kelela-tink-dj-dahi-want-it

Adam Wray only needs two things: good friends and a good flask.

On paper, the Songs From Scratch series sounds like a bad idea – there are so, so many ways for arranged, sneaker-sponsored collaborations to go wrong. You have to hand it to adidas and Yours Truly, though, because the experiment has yielded as many hits as misses. The latest installment has Kelela and Tink trading vocals over a DJ Dahi beat, and it’s right on target.

Dahi is deep in the pocket here, offering skeletal drums, gentle bass swells, and low, purring synths. To call this beat restrained is an understatement – it’s practically the photo negative of “Worst Behaviour,” Dahi’s last hit. With two strong, distinct vocalists on the track, he’s wise to keep it low-key. He leaves Kelela and Tink plenty of room to work and they take full advantage, playing off one another to narrate a bit of infidelity that seems unavoidable. While most girl-on-girl duets pit women against each other (or maybe just this one), Kelela and Tink seem to occupy different parts of the same character’s mind. The song is about indecision and balancing lust against your better judgment, and the two-voice, one-mind dynamic supports those themes. Aesthetically, it’s a home run – Kelela and Tink harmonize beautifully, accentuating without crowding one another. Their back-and-forth on the hook is the vocal equivalent of a no-look pass. It should be noted, too, that Tink crushes her sixteen, pulling the character out of her head and pushing her to make her move.

“Want It” is a master class in matching form to content. It’s also proof positive that if you put three rising stars in the same room, and something good is likely to happen. Now go buy a pair of Stan Smiths.

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