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Songs We Love: Kelela, 'Rewind'

Kelela's new EP, <em>Hallucinogen</em>, arrives Oct. 9.
Timothy Saccenti
/
Courtesy of the artist
Kelela's new EP, Hallucinogen, arrives Oct. 9.

Kelela, "Rewind" (Cherry Coffee/Warp Records)
/ Courtesy of the artist
/
Courtesy of the artist
Kelela, "Rewind" (Cherry Coffee/Warp Records)

"Rewind," the latest track from new-wave R&B fave Kelela, hasn't become any less addictive since it debuted a week ago. The most recent offering from the D.C.-bred, LA-based singer, and the lead track from her newest EP Hallucinogen, would fit seamlessly on 1996's So So Def Bass All-Stars, an influential-after-the-fact collection that was the soundtrack of Freaknik, a Spring Break gathering of black Southern youth of the '90s. There, it'd slot naturally right behind track two, the classic, perennially infectious "My Boo" by Ghost Town DJ's.

The Los Angeles producer Kingdom, who first collaborated with Kelela on her 2013 debut mixtape Cut 4 Me, is once again at the boards, this time with assistance from Kelela herself, the mysterious Nugget and "additional production by" underground beat-makers Girl Unit and Obey City. Juxtaposing wound-down party vibes with the urgency of gone-but-not-forgotten Miami bass, "Rewind" propels Kelela's protagonist toward an elusive love interest: "Cause I'm heating up, are you reading my mind / I know that I'm stalling, don't leave me behind." During the hook, she's hanging precariously in the balance, yet still finds time to frolic across the thick, elastic bands of bass, deciding on her own terms what her next move might be.

Hallucinogen drops Oct. 9 via her label, Cherry Coffee, and Warp Records.

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Kiana Fitzgerald is a freelance music journalist, cultural critic, and DJ. She writes for the world from deep in the heart of Texas.