There’s something about FKA twigs that conjures up images of reinvention in an industry brimming with countless alternative artists. Enigmatic and genre-bending, 26-year-old Tahliah Barnett delivers an outsiders perspective to create a multi-textured record that’s both oracular, infectious and strong in vision.
Whilst her mystique remains undimmed in Preface, there’s an immediate aura around LP1 that’s disorientated between sexual assertiveness and somber self-doubt. We hear Barnett pull herself past typical R&B constructs, unravelling a swooping fusion of high vocals and disconnected chords. Alike her promotional art for the aching track Pendulum, the intrusive and malleable consciousness of the songstress is both lustful and lonely, illustrating the apparent subtext (as discussed in her recent BBC performance) of her whole album, ‘I love another, and thus I hate myself.‘
As LP1 continues, her resilient and splintering voice mirrors these motions through crescendos of electronic waves, trip-hop rhythms and minimalistic tones that are staple to other Young Turks acts. “When I trust you we can do it with the lights on,” sings Barnett in the eerie repetition and rattling percussion in Lights On, “never leave me.” Her conscious honesty continues throughout the tracks; Hours obsessively dabbling between desires and underscoring fears, indulgently musing “how would you like it if my lips touched yours?” In the experimental and stimulating R&B track Two Weeks, Barnett explores these feelings in a resonating and glitchy synth wash, singing, “Say you want me / I say you’ll live without it.”
Lp1 is an afflicted and quirky record that materialises the ghostly presence of the haunted and secretive Barnett. It’s musically unsettling, combining R&B and electronic stimulation that unfolds into a flourishing display of intuitive personal endeavours and sexual energy. The tracks themselves are textured and rich in composition, digging into your skin like dissolvable stitches of anarchy and confusion. While Barnett’s voice is angelic, lyrically LP1 resembles the dark and contorted emotions that linger within her FKA twigs persona, encapsulating her vision with a fervent yet unique vision.
Genre: Electronic, Trip-Hop, Dream-Pop, R&B