Natasha Kmeto is an electronic producer with a powerhouse, slightly jazz-influenced voice; live, the Portland-based musician sings, plays keybs, and programs synth patterns (or whatever!) on her rig at the same time, flexing her prodigious talent and melding dancefloor fealty with raw soul.
It’s been two years since Kmeto’s last album, Crisis, on which she explored techno with the instinct of a born Berliner, laying down throaty, ghostly vocal tracks over isolated, often minimal clicks and bass. In the interim, she’s been traveling the outer reaches of the festival circuit and touring with TV on the Radio, only now coming up for air. On September 18, she’ll release Inevitable (Dropping Gems), the follow-up album on which she, according to a press release, “explores her relationship with her partner and the self-actualization of her own queer identity” as well as a “range of emotions within that exploration” that “speak to universal human experiences.”
Here, we’re debuting “Come and Say,” the first single from the Inevitable LP. It’s both bolder and brighter than she’s ever been, as she leans deep into the synth funk, her vocals sounding like big, confident strides. The chorus goes, “Won’t you come and say, won’t you come and say, won’t you come and say that you won’t go,” but it’s less of a question than a declaration—both Kmeto and the “you” in question know nobody’s going nowhere, at the very least because they’re enthralled by the killer tom hits and Alan Howarth-style movie synths. “Come and Say” is dancefloor-built but it’s also closer towards a pop anthem than Kmeto’s ever gotten, insofar that a pop anthem can sound like a psychedelic ride into an oscillator. (More remarkably: as more and more synth-heavy R&B artists submerge their vocals into a wispy, trap etherium to the point of dissolving into nothingness, it’s nice to hear someone uninterested in obscuring her voice.) As ever, Kmeto’s impressive and has an easy knack for jams—Inevitable should show just how fiercely she’s been whittling her craft.
Inevitable drops September 18 on Dropping Gems.
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Image via Patti Miller.