In February 2016, Dazed published an excellent in-depth interview with Kelela, the Fade To Mind and Night Slugs-affiliated singer who broke out with 2013’s Cut 4 Me mixtape. Following discussions of race, genre, and the fashion industry, the feature closed with the definitive statement, “Kelela’s debut album is out in May.” With not one, but two Mays passing since that article’s publication date, suffice it to say that it’s a major relief that we finally have a release date for Kelela’s long-awaited debut album.
Take Me Apart is out on October 6th. It’ll be Kelela’s first release since October 2015’s stellar Hallucinogen EP, and the first new music we’ve heard from her since she popped up on albums by Danny Brown, Solange, and Gorillaz in the past nine months or so. Accompanying this announcement is the album’s lead single, “LMK.”
In the past, the best Kelela songs have pristinely blended avant-garde sci-fi synths with beat patterns mined from the past 20 years of forward-thinking R&B, and in that regard, “LMK” is no different. Big, Blade Runner-esque slabs of bass mingle with more twinkly treble tones, all locked into a grid provided by an echoey beat that sounds like DJ Mustard performing at a European cave rave. We don’t yet have a list of Take Me Apart’s production roster, but whoever they are, can Marvel please bring them onboard for the Black Panther soundtrack?
A press release describes “LMK” as “a battle cry for independent women,” and with Kelela flipping the script on a potential suitor and telling him, “It ain’t that deep,” it’s very clear who’s in charge here. Hallucinogen told the story of the disintegration of a relationship in reverse, with Kelela making herself super vulnerable at times throughout the EP, but this time she’s steely in her one-night-stand resolve. If you’re currently on the rebound, “LMK” is your anthem.
Pre-order Take Me Apart from Warp Records.