LP1 by FKA twigs | Music Review

FKA twigs. Is she the girl from the video? One way or another, the pseudonym of London-based singer Tahliah Barnett is sure to whittle its way into your brain. Twenty-six year-old twigs (little “t”, please) has spent time on the music scene starring in music videos as a backup dancer, but she quietly began making music of her own in late December of 2012.  

After a handful of EPs, her first long-player, the appropriately-titled LP1, is finally available to the public ear. Album opener “Preface” begins with Barnett’s gracefully hushed vocal swashing over the listener, setting the scene for the rest of the album. It quickly transitions into an otherworldly, robotic trance, crescendoing into a wave of cacophony that alludes to industrial dance until the music disappears. “Preface” fades into “Lights On”, a weirdly captivating track finding twigs reassuring her lover that when she trusts them “we can do it with the lights on”. After a guttural closing, it turns the spotlight onto underground summer hit “Two Weeks”. Aptly sharing the name stage with what is (arguably) Grizzly Bear’s most popular tune, it is a gloriously enthralling song that grabs the listener by the collar with its surprisingly straightforward lyrics and engaging synths. 
   Other notable songs on LP1 include “Hours”, a mystical, sultry track produced by Blood Orange mastermind Dev Hynes, post-breakup tear-jerker “Pendulum”, describing the conflict following the end of a relationship’s close, and one of my personal favorites “Video Girl”, another dark-house jam that begs the question “Is she the girls from the video?” that promptly answers itself – “You liar, you liar, you lie".

While I was very much in love at first listen with this album, I found some elements of it confusing. The mottled, hectic sonic effects on a couple of the songs distracted me from the overall experience of the music (the seventh track “Numbers” has a ton of weird effects that jarred me, but maybe it’s just not my cup of tea). It was like a grab bag of sound effects pieced together and executed in the most delicate way possible. They also add to twigs’ charm, however: she makes it work to her advantage and the songs are much more intricate because of the various assorted alien sounds & noises on the album. twigs’ whispery yet powerful vocals à la Grimes are enchanting, and add to the promisingly-empty, moody atmosphere of LP1. She is also a skilled producer, and co-produced all of the songs on the album as well as directing and choreographing her own music videos(!)
   FKA twigs’ softly spectacular debut has proven she’s not just the girl from the video anymore, and I’m definitely eager to hear more from her. LP1 is the work of a promising artist, whose rise to prominence has only just begun.

Album review by WRITTEN CITIZEN Music Editor Jill Murdock
Find Jill on Instagram here
Photos found here

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