Thu, March 1
Doors: 7:00 pm9:30 Club
Kelela - (Set time: 9:30 PM)
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 vapour 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 Exhibition and 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."
The process of crafting Take Me Apart embraced the approach of widely collaborative R&B, hip-hop and pop production while roaming a strange and wonderful path. Working with a cast of peers including Arca, Jam City, Kelsey Lu, Terror Danjah, and The xx's Romy Madley-Croft (just to name a few) -- Kelela deconstructs many results of their collaborations and builds them back up into pieces of a cohesive whole, effectively orchestrating these multitudes in aid of her singular vision. "It's this tapestry I've knitted together that attracts different types of listeners and challenges them at the same time, often within the same song.
"That's what I want to bring to my entire catalogue" says Kelela. Testament to this approach, the album opens with a stunning trio of high points from the low-slung mechanized swing of 'Frontline' to the kaleidoscopic splendor of 'Waitin' -- by which point you've been pulled straight into the tale Kelela is weaving, and the warped and chaotic beauty of the title track before dropping into 'Enough' which sounds as if it could have been transmitted from a neon-lit jazz club in Akira's Neo-Tokyo.
The timeless, zero-gravity ballad 'Better' sees Kelela at her most unadorned -- baring her soul to a nameless other over subtly transforming piano and synth textures while first single 'LMK' is all staggering club swagger that manages to span the past 20 years of innovative R&B while still exploring another dimension of possibilities. These songs typify the melding of classic song-craft and inventive production approach at the album's core, but it's here where things take yet another exhilarating turn. 'Truth or Dare' has the brittle snap and vocal twists of a Neptunes track while 'Blue Light' sees Kelela weld her sweeping pleas to the warped sonic palette of Grime, pointing the way forward to a possible future of cybernetic soul.
Now we are swept into the slipstream of a pair of breathtaking Arca collaborations in 'On And On' and the otherworldly grandeur of 'Turn To Dust,' which conjures images of the powerful and iconic diva of Besson's The Fifth Element; and it's a short trip to the unforgettable pneumatic gospel of album closer 'Altadena,' a perfect uroboros link back to 'Frontline' to begin the saga all over again. At this point you're left with the feeling that this trip through Take Me Apart is one you'll be making many more times.
Tiffany Gouché - (Set time: 8:15 PM)
Hailing from Inglewood, CA, singer, songwriter, and producer, Tiffany Gouché, has scaled her way to the forefront of the Soul and R&B scene. Equipped with her full-bodied melodies, Tiffany’s Pillow Talk EP (2015) and dual single release “Dive” (2017) turned the industry on their ears with a robust epilogue of audacious tales—garnering Gouché praise and accolades from music’s elite.
Described by Billboard as purely heartfelt and soul-warming, the knob-twiddling multi- instrumentalist has been blazing the scene collaborating, touring and sharing stages with a myriad of artists, including: .Anderson Paak, Solange, Ty Dolla $ign, Jill Scott, Jay Rock, Little Simz, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Kehlani, and Kelela.
Having produced for artists like Lalah Hathaway and SiR, Tiffany Gouché helms a sound that brings an unapologetic authenticity and uniqueness to music. Her nostalgic, yet futuristic- soul takes on a hip-hop flow, while giving room for innovation in the form of R&B.
Anyone that has ever experienced Tiffany Gouché will testify that she knows no ceilings both on and off stage. The FADER explains how "her lyrics about thrilling rendezvous and sticky situations feel up-close and multi-dimensional." To no surprise, in 2017, Tiffany toured over 50 dates globally, including 12 shows throughout Europe. This year, Tiffany sold out her headlined return to London, and was warmly received at her debut headline in Berlin (Germany).
Most recently lending vocals and productions to 5x GRAMMY Award winner Lalah Hathaway for Ms. Hathaway’s Honestly album (2017), Tiffany has not only been able to create a sound of her own but more notably a sound that is sought after by some of our most respected legends. Tiffany was also featured on the GRAMMY-nominated album, Velvet Portraits, by longtime collaborator, Terrace Martin.
Tiffany plans to release her debut LP this year, and it is self-evident that it will only raise her stock as a triple-threat and a performer.
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Washington, DC, 20001