Changing names relatively early in a career is a bold move for an artist as enigmatic as FKA Twigs.
Formerly known as Twigs, the London based artist released a debut EP back in December 2012, a solid collection of tracks that balanced between themes of intimacy and seduction. Though the name has changed, ‘EP2’ continues the same spacious minimalism that Twigs’ debut carried. The aptly titled track ‘Breathe’ from ‘EP’ was accompanied by footage of a woman taking a hammer to a car, demonstrating Twigs’ need to relay the relationship between her music and her aesthetic, as a means to creating her identity. Ten months later, the principles remain paramount, even if the moniker’s changed.
On ‘How’s That’, the warm opening synths usher the EP’s subject matter: ‘That feels good, in my…/ That feels good, so so amazing/ I want you in my…/ Oh, oh, you.’. Though the lyrics provide blanks for the listener to interpret, the sexual implications of the track are pretty clear.
Reemerging in August with ‘Water Me’, Jesse Kanda’s concept video featured FKA Twigs bug-eyed, jewelled and arresting. Kanye West’s ‘Yeezus’ collaborator Arca (who wrote and produced the EP with her) contributes a reverberating, echoed lull, with Twigs’ vocals raspy and candid: ‘He won’t make love to me, now / Now that I’ve set the fee’. Any economic or sexual exchange suggested here is developed further with ‘Papi Pacify’, with FKA Twigs at the mercy of a male seducer in the supporting video. The track is shaped by a muscular beat, with Twigs channelling a sort of wispy soul vocal amongst the darkness. Both tracks are haunting and tender, and the unnerving, poignant imagery from the videos heighten the sonic starkness. Closer ‘Ultraviolet’ returns to the aqueous textures of the EP’s opener, with Twigs and Arca coming out of the darkness to reveal a scattering beat for which Twigs applies her trembling vocals.
The progression between ‘EP1 ‘and this release is arguably the role of Arca, whose abstractions create a perfect foil for Twigs to showcase the maturity and confidence in songwriting. Should this collaboration continue, it’d be hard to ignore the capabilities and potential that both artists could fulfil, given a full length release.
Like her contemporary BANKS, Twigs’ self-assurance and identity enables her to intelligently play with duality. The tension between light and darkness, desire and obsession is plain to see on ‘EP2’. Based on the evidence provided, its clear that this self professed weirdo is happy enough to be in a league of her own.
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