The L.A. singer Kelela made one hell of an impression with her 2013 single Cut 4 Me, singing over sparse, architectural dance music and conveying vast reserves of emotion without ever showing too much of herself. Since then, she’s released a handful of great songs. A reissue of Cut 4 Me is about to come out, and she’s just now announced the impending release of a new EP called Hallucinogen. (It features “The High,” an incredible track that she released last year.) She co-wrote “A Message,” the EP’s slow-motion stunner of a single, with Arca, and it shows what these two can do at their absolute best. The song sounds like what might happen if Prince, several thousand years from now, somehow became a sentient cloud. Its new video, from director Daniel Sannwald, is totally mesmerizing. It focuses hard on Kelela’s face, as she cuts off her waist-length dreads and turns into an anime hallucination. This is one hell of a video, and it’s below, along with the EP’s tracklist and some words from Kelela about working with Arca.
01 “A Message”
04 “All The Way Down”
06 “The High”
On Arca, Kelela says:
I met Alejandro [Arca] on a boat in August of 2012. We sought one another out across a dance floor and within 5 minutes agreed to meet each other as soon as possible to collaborate. I had one song released to my name and had just heard one of his mixes, but we knew we’d found something in one another. We spent the next three days, 14 hours a day talking about our artistic visions and how it intersected with our personal lives, making songs that reflected that while dancing around the room to let it all out. About 5 or 6 demos were born out of these three days.
“A Message” is one of the demos that came from those sessions and it speaks to the despair that I was experiencing at the time. The initial version of the song spilled out of us in about 25 minutes. Since then, it’s been like a sculpture that I’ve come to and refined over time, adding a lyric here, refining a melody there, adding a bridge, etc. It’s a process that is now finally complete with its release and I’m so happy that I finally get to share it with all of you.
Hallucinogen is out 5/5 on Fade To Mind.