South London based musician Klein is an artist whose neoteric vision has seen her quickly become one of the UK’s most intriguing and unpinnable producers and performers. Her often playful and restive approach to composition is instantly alluring. Samples of obscure Nigerian B-Movies clatter into jagged beats. Distant piano loops lurk in the haze whilst beguiling vocals fade in and out of the sensory World she has created.
This year has seen the release of her debut album Only, self released online and then on heart shaped diamond USB stick by DIY label Howling Owl Records, and more recently the Lagata EP that has led her to be featured in Dazed and Confused, Wire, and i-D magazine; the latter of which premiered the beautiful Akinola Davies JR directed video for Marks Of Worship – a stunning five minutes piece of murky ambience dominated by a Whatsapp sermon sent from a Nigerian Aunt. You would expect nothing less from Klein.
Following some ear-catching manoeuvres across last year’s releases, which gained her early fans like Bjork and Dev Hynes and Laurel Halo, resulting in her featuring on two tracks of Halo's new LP , Tommy marks Klein's deepest plunge yet into the 'deep, dark ocean' of her musical imagination on her Hyperdub debut.
On Tommy her vocals play with fifties-esque melodies before switching to familiar tones akin to Brandy and Rodney Jerkins, her live voice and live piano playing, filtered through hyper glitchy and looped production with an loose, internal logic; cutting from angular atonality to pockets of skewered harmony. Tommy also steps things up in conceptual terms. Its eight tracks are broken down into acts that are rooted in themes of vulnerability, sisterhood and death, threading the chaotic sonics with modern operatic undertones and a Shakespearean sense of tragedy.
There's a lot of bluster about originality in contemporary UK music and what rises from the noise here is a creative voice who, by her very nature plays with the construct of what pop is. This is Klein's world...it's on us to get with it.