American singer-songwriter, Kelela, has announced her debut album Tear Me Apart. It is set to drop on October 6th via Warp Records. With the news, she also shared the album’s first single, “LMK.” Sensual and moody, the new song serves as a promising follow-up to her 2015 EP, Hallucinogen.
Opening with a detuned, reverb-drenched bass line, Kelela’s smoky voice cuts deep, as she sings about a late night love affair. “It ain’t that deep by the way / No one’s tryna settle down / All you gotta do is let me know,” she croons against infectious trap beats and glittering production. The rising R&B singer’s crystalline vocals soar into a bed of harmonies, creating a dark and seductive atmosphere. “LMK” builds to an epic climax, with a brief key change in the bridge that eventually nestles itself into a lush soundscape of synths, Mariah Carey-esque falsetto runs, and booming electronic rhythms.
In a statement, Kelela spoke about the inspiration behind her new work: “Despite it being a personal record, the politics of my identity informs how it sounds and how I choose to articulate my vulnerability and strength.” She went on to describe how her origins have influenced the music on Tear Me Apart: “I am a black woman, a second-generation Ethiopian-American, who grew up in the ‘burbs listening to R&B, jazz and Björk. All of it comes out in one way or another.”
Since Hallucinogen, Kelela has collaborated with many eclectic artists. She was featured on Solange’s critically-acclaimed album A Seat At The Table on the song, “Scales.” She also collaborated with Danny Brown and Clams Casino. Most recently, she has been on tour with with The xx and Gorillaz — the latter artist featured her on their recent album, We Are Still Humanz.
Pre-order Take Me Apart here, and revisit her 2015 EP below.