Fatherland presents a facet of Kele we haven't heard before - the singer/songwriter. Embracing a much more organic – even classic – sonic palette, the album straddles delicate folk ("Streets Been Talkin'"), sumptuous soul ("Do U Right"), and insidious, dub reggae-meets-Weimar cabaret ("You Keep On Whispering His Name"). It also features the breahtaking "Yemaya," released earlier this year, and produced by Bloc Party-bassist Justin Harris in Portland, Oregon with expert musicians largely drawn from Portland’s underground music scene.
“I was listening a lot to Elliott Smith’s Either/Or, Pink Moon by Nick Drake, Blue by Joni Mitchell, and the Al Green album, Still in Love With You,” says Kele. “Writing these songs and expressing these words and feelings, it’s something that’s vital for me. I’m recognising I’m entering into a different part of my life."
Kele’s lyrics are, as ever, perceptive and nakedly personal: a map of his consciousness as he squared up to the prospect of fatherhood – his daughter Savannah was born in December 2016.
“I’m fully conscious that this record is probably going to serve as a document for Savannah of the relationship between her fathers and who we were before she came into our lives,” says Kele. “It feels important for her to see that we don’t have all the answers but we’re trying.”