Okay Kaya – “Psych Ward”

“You can peel an orange however you please in the psych ward.” So begins the latest and possibly greatest single from Okay Kaya’s suddenly imminent Watch This Liquid Pour Itself. “Psych Ward” is a deeply catchy slacker rock song inspired by Kaya Wilkins’ own experience in a mental health institution, one that reasserts her talent for blunt, laconic, minimal modern pop music.

Like prior singles “Asexual Wellbeing,” “Baby Little Tween,” and “Ascend And Try Again,” it’s paired with a video directed by Wilkins and Adinah Dancyger. In keeping with the subject matter, this one gives off One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest vibes, but there’s also a stripper pole involved.

In a press release, Wilkins writes:

This is basically a Hospital Evaluation Form. The last few days I was in a hospital a nurse unlocked one of the cabinets and let me use the rec room guitar, to play outside of art therapy class. I wrote what I saw to understand how I felt. It turned into this funny bop, I wanted it to feel like a Ramones song or something.

I wrote the lyrics in a very literal way as I often tend to do. When it was time for a music video I took the words “do the rounds” even more literally by making Kaya pole dance in her daydream during her morning fitness routine. The fitness routines were always to an ABBA greatest hits CD, it felt much too ecstatic compared to the heavily drugged hospital bodies, barely out of bed, barely moving. I wanted the video to show that effort, because I am scared to forget. This whole album is filled with moments I am scared to forget, coming right at you projectile style.

Watch below.

Watch This Liquid Pour Itself is out 1/24 on Jagjaguwar. Pre-order it here.