“Dear Jesus” is one more reason to keep listening to Raquel Kiaraa. Last year Kiaraa took the indie music world by surprise with the dashing “Scorpio”, this ballad is equally mesmerizing. A gifted singer and a talented lyricist, Kiaraa’s beaming presence in “Dear Jesus” is something to be admired. Not only has this female singer found her true voice, but she’s able to share it with the world. “Dear Jesus” is poetry in motion and a spellbinding song by any measure.
Relaying to her audience that her world is uncertain, she’s “not sure where to run”, Kiaraa writes and sings of a universal human truth: we all experience moments when nothing seems to be clear. With several religious tropes (“praying for the light”) and the obvious song title, I challenged myself to listen to this as a nonbeliever or atheist. Kiaraa makes it very easy to do so – simply let go and behold her beautiful voice. Between the notes, she has tiny hues of bluesy swaths. You can tell she’s singing from her diaphragm and has been properly trained. Imagine my surprise finding out that she’s very new to singing and songwriting. I’m absolutely floored that she hasn’t been a professional or classically trained singer for her entire life! Her voice has much character, and yet there’s this opening and laissez faire way about it. She’s like a cross between Enya and Grace Potter. Somewhere in the middle, her voice catches wildfire. It’s a slow burn, but a very fiery spirit, nonetheless. So you see there are hints that Kiaraa could be just as comfortable singing a new age piece, as she would a blues rock or Americana track. “Dear Jesus” is Christian contemporary, in my opinion, but could also fall into the pop genre. It’s just great music.
Kiaraa’s piano is gentle and cascades like the morning sun creeping along the coastline. It reaches its crescendo when she hits the higher notes, her natural baritone octave finding its way into the scene. Again, I loved the variance in her voice and put with the piano, it’s a potent mix. This isn’t your normal potpourri of piano music – the breadth of the keys follow along nicely. Imagine, too, if you will, that you took out the vocals, you would then have a majestic sonic journey awaiting you. Drum and percussion wise, the rhythm is focused and very understated. It flows through the music bed like a ribbon. I think the finished track gives much more emphasis on the piano and Kiaraa’s vocals. It definitely succeeds. Also making its way into the sonic picture is this slight synth – or perhaps an electronic keyboard at a lower level – to create another emerging energy. “Dear Jesus” has many attributes and positives, and the backing music is no exception. You get a lot more than you bargained for, that’s for sure. The same applies to Kiaraa herself – don’t underestimate this singer/songwriter. She has her pulse on the human condition and knows how to put her heart and soul into her music.