Monday, September 28th, 2015

Kelela – Rewind

Let’s retire to the bedroom-club-mobile…


Josh Winters: It’s almost scientific fact that the three best places to hear music are at the club, in the car, and in your bedroom. To Kelela, these settings are one and the same, so she superimposes them and their associate emotions into a brisk late-night summer jam. As with someone who contains multitudes, this kind of action naturally results in some internal conflict; the Miami bass beat goes from pause to fast-forward at the press of a finger with her coy desire following suit, compelling enough to manipulate time in order to get all up in her feelings. These opposing aspects work wonderfully together as they fight for the spotlight, making “Rewind” the quintessential showcase for Kelela.

Patrick St. Michel: Pitch-shifted vocals and skittery tempos pop up so frequently in music now (errr, maybe I need to edit my SoundCloud feed), that it’s genuinely surprising to hear someone use them to signify time bending. Kelela does just that on “Rewind,” and the rush of longing that practically slows and speeds up time is shaped in just a way for maximum impact.

Thomas Inskeep: Ooooooh. Kelela goes from the Arca-produced wooziness of “A Message” to the ’90s bass of “Rewind,” combining jewel-like synth tones with an early-Janet coo and a track that’s totally Ghost Town DJ’s. I hope Jermaine Dupri hears this and is as flattered as he should be, because “Rewind” owes much of its DNA to him. A subtle stunner.

Jonathan Bogart: I never thought I’d hear a song where the glassy keyboard sound that defined adult-contemporary schlock in the ’80s and ’90s could be rehabilitated, but I guess you live long enough and people who are too young to have experienced the Mariah/Whitney/Céline/Richard Marx years as oppressive start to look back in envy.

Rebecca A. Gowns: Simple, no frills, lying-in-bed jam. In fact, it does remind me of jam: sweet, not fresh per se, but preserved and good for a while. As a song, it’s jam on toast, not a full Monte Cristo — and it doesn’t need to be.

Katherine St Asaph: In the taxonomy of crush songs, an underused but ever-useful entry is the song for the crush you’ve almost consummated — but only almost. Kelela’s voice flits from tough to vulnerable in a syllable’s span, and there’s space in the production for as much longing as you can imagine in.

Maxwell Cavaseno: Kelela writing over more of the Fade To Mind hacks recycling old Atlanta Bass production is more of the same. Her songwriting is a bit rough, but has improved so much from her earlier work, and her vocals also have continued to polish themselves. But now we need to get her producers who aren’t just nerds trying to soundtrack their Geocities Collage Art Projects for the disMag Party.

Alfred Soto: The decision to sing in a breathy upper register smooths the tensions — it’s not a wise decision. Roisin Murphy would have pushed this minimalist house track into places she might not recognize after she steps away from the mike.

Brad Shoup: A blue flame, like Zendaya’s “Replay” via a Katy B aesthetic.

Reader average: [9] (7 votes)

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7 Responses to “Kelela – Rewind”

  1. Maxwell Cavaseno, tell us more about how blandly cynical and out of touch you are. After reading your opinions I have to wonder if there’s a failed pop career somewhere that’s the cause of such bitterness? Or are you just stuck in some time vortex where 00s-level Vice snark is still trendy?

  2. I take it you own a copy of The Perfect Lullasnoozefest, Miss Chelsea.

  3. ‘zendaya’s ‘replay’ via a katy b aesthetic’ 1) brad oh my god 2) that’s all i’ve ever wanted so maybe that’s why i love this song so much

  4. ‘Rewind’ is truly multifaceted. A song for the club – Club Med’s Reggio di Calabria location hyberbolic sleep chamber, and a song for the car – 2013 smart fortwo convertible. Like, also I perked up first hearing the beat (initial several seconds) before realising its just the same few ?notes? looped over four minutes. I’m not a snark shark for visualising grey makeup encrusted HBA c-tier scenesters skittering along the sides of an art show runway like archies[] to this song. I’m just observant;; been around. Where’s the energy? the GUSTO? no vibrancy here. Does Kelela get paid to fill content quota similar to academic writing?


    Listen to this:

  5. And this:

  6. cynicisms aside: when maxwell’s right, he’s really right

  7. the hook to “what’s luv” is also four notes