listen to the first single from kelela's long-awaited debut album
Kelela drops late-summer R&B burner LMK and gives a shout-out to her mate Solange.
Kelela's Full Moon Festival set on Governor's Island last month was wedged between house legend Larry Heard's and Grammy-nominated headliner Vic Mensa's. But it was probably the experimental R&B songstress who drew the largest crowd, playing a hypnotising mix of older songs and new material. From the main stage, Kelela announced that the full-length followup to her Hallucinogen and Cut for Me mixtapes, released in 2013 and 2015 respectively, would be coming soon. Yesterday Kelela revealed the sultry cover art for the new album — titled Take Me Apart — before debuting the first single on Zane Lowe's Beats 1 show. It's called LMK and it's a sonorous R&B anthem perfect for the dog days of summer.
I've been working on this project for four years plus," Kelela told Zane. "It's been a minute, and I finally feel like my vision has manifested itself. It's a really good feeling." Take Me Apart sees Kelela re-team with producers Jam City and Arca to craft the electronic compositions that anchor the album. She previously worked with Arca — who released his own outstanding album earlier this year — on Hallucinogen EP's standout slow-burner A Message.
"It's essentially a lot of things that, to me, feel very classic, but also new," Kelela says of Take Me Apart's futuristic, intricate R&B sound. "That's literally what I was setting out to do, is give you another permutation of something that you're quite familiar with, to find a new way to present this thing that feels very resonant and easy." She also hinted at releasing a remix-only R&B project "down the line," and gave shout-outs to Syd tha Kyd and Solange for evolving the tradition of R&B music in their own groundbreaking ways. Kelela featured on Solange's A Seat at the Table track Scales, adding to a long list of collaborators ranging from producers Arca and Bok Bok to virtual band Gorillaz and grime legend Terror Danjah. We can't wait to see who else has snagged a spot on Take Me Apart, which drops on 9 October.
Text Hannah Ongley
Photography Alasdair McLellan