This Natasha Kmeto article was written by Macon Oxley, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Josh Hummerston. Lead photo by Niki Rhodes
Brooding, dark and fierce, Natasha Kmeto steps out with some real intent on her latest release, the masterful ‘Inevitable’.
Having spoken quite openly about her struggle with her sexual identity, Kmeto makes no bones about the narrative underlining this album. Lyrically, the main themes governing ‘Inevitable’ are that of introspection and self-reflection, offering the listener a brief peak through the window into her life.
The singer, songwriter and producer offers us our first glimpse with the titular ‘Inevitable’. Dark, spacious and minimalistic in its orchestration, the title track delivers a real sense of longing with repeated strains of “when you coming back, baby?” Of course, the minimal electronic instrumentation here is by no means a bad thing. The subtlety of the backing really helps to emphasise the qualities of Kmeto’s voice: powerful, controlled and incredible. Complete with false builds and bold dynamic changes, this opener really feels like a mission statement for what is to come.
Having stated that she “wanted to write the closest thing to a pop record that [she] could”, what follows on is a host of synth-laden upbeat pop-y numbers that wouldn’t sound too out-of-place on a mainstream station, such as Radio 1. That said, there is still a rawness about this album that suggests something more, going further than your run-of-the-mill electronic pop records.
The return to more darker climes on ‘Grind’ really showcases Kmeto’s vocal ability once again. Indeed, one might argue the slower numbers with the more sinister-sounding musical backdrops offer the best canvas for her visceral vocal palette. Coupling this, guest vocals from Tunde Adebimpe present the perfect timbral foil to Kmeto’s more ethereal siren song. Chiming in on the more heavy sections of ‘Grind’, Adebimpe adds a little extra fierceness to that generated by the looming basses and synths.
Subsequent tracks marry that ferocity with heaps of soul, with the album’s progression as seamless as the production. It’s fair to say that ‘Inevitable’ has a much more refined sound to its predecessor, 2013’s ‘Crisis’. However, polished as it may be, this follow-up still houses much of the raw brilliance featured on the former.
Continuing in a cascade of synthetic waves, the listener can easily get lost in the atmosphere of breathy tracks, such as ‘Closer Comes My Love’ and ‘On A String’. Fully immersed in the reflective waters of Natasha Kmeto (something suggested in the artwork), the listener may be excused for feeling an affinity towards the artist as the album reaches its end.
Final track, ‘Your Girl’, signs off with a lamentable sense of unrequited love with the repeated lyric, “I always wanted to be your girl”. Fading off into an ether of swirling reverberated noise, this album, though indeed a complete work, does feel as though it has unfinished business, and definitely leaves the listener wanting to hear more of this powerful sound.
‘Inevitable’ is out now on Dropping Gems.