FKA Twigs is Tahliah Barnett who was once upon a time a backing dancer for Jessie J, but instead of wasting her time dancing for a pop abomination, Barnett has sought to making her own bewitching lyrical vocal art piece R&B beats with the help of primarily Arca. She’s also recieved the production help of Dev Hynes responsible for Sky Ferreria’s ‘Everything is Embarrassing’ and Solange’s ‘Losing You’ as well as Emile Haynie who has worked with Lana Del Rey.
Opener ‘Preface’ is artistic, a slightly chaotic opening but it’s far from the gut punching production of EP2 because LP1 adopts a lighter production feel, but somehow it’s lost none of the punch, if anything it’s even better because it comes off as more dynamic, the sound is fuller.
‘Lights On’ is outstanding. It starts with the sounds of twisted and warped version of the guitar riff from a discarded Siouxsie and the Banshees song. The lyrics are vulnerable, they aren’t sexy like they are on ‘Two Weeks’, instead the exposure of the self is embracing body image and approaching sex with the lights on because she wants us to see who she really is.
The sexual ‘Two Weeks’ was released as the lead single and it bursts open like a flower coming into bloom when it reaches the chorus. The intro to ‘Hours’ sounds like Tim Hecker has been working on the track, but it soon turns wonky and it leads into ‘Pendulum’ well with the jarring percussive sound that’s from ‘Water Me’ and has a chorus that uses some very Blood Orange esque guitar work.
‘Video Girl’ rivals upcoming artist Banks in dark powerful R&B songs with Twigs addressing the typical on screen female trying to get attention ‘the camera loves you, ain’t that enough?’ and the song has a really good change of tempo where Twigs makes ‘you’re lying, you’re lying, you’re lying’ sound really sweet and lovely, awww.
‘Numbers’ has some out there vocal cuts and the track becomes a very hectic confusion on trip-hop and Twigs’ intriguing brand of modern R&B, there’s even a slightly out of tune synth line that I picked up which adds to the captivating menace that is LP1.
Twigs embraces Grimes on ‘Closer’ and brightens up with the poppy ‘Give Up’. The finale track ‘Kicks’ is dreamy, the whole album transports you to a completely different state of dreaming. It’s smooth and sensual, emotional, to us the listener Twigs is not just ‘a number’ but she is one of the best new artists to release an album this year, in fact LP1 is one of the best albums of the year because it sounds so open, it’s so easy to submit, to connect to, to feel for.
I guess in the end, we’re just lonely, and with LP1 we can feel a little less lonely, on ‘Kicks’ Twigs sings ‘tell me what do I do when you’re not here?’ What did we do before Twigs, listen to her first two E.P.’s, or await genius? Embrace the future, listen to FKA Twigs.