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“Love to the Moon” by Raquel Kiaraa

Smoky and melodically appealing from multiple angles, there’s no debating whether or not the lead vocal Raquel Kiaraa gives up in the song “Love to the Moon” is her debut single’s very best feature. She’s got a raw talent in this track that you don’t have to be a professional critic to appreciate, but for those of us who take independent pop music and its brightest young players seriously, it’s quite the find indeed. Kiaraa’s hypnotic pipes tell us a tale without ever uttering a single word, and in a harmony-centric era for her genre, that could carry her a long way for sure. 

As much as I love this vocal, the swing of the rhythm behind it is just as sexy in a couple of important spots. The chorus pushes her a little harder than she’s ready for right now, but the ascent towards it is simply magical in every way. The beat has a lot of bite, and though she was a bit overambitious in making this single as long as it is, I still think that the overall conceptualism that she’s experimenting with in “Love to the Moon” is worth taking note of (and something we’ll hopefully hear again). 

Although cosmetically well-polished, I must say that the music video for “Love to the Moon” is sadly a forgettable document due to its rather predictable outline. It just feels like an Instagram piece that’s been dolled up to pose as a video rather than an extension of the menacing, forbidding nature of the song itself. The composition has a darker hue than this visual treatment accounts for, but if you’re as fascinated by the mild jazz influences and subtle poeticisms in the track as I am, this won’t matter at all. After all, artists who value substance over flash are hard enough to come by in 2021 as it is. 

I still see a lot of growing up to do ahead of her, but if you asked me who I would stack my chips on among the talented North American rookies emerging from the background this year, Raquel Kiaraa’s name would immediately come to mind. She delivers something that hints at a more profound emotionality than a lot of newcomers to the pop genre are able to grapple with, and in time I think she’s going to cultivate just the right template through which to tell her story (and maybe a little bit of ours as well). 

Mindy McCall 

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