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Kelela, 'Raven'

Kelela has made a career of decadently infusing soulful R&B melodies into pulsing EDM beats, submerging the listener in her atmosphere. On her sophomore studio LP, Raven, she draws the listener into dark clubs, sultry bedrooms and crowded streets.

The title track is a gloomy but cathartic meditation on finding clarity after heartbreak. Drifting on a buzzing siren, Kelela opens the gateway to solitude with a reclamation of power and peace: "Through all the labor / A raven is reborn / They tried to break her / There's nothing here to mourn." Celestial synths, glittering keys, pumping bass and a thundering kick evoke a being taking on new form, the eponymous bird departing from Poe's misery and embracing its capacity for prophetic vision. Wading through this murkiness, Kelela emerges with clarity. Some loves are there to learn from, not to last.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Pilar Galvan
Pilar Galvan (she/her) is a reporter whose work focuses on the intersections of media and culture. She is passionate about film, music and sports. She recently graduated from Yale University where she double majored in anthropology, specializing in ethnomusicology, and art, concentrating in digital media. She previously worked in digital media at art institutions including MoMA PS1 in Queens, NY, and the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon, Portugal.