K Flay: Solutions review – reasons to be cheerful

(Night Street/Interscope)

Joining the many trying to find hard-won notes of positivity amid climate catastrophe and political car crashes, Illinois native Kristine Flaherty has dedicated her third album to mustering “green lights, brighter views… to pull me through”, as she puts it on Good News, which rubs dirty analogue synths up against a pure pop chorus.

There are both stronger songs and a wider range of styles here than on her previous records: Not in California brings a grungy, fuzzy languor to its environmental end-times singalong chorus, while the irresistible I Like Myself sits somewhere between the lo-fi pop of Cults and the rhythmic attack and playful cheerleading choruses of Sleigh Bells. The latter spring to mind again on the hard-faced and heavy Bad Vibes, in which she dismisses lazy doom-lovers: “You think it’s cooler to have dark thoughts, never eat ice-cream.” Sister is equally adorable, with a jubilant yell of a chorus over a barrage of those synths, while DNA closes with a widescreen hip-hop epic that sends you off heartened.

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