FKA Twigs – real name Tahliah Barnett – is an enigma, but an enigma with a difference; where so many buzzy, hyped-up new-comers shroud themselves in utter mystery – think Jungle, SBTRKT, Jai Paul – and continue to hide behind their (brilliant) work, twigs embraces visuals, taking advantage of her striking and wonderfully unique appearance to catalyse interest.
Dripping out a handful of YouTube videos to accompany her avant-garde R&B, the Cheltenham-born talent nurtured a growing number of fans by adopting a provocative approach to lyrics and imagery: brash, sexuality appears amid both subtle and blatant intensity.
Almost exactly a year on, LP1 is set for its (wonderfully suitable) Young Turks release, and the trend-setting label have delivered on the hype-promise. Although the record does not push the boundaries with quite the same panache as what has come before, the ten tracks still encompass everything that makes FKA Twigs so exciting.
Sparse, dark, broken-up production allows space for Twigs’ seductive and somehow scarily innocent, FX-laden soprano: eerie opener ‘Preface’ and the beautiful ‘Closer’ feel almost choral in their vocal delivery; stand-out album closer ‘Kicks’ is a typically sultry outing complete with particularly out-there manipulation, while the scatty techno-esque ‘Numbers’ adds another dimension to proceedings. Elsewhere, the aforementioned brazen sexual themes pour through: “Smoke on your skin to get those pretty eyes rolling / My thighs are apart for when you’re ready to breathe in” Twigs coos on ‘Two Weeks’; a single which, alongside album highlight ‘Give Up’, has all the potential to open the record up to the mainstream. Captivating to the point of obsession, LP1 breaks the enigma surrounding FKA Twigs in the most intriguing and beguilingly beautiful way possible.
BUY: FKA Twigs – LP1