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Five on it: Klein’s new video is a glitchy, gorgeous nightmare

With a terrifying new video from experimentalist Klein, plus tracks from Megan Thee Stallion, Poppy Ajudha ft. Mahalia, Shaqdi and newcomer Naila, here's your weekly music round-up: five on it.

24 Jan 2020

Five on it photography via screenshot from Klein’s ‘Claim It’

Following Big Joanie’s cathartic headline show in London last night, most of what I’ve been listening to today is alt-rock and noise – which feels at odds with biting into this new J Hus record that everyone seems overjoyed about, so forgive me for not having checked that yet.

It’s rare that I go to guitar band shows lately, not least because I can feel a bit out of place – it’s weird being in a space of predominantly white dudes when I’m trying to let loose to music (though, with that said, I guess that’s what most rap shows are like…). Anyway, there was something joyous about being in a space with other black and brown women – and there was an especially glorious moment of relief when a random middle-aged white man uncomfortably started trying to chat to me but was interrupted by Big Joanie beginning their excellent cover of ‘No Scrubs’. It felt very fitting and made me want to carry that punk of colour, feminist, “no scrubs” energy with me always.

As always, this introduction has very little to do with the music that’s below, but please try and write something salient and introductory about music every Friday afternoon that you’re pretty sure no one reads and let me know how it goes. Here is this week’s five on it.

Klein – ‘Claim It’

South Londoner Klein’s album last year – Lifetime – was low-key one of 2019’s best releases if you like beguiling and strange electronics (we do!). She’s just put out a video for one of the album’s tracks, and – in keeping with the music – it’s kind of terrifying, but also deeply beautiful. [Listen to Lifetime here]

Megan Thee Stallion – ‘B.I.T.C.H’

Real hot girl shit! Smooth, Tupac-sampling, hot girl shit! Honestly I think it’d be easy for a rapper like Meg to get too hyped and overexposed given the way our constant-flow-of-content streaming music industry works, but she has avoided that with releases like this, putting out tracks that consistently go hard and prove she’s way more than some cleverly-conceived catchphrases. Meg’s debut album lands this year and we cannot wait.

Poppy Ajudha – ‘Low Ride’ ft. Mahalia

A sensual, luxurious track laden with pianos and a squelchy bass, the latest from Poppy Ajudha (featuring a sumptuous feature from Mahalia) has us ready for cold, rainy nights drinking red wine with sweet ones – I realise that’s a weirdly specific descriptor but it’s what it’s bringing to mind.

Shaqdi – ‘Predictable’

This London-based Swedish-Palestinian artist has a distinctively sweet and dusky voice that slips between singing and even a brief moment of rapping. Her latest is a soft and light rumination on trying to get over someone. With twinkly keys, a silky bass line and the refrain “isn’t it predictable how love can be?”, it has very ‘00s romcom soundtrack energy, and we’re here for it. She’s got an EP dropping in April, so watch this space.

Naila – ‘Nights Like These’

Glimmering, polished pop that sounds at once old school and very new, Naila is an emerging 18-year-old artist with powerful vocals. This track is an entrancing exploration of clinging onto that someone for one night (“We can be together / we don’t have to say good night”).

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