New Music Monday: “Lately” EP by Celeste

Lately, I’ve been enjoying the smooth sounds of Celeste.

Lately is the fourth studio project from Celeste. I was intrigued from the start. Her cover for this newest EP has a raw, unapologetic beauty. Musically, my first love is anything R&B so I tend to be hyper-critical of people entering this genre. That said, with her first vocalized note I was immediately in love. I listened to this project so many times I am pretty sure that Spotify has questioned my sanity. I am in love with anyone who can master minor notes (which, I can tell you being a singer is not an easy thing to do). So, with her first minor rift I secretly proposed to her and we are now happily married in another life. I listened to this EP any chance that I could get and honestly, if you are a fan of R&B music with a heavy emphasis on Neo-Soul and Jazz I would IMPLORE you to discover the sounds of Celeste. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

I chose these 3 of the 5 songs on this EP because they differ the most and it gives a bit more variety to her sound and message.

 

Lately (title track)

Lately, the title track from Celeste’s latest EP, is the perfect song to name this whole project after. The artist makes minor notes sound effortless and, as any real singer knows, that is far from the truth. Not only does she captivate her audience with her vocals but she couples it with lyrics that encapsulates the very essence of heartbreak. All throughout the song you hear nothing but raw emotion. This is the type of song that you sit back and listen to while you are eating ice-cream and ugly crying in day old pajamas. After listening to this song it left me wondering, “Who hurt you sis?” This was a great introduction to the world of Celeste.

Both sides of the moon

I can understand why this song is so critically acclaimed. This is, by far, my favorite track on the whole EP. “Our love is tainted by the tide, both sides of the moon.”  That line in itself has so much metaphorical and symbolic content, my goodness. This is a different subject matter. To me it hints at infidelity and catering to a need that is not being met by a partner. She makes it sound so sweet but the underlying meaning of the lyrics are damning.

Ugly Thoughts

The opening rifts of the alto saxophone calmed my very spirit. Great instrumental openings with musical substance is hard to come by. The fact that the opening notes told a whole story in itself is impressive as well as admirable. Most artist are focused on the popularized opinion and sound but Celeste, right off the bat, stays true to her core artistry. To add insult to injury, she had the nerve to follow along vocally to the same exact saxophone notes that previously snatched my edges. If I wasn’t hooked on her sound now, this song did it for me. I believe this song is the pre-cursor to lately. This song talks about what every woman goes through at least one time in their life, questioning why they stay in a relationship that is not healthy for either party. The breaks and ends of the song are a familiar piano rift that is heard in the song “My first love” sang by Keke Wyatt and Avant, which I find ironic. A song that talked about ending a potentially toxic relationship breaks and ends on such a sweet note. Genius.

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She sounds like a mix between H.E.R and Amy Winehouse which is a combination that I have not heard yet. I am in love with her vocal ascetic and I cannot wait to hear more from her. A voice as magnificent as hers should be able to be celebrated no matter what your mood. Celeste is amazing and her vocal control, quality, and tone is perfection. I see big things in the future for her and I, for one, will be waiting right there ready.