“You know when you feel like you’ve just been figuring things out? I’ve been doing that – figuring things out in front of everyone,” confesses Klein
South London artist Klein will drop her new LP Lifetime next month. Written over three years, it follows her previous self–released works Lagata, Only and CC, as well as 2017's Hyperdub LP Tommy. She describes Lifetime as a more personal release, however. It also marks the launch of her new label IJN Inc – IJN being short for In Jesus’ Name. “My mum always sends me a text just saying ijn,” Klein reveals in a voice message to The Wire.
But what's the album about? “I probably won’t be able to connect the dots until five or ten years from now,” she replies. “I wanted to pay homage to my own lineage. The song “We Are Almost There” is solely made for my grandma and paying homage to her era.”
The album's fifth track “For What Worth” features US saxophonist Matana Roberts, while “Honour” features recordings of one of Klein's family members talking to her and her cousin.
Lifetime, declares Klein, is “like a puzzle”. Its thick sonic palette is built, in part, by chord structures that repeat across the album. She herself plays autoharp, harmonica, violin and xylophone, as well as a load of manipulated kitchen appliances. “I always like the idea of playing around with what’s real and what’s not. On the album there are some tracks where you’re like, oh wait, is that a real drum or is that just me running down the stairs? A lot of this album is about me pushing myself to say how I feel without necessarily using vocals.
“It is about accepting your own faults and realising it is OK,” she continues. “You know when you look at yourself in the mirror and you’re like, woah, shit, these are all your flaws, but it's also OK? Elements of this album have a lot of that where it is me looking at the grim stuff; things I have experienced.
The record’s artwork was a collaboration between the artist and mutual friend Lacra. “He was able to say everything in a photo,” concludes Klein. “It was really cool to have something that sums up the record.”
Listen to the Lifetime track “Claim It”.