Next Wave #968: twst

In Association With Vero True Social

Extraordinary future pop multi-hyphenate twst will release her debut EP ‘TWST0001’ later this month, with comparisons to St. Vincent and Kate Bush already being made. The London-based songwriter, vocalist and producer – aka Chloé Davis – left her Welsh home at 14 and relocated to a recording studio, where she taught herself music production and pop culture. A true cultural conduit, she now writes, produces and directs all of her own music and videos.

Her new single ‘Are You Listening?’ is a raw, emotional look at modern life and, more significantly, society’s dependence on technology. It’s a dark pop song, revealing the artist’s frustrations with the world. She wants listeners to feel “angry and charged in some way. Overwhelmed. Because that’s very much what the song is about: having so many things thrown at you that the experience is overwhelming. To replicate the everyday experience we have of technology overwhelming us, so I guess… stimulated, overwhelmed and angry.”

As fitting as it is for this moment in time, she actually wrote ‘Are You Listening?’ “quite a while ago. I feel like they’re obviously issues that continue to go on for a long time. I feel like it does feel relevant, unfortunately. But it wasn’t consciously about right now”.

twst takes inspiration from hikikomori which is a Japanese social phenomenon/psychological condition where people withdraw from society and can be in their homes for months at a time. The title of her music video is ‘Are You Listening? hikimori baby 0001’. “‘Hikikomori Baby’ is a reference to the time I spent in isolation,” twst explains. “In my early teen years, I came out of school when I was quite young and moved out and I went into deep isolation on my own, with one other person, dropped out of any systematic education or living, I guess. There’s no English word for this action so that’s why I called it that”.

Her five-track EP ‘TWST0001’ features ‘Are You Listening?’ but also previous singles ‘Girls On Your TV’ and ‘sad girls club but you gotta be cute’. “All of (the tracks) are documentation of my hyperreal relationship with technology. I want to explore that”.

“I’m very excited. Very, very excited,” she continues, but she is also looking ahead to future projects. “I’m ready to move on to new stuff now because my head’s already on different things. It’s weird when you create things and you stay in that environment for that long throughout the whole process and you want it to feel like it’s complete and full you know but when it’s done, it’s done”.

As for musical influences, twst looks to iconic acts such as Kate Bush and David Bowie “for many reasons”, as well as classical music, and also Fiona Apple “for writing and piano arrangements”.

When twst talks about, Björk, however, her admiration really becomes evident. “Björk, for me, feels like the closest thing to having a thought or a feeling and then being able to translate that into music and the transition not being too affected. When Björk sings, I just feel like she’s felt that thing and sang it and that’s just the way it is”.

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‘TWST0001’ EP will be released on June 26th.

Words: Narzra Ahmed
Photo Credit: Raga Ayala

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