After a four-year hiatus, Kelela has officially made her highly anticipated return. Yesterday (Sept. 14), the songstress released her brand new single, “Washed Away.” The song also arrives with a mesmerising music video directed by Yasser Abubeker, which takes place in the northern part of Ethiopia’s Afar region, specifically the Danakil Depression. Viewers are able to indulge in stunning scenes of Kelela on mountain tops, flowing with ocean waves, and letting the wind blow against her skin. Over some airy production by Yo van Lenz, Kelela delivers her poetic lyrics as she becomes one with nature’s elements:
Far away, far away, far away, washed away, the mist, the light, the dust that settles the night/ The hope, the longing, fade away, blurry-eyed, riding out on metal rays, moving on, a change of pace/ And I’m far away, far away, washed away, away, way
Considering she has not released music in so long, Kelela wanted to make sure she was extra intentional about how she came back onto the scene. “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 said of “Washed Away” in a statement. “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. This song is the soundtrack to the relief we find after going inward.”
Kelela’s last body of work was her debut album Take Me Apart, which made landfall back in 2017. Since then, she has also released an EP of remixes in 2018.
Be sure to press play on Kelela’s brand new “Washed Away” music video down below.