23rd February | SWX
Blending smooth, sensual R&B with resounding, ambient electro-beats Kelela indisputably marked out her territory with last year’s record Take Me Apart, which saw her work with the likes of Arca and Jam City on various tracks. An album of soft vulnerability and fierce independence, the LA-based artist purveys emotive clarity and frankness as she explores sex, relationships and desire with a fervent empowerment. Kelela’s distinctive vocals are ethereal and soulful, permeated by a rich passion and potency that she channels through her music with an inspiring, radical tenderness.
Kelela’s 2014 breakout mixtape Cut 4 Me featured more abrasive beats with a distinctively heavier grime influence. Whilst these sonic elements are still tangible in the songs on Take Me Apart, they exist alongside rhythmic pop, dance and experimental electronic components, taking on a more nuanced and expansive sound palette, posing an enticing live prospect.
Kelela’s show at SWX is the artist’s first headline show in Bristol, hosted by the inimitable Simple Things, renowned for consistently putting on the most innovative and boundary-pushing artists around. With support from mighty experimentalist Klein and the jazz-infused hip-hop of Tiana Major9, this show is an excellent opportunity to catch these powerful and pertinent artists live.
See the video for ‘Blue Light’ here: