Kadhja Bonet’s 2016 album Childqueen is a uniquely ethereal experience. Neither pop nor alternative, the album flows sublimely from the melancholic to the upbeat, from lyrical to instrumental. The actual singing is at times overpowered by the instrumental aspects, but I still highly recommend this album as a chill ambience backdrop for a variety of listening environments.
The Visitor features the pleasant instrumental overtures overlaid on a subtle, bassy beat. I personally loved the “Earth Birth” track of this album which is based in a half-mythical atmosphere. Also, how can we forget the most popular track “HoneyComb” which broke all the records.
Kadhja stays pretty mum – if not a little mysterious – about her own life story. She insists that her audience convene with her on imaginative and musical planes, instead of through byword associations with any scene or venue, be it in Los Angeles or on the beaches of Rio De Janeiro. What we do learn and should know about Kadhja is her early and formal training in classical music quarters, where she mastered violin and viola, learned flute and guitar, and gained the sharp compositional talents that frame every note and curve of The Visitor.
All writing and arrangement— except for the Jaco Pastorius melody put to her words on Portrait of Tracy— is entirely of Kadhja’s creation. While calling in friends like Te’amir Yohannes Sweeney for drums, as well as Low Leaf, Peter Dyer, Randal Fisher, and Itai Shapira for harp, synth, flute, and bass, Bonet still plays a good half of the instruments herself, including guitar, violin, flute, and the backup vocals that fill up the skies of her music. Kadhja also produced The Visitor, though with much of its mixing and engineering handled by her assistant producer Itai Shapira, one of the few souls trusted behind the curtains of her musical process.
The Visitor is an opus unpolluted by the mixed advice or overproductions that plague other albums. It plays through like one individual’s lucid dream in what is sometimes an all-too-dreamless musical landscape. Once we hear it, we recognize it as something that’s been harder and harder to find in the last thirty or forty years, though so badly missed. Kadhja has humbly learned from her predecessors while following their signs ever forward.”
Overall, I found The Visitor an exceptional album. It’s truly an opus unpolluted by the mixed advice that plague other albums. I give it 4.2/5 stars and am very much looking forward to Bonet’s next release.
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Written and Arranged by Kadhja Bonet
Produced by Kadhja Bonet
Assistant-Produced by Itai Shapira