A few months back, compelling R&B singer Kadhja Bonet returned from the wilderness with “For You”, a sultry 80s synth-pop burner which took the singer down exciting new paths never before trod. To flesh out the vision, Bonet has now released the “Many Selves Version” of the song and an accompanying music video, on Ninja Tune. The veteran UK label looks to be a perfect fit for her, allowing complete creative freedoms and well versed in giving the green light to an artist’s most random impulses. After having to indulge Machinedrum’s twisted whims, I would imagine anything else seems like a hazy dream of mutual co-operation.
The “Many Selves Version” of “For You” is far more in keeping with Kadhja Bonet’s previous output than the original, bringing warm, soulful instrumentation in to replace the synths and spandex to euphoric effect. While the emotive vocals contrasted nicely with the coolly dispassionate beat on the mother song, in the new version the vocals are allowed to soar and swoop to express enough longing to bring an elite unit to their knees. A paean to the search for true love will remain relatable while our souls still thrive, and a song like “For You” serves as a handy reminder that there still remains some purity under the murky waters of international commerce, though the lyrics don’t explicitly address the murky waters of international commerce. By the time the saxophone solo glides in, the emotional pay-off is complete and the most ardent sociopath will be pining for lost love like the rest of us.
The video for the song is beautifully understated, beginning with Kadhja Bonet pulling some exceptional retro dance moves on a stage in the middle of the woods in a glorious green ensemble which merges playfully with the surrounding foliage. Throughout the video, it must be said, the colour palettes are entirely on point. The muted pastels and mourning tones complement each other with a shared goal of yanking some heartstrings. Intermittently throughout the video, Bonet is duetting with another version of herself, hence the “Many Selves Version”. This adds a layer of meaning to the track, perhaps transforming it into a treatise on self-care, finding the version of yourself that seems lost. Either way, this version of “For You” has allowed the track to hit those hard-to-reach feels in a lingering and meaningful way. This quality of music from Kadhja Bonet on a label as reputable as Ninja Tune can only be good news for fans of celestial yearning and huge collars, which should be everyone. Buy “For You (Many Selves Version)” here and check her profile on Ninja Tune for news on future releases.