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Kelela Flexes Her Vocals and Production on New Album,”Raven”

Kelela’s “Raven” album cover.

The long-awaited return of Kelela is over. After six years, she’s back and better than ever as she contends with relationships, inner acceptance, and the status quo on her new album “Raven”. 

Raven Breakdown

Like the rest of her discography, the new release is considered R&B and Soul. Yet, Kelela takes influences from all places and times, and creates a futuristic sound by utilizing dance and synth elements.  Call it what you like, but don’t dare call it boring.  The album teems with flowering mosaics of soft synthetic sounds that are so beautifully composed that they actually sound natural.  Kelela’s chill inducing voice shines through the seamless production and functions as an instrument in itself.

Each song seems to create a distinct, immersive landscape that offers an array emotions and subject matter represented perfectly by Kelela’s expressive pipes.  Further, she used these strong suits to depart deeper into social commentary, as she takes aim at the patriarchy, capitalism, and racism throughout the album.

I felt during the uprising and the [protests of the early 2020s] that there’s been an external shift.  We all have more permission to say, ‘I don’t like that.’

Apple Music

Stand Out Tracks

On Kelela’s new album, Raven, the title trackstands out as the embodiment of the album.  It deals with redemption, building back better, and coming to terms the past.  Additionally, a sparse, low, bass backs the vocals; which really allows for a lot of personal reflection

Holier also represents the album very well.  It is pensive, and self-exploratory, yet reflects experiences common to many people.  Moreover, though the song is dark, it’s also comforting and empowering – as much of the album is.

The album puts forth a sort of aquatic quality, which the cover of the album mirrors. Is the woman on the cover drowning? Accepting? Taking a dip for fun? Each of option is vocalized on the album and make for a very cohesive project. Check out her work on Spotify and Youtube.

Did you enjoy the “Raven” album? Did you know she had a feature on a PinkPantheress track? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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