Formerly Known As…Twigs is a singer/songwriter from South London. An intriguing lover of music who has crafted a unique lane blending genre’s dance and sport. With many musical influences, ranging from Billie Holiday and Marvin Gaye to Siouxsie Sioux and X-ray Specs, Twigs has curated an avant-garde sound.
Born in Gloucestershire, England Twigs was one of the only kids of dual nationality. A geographical misfit, residing in the countryside of England, Twigs needed an environment that reflected her mindset.
At 17 years old, Twigs moved to South London with her mother where she worked four jobs attending the infamous BRIT School and then Croydon College.
I’m not sure why I’ve been ‘sleeping’ on the amazing talent that is FKA Twigs. Funnily enough, I have followed her on Instagram, being a fan of her visuals and elements of movement and dance but I was yet to listen to her music fully. Upon reading up on her for this post, I came across the fun fact that she was a backup dancer from artists such as Kylie Minogue, Ed Sheeran and Jessie J, for whom she starred in the 2010 ‘Do it Like a Dude’ music video.
Twig’s second studio album Magdalene has a beautiful cover. It’s a personalised depiction of Mary Magdalene. The style looks to me as though Henri Matisse and Edgar Degas collaborated.
Magdalene was released in November of 2019. The album has nine unique tracks with song length ranging from 3:24 to 5:01.
I loved listening to the album in full from beginning to end. The blend of post-punk, new wave, gothic-techno, matched with Twigs high soprano has a transporting power.
Thousand Eyes :
This song is a fantastic opening to an album if ever I’ve heard one. With choral harmonies juxtaposed with distortion and the haunting delivery of the lyrics is mesmerising.
Home with You:
FKA Twigs heartbreakingly summarises fame –
“The more you have, the more that people want from you
More you burn away, the more the people earn from you
More you pull away, the more that they depend on you”.
I especially think of Amy Winehouse here, the further into her demise she sank, the more the paparazzi and media tore her apart.
”I didn’t know that you were lonely
If you’d have just told me, I’d be running down the hills to you”.
– This lyric and the delivery of it really brings my Kate Bush ‘wuthering heights’ vibes.
Industrial distortion with focused chest voice balanced with that stunning soprano.
Holy Terrain ft. Future
The hip-hop beat is a welcome change of energy and offers more of a vocal range from the singer. I am however grateful that she remains faithful to a choir-ike delivery of the lyrics.
The beat is complemented with sitar elements.
Opening with sonic elements reminiscent of chimes and a bride pause before Twigs begins singing makes me feel as though I’m about to enter a play.
I need to experience this song performed live.
It’s Kate Bush/Bowie/X-Ray Specs industrial choir genius!
I feel like I’m inside a film when this song is on.
It’s an achingly vulnerable.
”Lonely is my hoping
Empty is my sweet thing”
STUNNING retrospective on depression and how it distorts the most mundane things.
Twigs is at her most vulnerable here where her soprano aches in its delivery. It almost sounds as if the artist is crying, which in turn makes me bloody cry,