Celebrate Queer Black Womanhood With Kelela’s Latest Album “Raven”


Are you ready to discover your all-new favorite album?

Kelela, one of the most innovative artists of the moment, has recently released her latest album titled “Raven.” This stunning fusion of contemporary R&B and progressive electronic music is a celebration of queer black womanhood, showcasing Kelela’s exceptional talent as both a vocalist and a producer. With heated dance music, lush soundscapes, and lyrics that uplift and inspire, “Raven” is a must-listen for anyone who appreciates innovative, boundary-pushing music. Keep reading to learn more about Kelela’s most recent album and its powerful message.

Kelela’s Innovative Blend Of Soul, Electronic, And Pop Music

Kelela in Washed Away music video.

Kelela is a pioneer and innovative force in R&B, known for boldly blending soul, electronic, and pop influences. The American queer singer and songwriter made her debut in 2013 with the release of her mixtape “Cut 4 Me,” and has since released critically acclaimed singles, and a debut album, “Take Me Apart.” Kelela’s ability to synthesize contemporary R&B and progressive electronic music enables her to create tracks suitable for both clubs and intimate listening.

Paying Homage To Queer And Black Artists

American queer singer and songwriter Kelela in On The Run music video.

Furthermore, Kelela is a proud representative of the LGBTQ+ community. She creates music that pays homage to queer and black artists who invented house music and popularized dance floors as settings for freedom and safety. As a pioneer in this scene, she creates music for herself and her communities without seeking to prove anything to anyone. Kelela is a model of pride and inspiration for queer communities and artists around the world, encouraging a community where one can be themselves without fear.

Moving on from Kelela’s impact on the LGBTQ+ community and her admiration for queer and black artists, her latest album “Raven” showcases her exceptional music style and introspective mindset.

“Raven”: An Impressive Album That Deserves To Be Heard

Kelela's Raven album cover.

Kelela’s latest record is a masterpiece that transports you into a magical and mysterious world. The album showcases Kelela’s evolution as an artist over the years while remaining true to her unique sound. She focuses on imagery of water, mist, rain, and stormy clouds and uses these elements to create a dreamy ambiance. Water is a recurring motif representing joy, expansion, and self-care. It’s described as a cathartic, baptismal experience. The album cover shows Kelela emerging or immersing herself in water, symbolizing her journey of self-exploration and rebirth by embracing water's fluid nature.

Also, what’s interesting about this album is the way Kelela maintains a certain distance between you and her. This emotional distance may seem negative at first, but in reality, it creates an environment to explore their emotions.

Furthermore, the album highlights Kelela’s impressive vocal skills, as she conveys strong emotions through her complex phrasing and tender ad-libs. This is particularly evident on tracks like “Washed Away,” “Fooley,” and “Far Away,” and it’s what sets “Raven” apart from her previous album.

Overall, thoughtful lyrics and captivating production make “Raven” stand out from other releases of the year. It's an impressive album that deserves to be listened to fully appreciate Kelela’s vocal richness.

Dive Into Kelela’s Latest Album “Raven”

Kelela sitting on a windowsill.

Embark on a journey of self-discovery with Kelela as she explores complex themes of identity, love, resilience, grief, healing, vulnerability, and joy. With her unique blend of dance music and ambient soundscapes, she takes you on a heartfelt and emotional journey, revealing her personal and artistic growth.

As you immerse yourself in Kelela’s latest album, you’ll discover fifteen tracks that take stand out as a genuine tribute to centering queer black womanhood.

“Raven” is a true testament to her ability to innovate and capture her audience, exemplified by the powerful tracks you can listen to below. (The player may take a few seconds to load).

As you listen to each track on “Raven,” you will be drawn into a world of moving melodies and inspiring lyrics.

“Washed Away” And “On The Run”

Kelela’s ability to build tension and create moments of liberation centered on queer black femininity is evident from the album’s singles, “Washed Away” and “On The Run.” These tracks set the tone for a transformative listening experience that takes you on a journey of self-discovery. With her storytelling prowess, Kelela creates compelling stories within her music, leaving listeners eager to hear more. “On The Run” notably relies on a dancehall groove, accentuated by the singer’s seductive come-ons, further exemplifying Kelela’s ability to captivate her audience through her unique blend of sounds.

“Let It Go”

“Let It Go” is a powerful anthem that encourages listeners to move on from past relationships.

“Missed Call”

“Missed Call” is a catchy track that revives breakbeats and catchy guitars reminiscent of 90s clubs. The song explores the fear of taking action.


“Contact” combines Kelela’s delicate melodies with a gritty jungle rhythm and distorted synths.


“Fooley” is a touching ode to self-care.


The album title, emphasizing Kelela’s independence and resilience, is reinforced by the title track that immediately captivates with its striking synth touches. The lyrics, which speak of death as a reinvention, possess great emotional depth. The singer gracefully and intensely questions her feelings, leaving a lasting impression. With lyrics like “A raven is reborn / They tried to break her / There’s nothing here to mourn,” Kelela expresses her strength and determination while reminding those who wronged her that she won’t easily be broken. The song reaches its climax in its ecstatic, liberating, and exhilarating breakdown that channels a profound power.


Tension and release are also at the core of the album, particularly in the beautiful song “Sorbet.” This slow-motion ode to lust exudes an ethereal quality with its airy vocals and swirling rhythm.

A Diverse Range Of Musicians Helped Kelela Bring Her Vision To Life

Kelela with Yo van Lenz and Florian T M Zeisig.

Kelela collaborated with a diverse range of musicians to bring her vision to life. She joined forces with prominent talents like Asmara of Nguzunguzu, LSDXOXO, Bambii, Kaytranada, and Junglepussy.

She Worked With Rahrah Gabor On “Closure”

This collaboration is remarkable as Gabor’s verse brings renewed energy and dynamism to the album.

With The Duo Oca On “Divorce” And “Holier”

Kelela also partnered with the duo OCA, Yo van Lenz and Florian T M Zeisig (pictured above), to create a serene atmosphere, drawing inspiration from her previous 2019 mixtape, “Aquaphoria.” Their sparse and abstract soundscapes can be heard in songs like “Divorce,” co-written by Shygirl and Janiva Ellis, and “Holier.” “Holier” features Kelela’s unwavering vocals infused with determination as she finds comfort in her community during tough times, emphasizing detachment from those who seek to bring her down. In contrast, “Divorce” uses moody synths and a buzzing bassline as a cave-like backdrop to Kelela’s tender vocal performance, conveying personal reflections with delicate vulnerability.

If you’re interested in experiencing Kelela's full vocal range, be sure to check out “Raven” in its entirety.

Buy Or Stream “Raven” By Kelela

“Raven” is available for purchase in physical and digital formats on Kelela’s official website, as well as on streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music. You can also buy or stream the album from various online retailers, including Amazon Music and Bandcamp.

Connect With Kelela’s Creative Universe: Follow Her On Social Media

But the fun doesn’t stop with listening to “Raven.” If you’re curious to dive into Kelela's creative universe, follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. There, you can peek into her music-making, influences, and daily musings.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this mesmerizing piece of work. Have a favorite song or moment that speaks to you? Share your opinion in the comments below.

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Wednesday, 24 July 2024