I discovered this song through YouTuber Mitch Cramer, AKA Heavy Eyed, as he runs a wonderful Discord full of people who are, somehow, willing to put up with my bullshit. A user there, “Not a Pigeon” (who I suspect may be a pigeon) posted this track, and I’m nothing if not interested in checking out R&B when it’s good. I know that, based on the things I post here normally, it’d be easy to say “dude likes industrial, pop and EDM” and move on with your day, but I have kind of an eclectic musical upbringing; my mother used to sit me down in front of MTV to watch Twisted Sister videos as well as alternating between 80’s pop and country in the car, and I grew up surrounded by En Vogue, boy bands, grunge and industrial music, so I honestly just want to love everything, given the chance. I’m as likely to have Nine Inch Nails or Aphex Twin on a mix as I am Janelle Monae, is the point, so despite having never heard of Kelela before, I was all in to jumping into this to see what her music is all about.
Turns out, it’s complicated.
On a basic level, it’s R&B, in just the way you’d expect, from a solid electronic beat with some solid bass behind it to some really beautiful vocals from Kelela herself; you could probably hear it on the radio or at a club or whatever and not think twice about it. However, there are little things about this that I kind of love that are beyond the surface, like how the song is basically a relatively complicated way of saying “Look, you wanna fuck or nah? Because if not that’s fine,” which isn’t really a topic that you hear as an up-front conversation unless it’s coming from Lil Wayne, basically. Also, there’s a bottle-popping sample that’s used to fill in the beat, which is just this random detail you don’t pick up on the first time that’s interesting, even if it isn’t anything complicated. It’s just… interesting, in an uncomplicated way, essentially.