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Kelela Returns With Reflective Album 'Raven'

Kelela releases her highly anticipated second studio album, Raven. It's her follow-up to her debut Take Me Apart. 

It’s been six years since Kelela dropped her debut album Take Me Apart, now she has returned with Raven, a sultry and innovative R&B album. 

On Raven, Kelela blends pop, R&B, jazz, and club music and creates a moody soundscape that is perfectly equipped to take fans through the rest of the cold winter. While Take Me Apart was intimate and thought-provoking, Raven takes things a step further – fans are taken on a journey through the past six years of Kelela’s life. Accompanied by heavy basslines and distinct synths she tells stories of lust, companionship, and heartbreak. Brokenness and mourning are also themes that are touched on in the title track “Raven.” 

“I really want to be sexy in a nuanced way,” the singer told the New York Times. “We want our sexy moments to feel one of a kind, that’s why it feels sexy — because you don’t think that it’s run of the mill.”

Water is also a recurring theme that Kelela leaned on heavily throughout Raven. Hence the importance of the first track “Washed Away” and the last track “Far Away.” Each of these songs flows seamlessly into the other. In her New York Times feature, the singer shared that improvisation was pivotal to the album too. What she accomplishes is no small feat: Raven is symbolic of this transitional period she’s experiencing, and it’s impressive. 

On the lyricism in Raven:

"It’s gotta be a lyric that Black and brown women and nonbinary people, marginalized people, can scream in their cars on the way to work a job that they actually don’t want to do."

Raven was accomplished with a team of 15 producers including ​​Yo van Lenz, LSDXOXO, Florian T M Zeisig, and Maroof.