August 14, 2020


Kiesza – Crave (Zebra Spirit Tribe)

Some folks were just destined to be interesting, to be unique, to be awesome.  From what I can tell, Kiesza is one of those people.

She was born Kiesa Rae Ellestad in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, with a Norwegian grandfather.  She has been a sailing instructor, as well as a member of the reserves of the Royal Canadian Navy.  She suffered from a traumatic brain injury in 2017, from a car accident, and her recovery had her stay in a dark room for six months.  Seriously, go check out her Wikipedia page, as there were several other details that I did not add here.

As a musician, Crave represents her second studio album, with the first one (Sound of a Woman) coming in 2014 – a pretty healthy gap.  It doesn’t seem like she’s missed a beat, however.  This is reminiscent to what “dance music” would have consisted of in the 80s or early 90s.  The title track, as well as “Love Me With Your Life” illustrate the sound the best, but damn near every track has the signature synth and electronic drum beats to some extent.  “Love Never Dies” is another solid track, using a sample that could be “When the Levee Breaks” or something close to it – but it works well regardless.

Kiesza’s smooth vocals help to make this a more enjoyable experience.  There is a heavy level of production and auto-tune at play, but it sounds good – both as a corrective measure and an artistic one.  Lyrically, it’s pretty simplistic, but as I’ve mentioned before, some albums truly need that.  Crave with more complex lyrics would cause there to be a bit too much going on, and the lyrics would get lost in the shuffle.

Overall, Crave was a very good, very unique listen.  Toes were tapped, and fingers were rapped, all throughout the album, thanks to Kiesza’s interesting style.  Hopefully it won’t be another six years for album #3 to drop.

FFO: Robyn, La Roux

-Z.

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