Kelela is a Washington D.C. born singer who currently resides in LA, Her debut mixtape Cut 4 Me came out in 2013. It was well received and was place on quite a few best of the year lists. She recently released an EP entitled Hallucinogen which is six tracks long. Overall it is exceptional, the whole thing is executed well and the project came together fantastically.
The Six tracks tell the tale of a relationship , from the end to the beginning. The opener “A Message” is great, Kelela vocals are gripping and really draw you in. The Instrumental is really dark and features some strange stuttering drums that make the song extremely dark in character. I love the way she delivers the line “If I was your ex girlfriend” in the chorus and the way the beat stutters behind her. Especially right at the end. “Gomenasai” is more upbeat, but still dark in character. Considering the topic of the song is Kelela dominating her partner, I think it is appropriate. I like how the chorus is much fuller than the verses and the I enjoy the beat.
“Rewind” is one of my favorite songs of the year, it has a great beat and it is extremely danceable. Kelela also just brings great energy to it and keeps it all moving along. I especially love the switch up at the end, it is just sublime. It is super catchy and is overall an awesome track.
“All The Way Down” is another great song and it is produced by Dj Dahi. Kelela Has some great harmonies and just dominates the track. The title track “Hallucinogen” is my least favorite of all the tracks. The lyrics are undeterminable if they are indeed actual words. The beat is fine and that is really about it. “The High” is super tense and I love it. The way the words are spaced out just works so well and really heightens the mood. The way the beat builds throughout is also a nice touch.
I thoroughly enjoyed this ep. I thought the title track was a bit of a stumble, but I understood the premise of it. The five other tracks I think are just fantastic and I love the way they came together. I love this project and I can not wait to hear more.
by Addison Garry (@addisonagarry)