Kelela - The High

Kelela was one of the standout contributors to Solange’s phenomenal Saint Heron compilation of last year, and though her name has popped up intermittently during my various travels across the internet, it was that album that really brought her to my attention.

Her Cut 4 Me album is another of last year’s strong releases, featuring a great mix of dark, atmospheric production and diverse vocals, and certainly presented Kelela as an upcoming talent to be watched. This latest release, not announced for any particular project, is a good addition to her growing catalogue, and again paints the singer in a very favourable light. The production is supremely moody, built up on a brooding bassline that plods through the track with power and intent, whilst the supporting cast of gentle synths just about hang in there, buzzing around the driving bass but never dragging it into any other direction. It’s a good backdrop too, as it allows for plenty of flexibility on the vocal layer, as Kelela primarily offers a gentle delivery, blending well with the sombre production, but intersperses that with both higher-pitched blasts and soft harmonising.

The whole lot combines into a very replayable piece of R&B/soul, and one that’s certainly in a style that encapsulates this rising “alternative R&B” movement.

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