‘LMK’ is the musical equivalent of a booty call — it offers a brief flash of intimacy while avoiding leaving a deep emotional cavern in your life. Kelela’s songs have always had a certain minimalism to them, mostly taking the form of vocals atop what are essentially hip-hop beats. Her voice isn’t interacting with complex jazz-indebted chord sequences but mechanic percussion and heavy bass. You focus on surface level beauty, the thrill of her syrupy voice interacting with those inhuman machines. It’s the beauty of sex that promises nothing else; physicality detached from meaning.
Kelela‘s ‘LMK’ is like the beauty of sex that promises nothing else; physicality detached from meaning.
As far as Kelela tracks go, this is one of the most physically impressive. It does what each of her songs do by presenting little more than atmosphere, bass and drums but each of those elements is sharpened and focused. It establishes a dense air of intrigue enough to reel in even those most puritanically opposed to R&B’s sultry siren-calls. This might be a hook-up but it’s one you’ll be thinking about for a long time.