FKA Twigs is one of the best things to happen to British music, or just all music in general, for absolute years. There, I said it. The artist Formally Known As Twigs (do you see what she did there?) is a giant, booming and hopefully deeply shaming laugh in the faces of people who still claim that it’s ‘all about the music’ as Twigs has created a whole universe around herself where the actual songs she might release- while definitely not being the smallest consideration- are merely further cogs in the FKA Twigs persona. Taliah Barnett’s assault on the sense includes a deep devotion to creating her wonderful look, her constantly gorgeous and challenging videos, her use of the stage act as close to individual performance art installations, if you scrape your nail across the speakers as ‘LP1’ (following ‘EP1’ and ‘EP2’- Twigs tends to take a more ‘Ronseal approach’ to naming her releases) plays it actually creates a scratch and sniff effect, and she smells wonderful. Twigs started out as a dancer (and such physical training is obvious every time you see how astonishingly she’s able to perform) in videos for artists such as Jessie J and Kylie Minogue, music she felt didn’t represent her at all and in Video Girl especially she attacks this false pretension (‘Is she the girls from the video?/Stop, stop lying to me… You liar, you liar, you lie ‘) yet it seems that once she’s given full reign to produce her own work instead of stripping it all down as a cack-handed presentation of the ‘real me’ she adds more and more artifice to better demonstrate the vast differentiation between the real person and whatever persona is presented to you as a pop culture artefact. What’s that? Is the music any good?? Oh it’s fucking fantastic, I thought you already knew that.
Absolutely the year’s best, Twigs shapes and distorts her face to make it at once more cartoonly pretty and also a slightly unsettling dive into the uncanny valley.
The reddened cheeks can’t help but call to mind the Jenny Saville painting of a beaten child that covered the Manics’ ‘Journal for Plague Lovers’. Possibly more from them later…
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