The erstwhile suburban rap queen comes into her own -- and lands a spot on the Warped Tour
She raised money to make the record through a crowdfunding site that donates 10 percent to charity, tapping into a fan base that already hangs on her every Internet-word, and reached her goal within five days ("The response was awesome ... I mean, considering we're not Reading Rainbow."). She wrote and recorded in LA, New York, and San Francisco, mixing the record at SF's Different Fur.
And now? She doesn't know exactly where she'll land geographically when the dust settles from promoting this album, but it's pretty clear the Bay Area will always be home. At the time of this interview in Oakland, she was rehearsing with her sole bandmate and longtime partner in crime, drummer Nick Suhr (who, over the course of this interview, fetches the wifi password and coffee for both of them, and lets Flaherty know he just told a studio employee she was single). She's chilling before tour starts, and preparing to maybe field some questions about her mental health (or deflect assumptions about drug abuse) once people hear some of her darker lyrics.
Though, "My parents like it," she says eagerly. "Sometimes they get scared that I'm, like, extremely depressed. One time after I put up a mixtape my brother called me and was like, 'Are you okay?'" She shrugs. "I tend to want to write when something's troubling me, whether it's something in my own life or I'm witnessing something that I don't understand, that frustrates me as an observer. I never had a diary as a teenager, but I think I use songwriting like that now, and you can definitely hear that on this album.
"For better or for worse, though, I think it all makes sense together. And it sounds like me. That's all I could really hope for."