Album of the Day: Kadhja Bonet, “Childqueen Outtakes”

On Childqueen Outtakes, Kadhja Bonet offers a peek into the creation of her recent LP, with three quick and impressive tracks that didn’t make the record’s final cut. Indeed, there’s a sense that she’s working toward something here, yet these songs are no less impactful than those on the excellent Childqueen. If there is a theme to Bonet’s music, it’s that she’s an imperfect being struggling through deep insecurities. This is most evident on “Imposter,” the EP’s thoughtful opening song. “I’m not an artist nor a masterpiece,” she sings pensively. “I’m not a legend nor a gifted bard / I’m not the person that you thought I was.” Though she speaks within the context of art, Bonet taps into the human condition, that no matter how things appear on the surface, self-doubt occupies our private moments.

When “The Watch” rolls around, Bonet ponders the concept of time, gazing wistfully at the past to wonder how it so easily slips away. Amid twinkling chimes and electric piano, she asks, “Does anybody know what happened to yesterday? / It was gone before I nodded.” The song locks into a bright mid-tempo groove by its second half as Bonet calls for the sun. The soulful arrangement, coupled with Bonet’s faint hums, closes the EP on a hopeful note. In the end, Childqueen Outtakes is a victory lap, another delightful listen with the promise of even greater things ahead.

-Marcus J. Moore

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