Kelela made quite the splash when she dropped her Cut 4 Me mixtape back in 2013. But, outside of a few collaborations, things got pretty quiet from her camp. 2015 saw the unique singer come back with a vengeance however, dropping electro-R&B gem “A Message” as the lead single from her then-upcoming EP Hallucinogen in the spring. After a few delays, we finally got the project in full in October and we’ve been listening ever since.
Like its namesake, Hallucinogen is a trippy ride that Kelela fills with heartfelt lyrics about love and all its complications. She filters it all through a future-leaning R&B lens that favors sparse soundscapes of reverberating kick drum hits, programmed drums, synths and occasional samples. While the previously mentioned “A Message” and second single “Rewind” are definitely worth a spin or 15, be sure to check out the set’s other tracks, like the Lisa Fischer-sampling “Gomenasai” and the seductive industrial groove of the “The High,” to hear how Kelela is leading the genre into uncharted territory. — D-Money