FKA Twigs – LP1
This album has been long time coming. For years FKA Twigs, aka Tahliah Barnett, has been hiding in plain site by being the backup dancer for artists such as Jessie J, all the while plotting to take the music industry by storm with her own sound. From the first moment people heard the song ‘Water Me’ people were in love with her. She combines a voice that owes a lot of itself to RnB over these electronic beats that could easily pass as Hip-Hop beats.
Twigs sings about things that are extremely personal and in depth, the name FKA Twigs stands for ‘formally known as Twigs’ but she spends the entire album being this enigma. It’s hard to know who she actually is. This happens on one of the biggest themes on the album, sex. Twigs taps into your deepest and darkest fantasies using sex in the weirdest ways in which it can be used. She acts as a submissive character one minute and a dominant one the next. She uses sex in a way completely different to the way that many pop stars do shallowly as marketing. She’s actually exploring what sex does to the mind. In the song ‘Two Weeks’ alone she’s exploring what a sexless relationship can do to someone as she tempts a man simply with the line ‘I can fuck you better than her’. There are lines throughout that could be looked into so much as having very strong underlying sexual themes.
Her voice and the instrumentation on this album only cements this theme of weird experimental sounds paired up with sweet sexual themes. She got the name ‘Twigs’ when she was a kid because she used to crack her knuckles, this shows in her beats as they’re just so damn brittle. All of the instrumentation on this album is so intense and jarring with snares sounding so snappy they could crack but at the same time they’ll always be something like the synths thrown in that can lift up the track. Her sound is experimental as hell yet somehow has a pop sensibility about it that makes it so easy to listen to. Her voice does the same thing, she uses it as a weapon to sound both twisted yet charming. She sometimes sounds like she is there whispering in your ear like the temptress she is portraying. Even when she is at her weakest on the album such as when she’s riddled with paranoia in the song ‘Numbers’ she still sounds so in control.
By taking influence from pop, RnB, Hip Hop, and electronic music such as Trip-Hop, FKA Twigs has made one of the most intriguing albums of the year. She has the talent to explore themes deeper than a lot of artists out there and sounds more sexual than RnB acts like ‘The Weeknd’ could dream of sounding. We have a lot to learn about Twigs but only she knows what she’ll do next.