Kelela is back with another enigmatic infusion of R&B and dance with new single “On The Run.” It’s the third song to come from the artist’s new album Raven — which arrives next year on Feb. 10 — following previous releases “Happy Ending” and “Washed Away.”
It’ll have been six years since the release of her debut Take Me Apart when it arrives, but the fifteen track LP promises to be a colossally immersive emotional journey. One that’ll get at the heart of the ways in which Kelela has cultivated into existence a space for herself as a Black femme within the world of dance music.
“On The Run,” as with her other singles, builds within that space a soundscape unparalelled in its kinetic passion or mythic scope. He collisions of soulful rhythms and buoyant beats designed to be as soothing to the mind as they are to the body. One that borrows all the most affecting bits of Caribbean dance and the pulsating atmospherics of R&B. And through it all Kelela weaves the most dulcet and intricate part of her artistry and music: her voice.
“Nothin’ in this world could stop us right now,” she sings on the track’s opening moments. “I’m ready but you’re takin too long.” Over the course of the song’s increasingly enthralling movements, which entice and delight like the very love Kelela is trying to ignite, she makes a case for letting love in. “Open up baby to the sun,” she cries out.
“I started this process from the feeling of isolation and alienation I’ve always had as a black femme in dance music, despite its black origins,” Kelela said of the album. “RAVEN is my first breath taken in the dark, an affirmation of black femme perspective in the midst of systemic erasure and the sound of our vulnerability turned to power.”
Kelela’s new album Raven is out on Feb. 23, 2023, pre-order it here.
Words by Steven Ward
Listen to “On The Run” the new single from Kelela below!