The sultry gasps and sex-jam snaps that open Natasha Kmeto's Crisis are more than just baby-making mood-setters. "I fell in love with someone very passionately," the singer-producer says from her home in Portland, Ore. In fact, each of the songs on Kmeto's latest record of synth-fueled electro-soul fusion illustrates a turning point in the biggest new development in her life: her "first significant relationship with a woman." It began as the singer, who has always felt attracted to women, was recovering from a divorce. "It was really refreshing to me that I was able to feel that kind of passion again," she says. "Experiencing that now, as an adult, is so much more potent and real. I wanted the album to celebrate that youthful experience."
And it does. Kmeto named one track "Morning Sex" (she's not one for subtlety), while "Vodka Diet" is a pulsing trance cut that sounds as drunk and horny as the night it's probably about. But one especially poignant snapshot is "Last Time," in which she builds waves of fuzzy synths and chronicles the uncertainty of new love with lyrics like, "All alone, that's what she wants to be/ Then she's kissing my lips again." Says Kmeto, "When you're getting together with someone and it feels real, it can be kind of scary, because you don't really know what it means. That song captures those feelings at their most tumultuous." Luckily, there's a happy ending, as the singer says the relationship continues to inspire her. But she wants to clear something up: The album's title does not reference her divorce. "In Greek drama, the crisis is the great pivoting moment, story-wise," Kmeto says, adding with a laugh, "In Lady Chatterley's Lover, D.H. Lawrence refers to the female orgasm as a 'crisis.' "