Kelela has returned with ‘Washed Away’, her first original single since she released her debut album, 2017’s ‘Take Me Apart’.
‘Washed Away’ is an airy, slow-moving cut that foregrounds her impassioned vocal delivery with woozy, gliding synths. “I love a banger, but for the first point of contact out of my hiatus, it felt more honest to lead with an ambient heart-check,” she explained in an accompanying statement.
The song arrives alongside a video directed by Yasser Abubeker, which sees Kelela in the Danakil Depression in Ethiopia. “I specifically want to speak to marginalized Black folk and highlight the work we do to find renewal in a world that’s built to make us feel inadequate,” she added. “This song is the soundtrack to the relief we find after going inward.”
Watch the video for ‘Washed Away’ below:
Since ‘Take Me Apart’ arrived in 2017, Kelela has been relatively quiet. She released a remix album, ‘Take Me a_Part, the Remixes’, in 2018, featuring production from the likes of Kaytranada and Serpentwithfeet, and guest vocals from Princess Nokia, Junglepussy, CupcakKe and Ms. Boogie on the remix of ‘LMK (What’s Really Good’).
Kelela has also featured on other artists’ tracks in recent years. She featured on Gorillaz‘ ‘Humanz’ track ‘Submission’ in 2017 alongside Danny Brown, and in 2018, appeared on a remix of Girl Unit’s ‘WYWD’. Prior to that, in 2016, she appeared on Solange‘s ‘Scales’, Brown’s ‘From The Ground’ and Clams Casino‘s ‘A Breath Away’.