Undue hype is a new artist’s worst enemy. Rocking back and forth like a Russian doll and widening gobstopper eyes, Tahliah Barnett introduced herself as FKA twigs via the super video for ‘Water Me’, a glistening tear droplet coursing down her cheek. And, like many fawning others, we were smitten.
Eschewing the bold ‘n’ brash approach of many of pop’s main players, FKA twigs’ weapon of choice is delicacy, which she wields in abundance on the simply-titled ‘LP1’. A debut album made up of entirely original works, its razor-sharp production is matched by curious touches – an amateur organ player stumbling over keys on ‘Lights On’, for example. A wealth of sounds and textures, door creaks echo and stutter to trippy effect while pitch-bent choruses moan in unison.
Over these, twigs exhales sugar-sweet breaths of melody that are reminiscent of ’90s R&B goddesses Aaliyah and Brandy, while on ‘Closer’ she could almost be Enya. Reminiscent, of course, being the key word: twigs has crafted a style that is very much her own.
Fragile, heavenly and utterly compelling; this debut paves the way for boundaries-pushing pop. This is music that shatters you with a single tap.
Words: Felicity Martin
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