Kay Soul
One Nation Under God Records (release date: August 19, 2022)

By Robert M. Marovich

“It’s all about connections,” Chicago-based singer and model Kay Soul states in the opening moments of Connections. From there, the six-track EP explores the cycle of the human bond—from association to lack of linkage to re-association.

Featuring the retro sound of a modem connecting with the Internet, “Bad Connections” is about the breach in a relationship. Kay lays out the reasons why she feels there is a “stranger in her house.” She  goes further down the spiral of discouragement in “Disconnection,” declaring how broken people lead to mediocre love and thorny hearts. “Lost Connections” puts a philosophical fine point on why individuals lose touch with one another, reminding that some people are in your life for only a season.

“Reconnected” and “Strong Connections” complete the cycle. Here she urges herself and, by extension, the listener, to be the catalyst for reconnection. The latter song, which celebrates the resurrection of a relationship, is the project’s strongest selection in terms of melody, lyric, and emotional impact.

At least from the perspective of this EP, Kay Soul emerges as a far more polished spoken word artist than singer. Her voice is confident and declarative during the spoken parts and rap interstitials, but fragile and  at times pitchy in the sung sections. While the melodies change from track to track, the atmospheric arrangement remains constant throughout the EP.

Though it offers the spiritual empathy and encouragement needed to navigate the complex journey of a relationship, whether it be a friendship or love interest, Connections is not a gospel EP per se. There’s no explicit lyric reference to embracing God or Jesus, or summoning a higher power. Undoubtedly inspired by Kay Soul’s own religious beliefs, the EP more properly belongs in the neo-soul category.

Two of Five Stars

Pick: “Strong Connections”

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Written by : Bob Marovich

Bob Marovich is a gospel music historian, author, and radio host. Founder of Journal of Gospel Music blog (formally The Black Gospel Blog) and producer of the Gospel Memories Radio Show.