Obey City‘s latest single Airy featuring Kelela‘s too-perfect voice is a slow, heart-burning track. Earlier this year, the dream-weaving producer Sam Obey released his Merlot Sounds EP, a six-track tour-de-force in tempo-shift and 80s synth revival.
Airy is, in my opinion, a master piece. The song meanders about in this nostalgic, rich-with-feeling way. Kelela’s vocals float about as she sings, “I made it hard…It’s your move, I’ll be here for a while, so take your time.” Between each verse 80s-heavy synthesisers pulse above a scattered but intricate beat.
The Melissa Matos-directed video is marvellous. Pixellated 90s-like visuals swell and shrink as the frame tracks back and forth; fragments of text appear in dispersions across a low lit mis-en-scene. The whole thing is a glorious pastiche. As Kelela sings, a statement reads, “The action is printed, diluted, and generally circumvents the events.” Another proclaims: “It’s not as important as it feels”. Its all well crafted; tender lyrics sit in artful juxtaposition against the vague poetry in a beautiful and thought-provoking exchange.
Make sure that you listen out for Kelela, whose debut mixtape Cut 4 Me got a physical reissue recently. She will be releasing a debut LP at some point in this year. If it is anything like what we have already experienced, then prepare yourself for the resurrection of thick-with-sex R&B.