FKA Twigs - LP1 - UK Trip Hop Downtempo Deluxe - Sealed 180 Grm LP + 7" + 4x12" Art Prints
FKA Twigs - LP1
Label: Young Turks
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Gatefold edition with exclusive bonus 7" plus 4 x 12" art inserts by Jesse Kanda, printed reading magnifier and download code redeemable from the label.
Released: 08 Aug 2014
Style: Downtempo, RnB/Swing, Ethereal
A2 Lights On
A3 Two Weeks
B1 Video Girl
B4 Give Up
7"-A One Time
FKA twigs, the London-based producer, singer, songwriter and video director, will release her debut full length LP1 on 12th August 2014 via the Young Turks label. LP1 is FKA twigs defining artistic statement to date, building on the success of her two previous EPs (EP1 and EP2) and accompanying videos which have elevated FKA twigs from a word-of-mouth secret to global obsession over the past two years.
The album features none of these previously released EP tracks; instead each song on LP1 is brand new, born out of FKA twigs artistic philosophy of spontaneous creation and collaboration in the studio.
Tahliah Barnett was a dancer before she was a singer, and that matters. Dancers learn ways to inhabit music differently, to physically respond to it, to internalize it and make it a part of their body chemistry. And Barnett was a serious dancer, one who went to school for it and who used to make her living working in the background in various pop stars videos. (Video Girl, a song from her LP1, is about the experience of being recognized as the girl from the video and denying that its her.) As FKA twigs, Barnett sings like a dancer. Thats not a knock on her pure vocal ability, which is no joke. Twigs isnt a belter, but she knows what to do with the thinness of her voice, turning her sighs into coos and her coos into wails. But when I say that she sings like a dancer, I mean she doesnt just sing over the top of her tracks. She wraps herself in them, disappearing into them. She comes up with subtle counter-rhythms, interrupts herself, hold exhalations until they become notes. Her music takes elements of dance music drums, synths, open space but it arranges them in counterintutive ways, unfurling into thickets of sound rather just thumping. Those backing tracks arent beats. Theyre something else. It takes a special kind of dancer to know what to do with tracks like that, and it takes a special kind of singer to bring them to life. Twigs is both of those things.
On LP1, her first full-length, twigs does things with her voice that sound like physical movements: short leaps, slow pirouettes, stuttering kicks. And shes singing about physical things, her words evoking intertwining bodies in some evocatively concrete ways: My thighs are apart for when youre ready to breathe in. But this is interior music, music about living inside your own head. Most of the songs are about longing, about the point where the desire for intimacy stops being a craving and starts being a physical need. Even Two Weeks, the one where shes straightforwardly asking someone to leave a lover behind I can fuck you better than her, I know a thousand ways to help you forget about her shes imagining the conversation, not actually having it, as the great Jessica Hopper points out in her Wondering Sound review. The whole song seems like the result of a weeded-out daydream: Higher than a motherfucker, dreaming of you as my lover. Its not clear whether shed actually talk to another person like this. And most of the time, shes not even dreaming about those connections; shes lamenting them when theyre gone (Was I just a number to you) or lamenting the idea that shell never find them (So lonely trying to be yours). And so the album is a knowing conundrum, an intimate and instinctive and sexy piece of music about how impossible it can be for two people to find any real connection.
Musically, its hard to even describe whats happening on LP1, let alone explain it. The songs have a central pulse to them that feels as natural as breathing, but you dont hear the rhythm in the drums; you hear it in the bass, or they synths, or the way twigs breathes. The drums echo in from every direction, sounding more like dub-reggae sound effects than like mechanisms for keeping time. Meanwhile, keyboards and voices layer all over each other, creating disorienting fogs. You can get totally lost in your own thoughts listening to these tracks. They seem to fold in on themselves, to make linear thinking difficult. At times, the album feels like some lost artifact from a lost alternate-universe 1996, one where Portisheads Beth Gibbons made a whole album with Richard D. James Album-era Aphex Twin.
A song like Pendulum works as a sad and beautiful and lonely ballad in a lot of ways, but these clusters of electronic percussion keep erupting and rippling and bursting in out of nowhere, fighting against the flow of the song rather than aiding it; in a lot of ways, it reminds me of Aphexs Bucephalus Bouncing Ball, if some mad scientist had turned it into a torch song. In this case, though, theres no single producer playing Aphex to twigs Gibbons. The album has a lot of producers working on it internet-cool synthesists like Arca and Clams Casino, big-pop ones like Adele collaborator Paul Epworth or Lana Del Rey collaborator Emile Haynie. But listening to the album, you dont really hear any of those producers sonic signatures; all the tracks fold seamlessly into twigs soundworld. She seems to be the one with all the agency, and everyone else comes off like a hired hand, just there to help her actualize her vision.
LP1 also features artwork from Jesse Kanda, who has manipulated his own photographs of twigs to stunning effect.
June 23rd saw the release of the first video from LP1, Two Weeks. MTV says Two Weeks captures everything that her music is about its minimal, but before you know it, its overwhelming with its layered vocals, ticking beat and throbbing synths. Its enough to make you melt.
Theres a mountain of buzz behind young UK vocalist FKA Twigs, which resulted in Wrongbar being packed to capacity for her Toronto debut. Her dreamy reworkings of R&B and hip-hop motifs have garnered her a lot of media attention, and her songwriting lives up to the hype.
The song is a sighing, soaring bit of electronic pop, and its lush slow-motion video (directed by Nabil)matches the songs regal, ethereal beauty.
Two Weeks is a beguilingly straight-laced cut of silken R&B; a commanding blast of raw sexual power. Like the anonymous goddess she portrays in her Nabil-directed video, FKA twigs is larger than life here, knocking on the doors of great contemporary pop singersCiara, Mariah, and even Aaliyah, to name a fewwith her breathy falsetto and magnetic presence.
FKA twigs - Pendulum
Pendulum": smoldering, sonically adventurous and emotionally dynamic, thrust forward by a spacious but elegant vocal range brimming with crystal clarity. Every changeup is a left turn of unpredictable proportions; you really aren't ever sure just where this song is going to take you. These are definitely not descriptors I would typically say about an R&B entry even four years ago, but then again, this new wave of alternative R&B has been a consummate surprise all around.
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FKA Twigs - Two Weeks
Live at Pitchfork 2014
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FKA Twigs - Lights on (Live Brussels Botanique 02.05.2014)
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|Format||LP, 7", 180 Gram|