In Review

Leven Kali Releases Liberating New Project, 'LET IT RAIN EP' [EP Review]

@oliviamcdowell

Leven Kali is one of those compelling new artists that remind us of the cyclical nature of the music industry, the ability for genres to be revived and reinvented. Rather than sampling from firmly established sounds, Kali has a gift for taking familiar genres and mixing them to the point of liberal originality. For the Santa Monica producer and singer, the release of his new EP, LET IT RAIN EP, acknowledged just that. Merging 80s R&B, funk, and house music his most recent release is an eclectic rebirth of sounds old and new.  

Shedding what no longer serves you is the essence of embracing change. For Kali, personal connection comes and goes but what makes us human is our ability to let go and capitalize on our own energy and healing. The first song of the EP, "LET IT RAIN," communicates this liberating expression of reawakening, the bounce of the R&B instrumental and croon of Kali’s upper register producing the easygoing air of the track’s message. The incorporation of house music throughout his tracks is one of the most unpredictable yet fitting sounds of his EP. Using house music's pervasive grip on the music industry, Kali uses its signature pulse and beat to add an encouraging surge of energy into his unbinding lyrics, singing “let it rain, let it go, all the pain that you hold.”

Following "LET IT RAIN," "MELTING/HAD 2" is where we hear the 80s funk and R&B come into play, moving and fusing with Kali’s soulful cadence. Manifesting new energies, a sexual awakening, and the freeing connection of vibing with someone new, by the end of the song Kali is fully moving to the flow of his own creative synergy pushing us all to do the same.

In a smooth transition, the next two songs guide the EP into its most impressive delivery with "TEARS OF JOY" and "EEK." Expanding his deeply infectious vocals, Kali shines on Tears of Joy, expressing his most vulnerable self, yearning for the one he loves, and merging two generations of R&B funk sounds. While "TEARS OF JOY" is a seductive record with a modern twist on Marvin Gaye-inspired harmonies, "EEK" is where Kali seems to come to his senses admitting that while love is real and painful, walking away is sometimes a blessing in disguise. Compiling house, retro R&B, and funk sounds, the Cali artist challenges the concept of the ‘genre,' making its categorical nature almost obsolete.

As a rising artist, Leven Kali is already making his mark within the industry. Production and writing credits on Beyonce’s RENAISSANCE propelled him to the forefront while his own releases continue to distinguish him among various talents.

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