New In Town: Kadhja Bonet

Kadhja Bonet claims in her biography that she was "born in 1784 in the backseat of a sea-foam green space pinto", and though she sounds every bit like the extraterrestrial, Bonet isn't 'phoning it home' when it comes to the music she creates for us humanoids.

Bonet began charting her invasion when she dropped her debut single, "Tears For Lamont" last year. Falling somewhere between the plush Brazilian-soul of Gal Costa and a string and French horn-laden theme song to a James Bond flick, "Tears For Lamont" made clear effort of Bonet's skill on the violin as well as her ability to wield a poetic line or two as her dove-like vocals warmly introduced us to her brand of orchestral soul.

Continuing on the flight plan, Bonet became a participant at the 2014 Red Bull Music Academy sessions in Tokyo, and with space mates, German DJ rj and Australian producer, Mark Maxwell, the trio concocted the gravity defying synth funk bop, "Late Night Munchies", further charting new sound territory.

Whether she's doing making a detour down an uncharted road by covering 21st Century's "Remember The Rain" with haunting flair, or trekking familiar ground in brand new moonboots on Beatles classic, there is something quite 'now' about how Bonet approaches her sound, even when she's reaching back into time. The first song that pulled me into her orbit was the haunting "Honeycomb" off of her just released debut EP, The Visitor. It was one of those songs that felt familiar, as it pegged its sound on a warm, melodic 1960s soul swell with Bonet's voice pillow soft and soothing, dripping slow and easy over the sticky cells of strings and percussion, and yet it was done in such a way that it glistened fresh, exciting, and effortlessly modern.

Though she herself has an interesting way of looking at her music, once describing to Moovment that she wants her music to evoke the feeling as if "you’re eating coconut cream pies while walking through a lush field full of cow poo", Bonet, to me, clearly evokes mysticism and dark galactic intrigue, intrigue that feels as if she waltzed right out of another dimension a la Twilight Zone, but also found herself basked in the blue lights of a jazz-soul hideaway.

The baroque psychedelia of "Fairweather Friend" and "Gramma Honey" in all of its loving inkiness, ring like Charles Stepney concoctions, with their soft vocal beds, and wild, climactic instrumental clusters. The Visitor does in parts sound like a lost project from the days when Minnie Riperton led Rotary Connection with a bit of acidic sweetness, but this sista from another planet has her own crystal vision towards something borrowed and something new, and it's truly an exciting mix.

Cosmic origins aside, Kadhja Bonet is a bewitching discovery that will, with one listen, make all the stars and signs align.

Kadhja Bonet
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