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WARP RECORDS

With great anticipation, Kelela's debut album emerges as an epic portrait of an artist spanning the past and future of R&B. In her hands, however, the genre knows no boundaries and so Take Me Apart exists as an absolutely singular and fearless addition to a canon of recent classics. From her very earliest work, honesty and vulnerability have been cornerstones of Kelela's art - even when clad in the armor of the avant-garde electronics she so deftly inhabits - and Take Me Apart sees her double down on both the emotional intensity and resonance of her message as well as the sonic seeking she is renowned for.

On 2015's acclaimed Hallucinogen EP, Kelela swept listeners along in the rush of ecstasy and the melancholic vapor trail of a hopeful, but ultimately doomed liaison. Hallucinogen would prove to be a turning point, and The New York Times would name it's single, "Rewind", one of the "25 Songs That Tell Us Where Music Is Going". The EP's oversized impact would ignite a period of kinetic worldwide live shows culminating in Kelela crisscrossing the globe on tour with The xx. In parallel with this, 2016 and early 2017 would see Kelela grace a handful of crucial records as a feature vocalist - from longtime ally Solange's majestic A Seat At The Table, to Danny Brown's immense Atrocity Exhibitionand most recently, the star-studded Humanz from Gorillaz. These appearances would be tantalizing signs leading the way to Take Me Apart.

Amplifying the ideas explored on Hallucinogen, here Kelela treats relationships and their effects like a Matryoshka doll, unveiling layer after layer to find herself at the center. Expressing an honest vision of how we navigate dissolving ties with each other and yet remain sanguine for the next chance at love, the emotional ricochet is traced across the album's narrative. Take Me Apart stands not only as an intensely personal chronicle, but also a defiant and turbulent statement direct from Kelela; "Despite it being a personal record, the politics of my identity informs how it sounds and how I choose to articulate my vulnerability and strength. I am a black woman, a second-generation Ethiopian-American, who grew up in the 'burbs listening to R&B, Jazz and Björk. All of it comes out in one way or another."

STAFF COMMENTS

Barry says: Heartfelt synthy soul, modern beatplay and smooth-as-silk vocal melodies, this is modern R&B at it's very finest. Intricate, evolving and brilliantly written odes.

FORMAT INFORMATION

2xColoured LP Info: 2LP transparent vinyl in paper inners and printed gatefold sleeve, 8 page lyric booklet (7" folded size) and 6 panel fold out poster (12” folded size)

One of the world’s most celebrated alternative bands return with the bold and breathtaking follow-up to their international breakthrough record.

Grizzly Bear will follow their US Top 10 and UK Top 25 breakthrough record ‘Veckatimest’ with ‘Shields’, a bold yet textured masterpiece.

The album comes as a result of the band writing and recording in a more cohesive way than ever before, delivering anthemic singles (‘Yet Again’, ‘Speak In Rounds’) and stunning orchestral climaxes (‘Sun In Your Eyes’) across the space of its ten tracks.

Asked which tunes on ‘Shields’ belong to which songwriter, every member balks and explains that, for the first time, these are actually full-band numbers. Both in process and product, this is Grizzly Bear as they’ve never been. The words come matched by a sound that is more passionate than proper, a quality earned by spending less time on the perfect take than on the proper feeling. “This has a different energy behind it,” concludes Ed Droste (vocals). “‘Veckatimest’ was a little more of a polite album; the desire to keep the vocals smooth might have kept a little distance between us and the audience. This one feels a bit more rough and exposed, so that on ‘Shields’, everything speaks for itself.”

STAFF COMMENTS

Martin says: The ornately wrought ironwork of "Veckatimest" was always going to be a very tough act to follow, but, in my humble opinion, Grizzly Bear have quietly surpassed it with "Shields". The rhythmic twists and turns are still there, as are the intricately crafted, angular song structures and Ed Drost’s aching vocal harmonies; but if in its predecessor’s overreaching ambition emotion and overall direction were occasionally lost, with "Shields" the expression has been honed, and to an exquisite degree. Grizzly Bear are the sum of divergent parts and that’s reflected in their complex, hard to pin down sound – if you need references (and they are loose) then, maybe Jeff Buckley’s muscular anguish and the melodic end of Animal Collective might serve. Best not to take my word for it though, investigate them for yourself; there’s a very, very good chance you’ll find it worth the effort.


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