a mixtape called I Stopped Caring In ’96. The mixtape, which Flaherty self-released last spring, initiated the writing process for Eyes Shut.
“I spent my first few years making music just messing around, not really having a sense of what I was about,” she explains. “With the mixtape, I started to realize my vision for the project. I made it in isolation, which was liberating in a creative sense. The songs on this EP start where the mixtape left off and reflect where I’m at in my own life now. There are no love songs. It’s really about a mindset, a perspective. A lot of the people I know are pretty apathetic and disillusioned. They’d rather check out than engage in something. I’m drawn to that myself at times and at other times I’m repelled by it.”
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Event Category: Live Music
When: September 25, 2013
Where: Music Hall of Williamsburg
More Info: http://www.musichallofwilliamsburg.com/