Virginia singer-songwriter Lora Kelley released her newest album, Domystique on June 10th, and it is packed with sentimental and nostalgic undertones that are supported wonderfully by her beautiful vocals.
The album is both reflective and mature as Kelley navigates the waters of being a mother as well as growing as a woman while she goes through life’s unpredictable events.
The album, while cohesive in sound, contains songs that bring a new element to the album with each listen. For instance, in her single “Beautiful That Way” she shares her journey of growing up and embracing that she is not who she was at a younger age; she notes how she does not wish to look like the woman that she was in the past or to be beautiful that way. This track is incredibly empowering as she dissects and discredits the various standards society sets on women to fit into one version of “beautiful”.
The single, “Mama’s Kitchen,” adds a southern flair and charm to the album. Kelley celebrates motherhood in this song and goes in detail about the things the mother referenced in the song does to make life a bit more magical. From cooking delicious food, to giving everyone a place to relax and put their troubles behind them, a mother’s kitchen is truly a haven for all in this song. It is a whimsical and fun track with a sentimental message, and the highlight of strings in the instrumental really ties it all together.
The very current song, “In Time,” discusses the difficulty of life which was put on pause due to the pandemic, but notes how in due time, everyone will be able to gather once again. There is a certain beauty to this song as Kelley encourages her listeners to look forward to the feeling of togetherness that everyone has been missing. Her light vocals and optimistic lyrics make this song a favorite from the album.
“In Time” goes hand in hand with the single, “Waking Dream,” as they both touch on the unpredictability of life. Kelley compares her plans for life to roots being ripped from the ground, and the song encompasses her at a time when she felt like she was in an alternate reality in her own life. “Waking Dream” is soft and intimate with impactful lyrics that many listeners can relate to.
The marriage of the album’s playful sound and its meaningful and mature messages contrast each other in the best way. Listening through the album all the way through is a delight, and you can find yourself reflecting on your own life while listening to the songs. Kelley encapsulates the beauty of life and womanhood in Domystique, and her talent as both a singer and songwriter are reflected tremendously in her work.