Kadhja Bonet has a soulful singing voice that sounds like it’s from the distant past. The rest of her debut album, The Visitor, is like from a semi-utopian future, with a vast array of instruments (many of them played by Bonet herself) forming colorful, psychedelic musical landscapes. The Visitor‘s retro-futuristic vibe reminds me of parts of Janelle Monae’s The Archandroid with its combination of classical soul and legitimate weirdness.
The Visitor doesn’t quite match that album’s ambition and sprawl; it clocks in at a short 27 minutes and mostly sticks to the same style of song, with cinematic orchestral productions backing Bonet’s unique voice. It’s all very smooth and pleasant to listen to, while also being inscrutable and strange — a small, intriguing work that feels like it’s setting the stage for something larger.