Giver (Seattle Sessions)
Label: Dan Reynolds PS
On her sophomore album (and first for Interscope) K.Flay doesn't just erase divisions between genres; she smashes them to bits with her jet-black, scuffed-up Doc Martens. Simply blast the vengeful and defiant anthem "Blood in Cut": the 31-year-old has a flow, agile and emotionally layered, like a seasoned MC, yet backing her up are some seriously crunchy rock guitars and hammering skins, the kind you'd hear on a Royal Blood jam or something. And then there's the rousing and uplifting "Dreamers," which sees that flow take a radically different course, this time drifting through incandescent synth chords imported from electronic pop. Though a reasonable comparison may be AWOLNATION's post-everything stew, it largely breaks down when K.Flay unleashes the punked-out "Black Wave," which is way more dirty and flailing than anything Aaron Bruno would record.