-Michael Charlebois



Superior Outdoors


Off The Wall Reviews

Kelela It’s rare for an artist of Kelela’s stature to truly distance themselves from the pressures and expectations of an artist working within the strict boundaries of the music industry. But after a nearly six-year hiatus, Washington-born Kelela has done exactly that—both internally and in a real-life context—and in doing so, produced a remarkable and intentional piece of art. Raven is a soft and intimate record that details the frustrations of a relationship running on borrowed time. Sonically, it never seeps into rage of any sort. The front and back cover appropriately reference water, as for many parts this album sits in total stillness. Her enchanting vocal layers isolate, oftentimes only backed by a sole synth or brooding bass. In these sonic confines, she’s mastered the atmosphere, and moments like the percussion hitting gently as a whisper in “Let It Go” as the bassline springs into its groove are evidence. The album drifts into a dreamstate as the second half caves inwards. The opener and closer share a sonic theme, and so the album exists in a perfect circle, one that demands endless revisiting.