Kele - The Hunter

You get the feeling maybe this is the type of music Kele should always have been making.

Label: Wichita

Rating: 7

Following the soap opera of whether he is or isn’t still the lead singer of Bloc Party (and, for that matter, whether that whole situation was created just to get people talking ahead of the release of this EP), it’s time to see if Kele’s new material is worth the talking about on its own merits.

The answer is yes, if not a resounding yes. After the release of ‘The Boxer’, Kele continues his attempt to lay claim to all traditionally masculine roles with ‘The Hunter’ (contenders for his next album title include ‘The Brickie’ or ‘The Mechanic’). It sees Kele complete his journey from indie rock miserabalist to dubstep, floorfilling… miserabilist.

For the most part, this is an EP of arms aloft, triumphant club bangers - of someone comfortable with their voice and with their sound. And, for someone seemingly so unsure about stating who they are, I never thought I’d say that about a Kele EP.

From the opening big beat laden synths of the ‘What Did I Do?’ you realise this is a continuation of the template he laid out on ‘The Boxer’. ‘What Did I Do?’ is almost mainstream dance - accessible and catchy it features snare drum, breaks and a slick dubstep bassline with Lucy Taylor’s vocals seemingly taken from a daytime Radio 1 dance song. In a good way.

‘Release Me’ continues the good times - musically if not lyrically – building on a swirling piano beat, woozy chorus which builds into a rousing climax. A pretty faithful - and pretty - cover of Q Lazzarus’ ‘Goodbye Horses’ adds more propulsive synths while keeping the sensibilities and the heart of the original.

‘Cable’s Goodbye’ and ‘Love As A Weapon’ see the EP flag, it’s where Kele falls between dance and overwrought sentimentality. Where his plaintive voice adds depth to the other songs here his way with a clunky lyric rears its ugly head as well, though the regal brass on ‘Cable’ nearly makes everything OK.

Thankfully ‘You Belong To Someone Else’ saves the best for last. It’s a joyous, effervescent celebration; with styles intertwining and bouncing off each other. Despite the title Kele sounds as happy as sunshine and as the African rhythms weave their way in, the rave horns blast out and the ‘hey hey heys’ wash over you get the feeling maybe this was the type of music Kele should always have been making.