The doe-eyed, doll-esque mastermind behind FKA twigs might still remain enigmatic to the outside world, but this London-based musician is currently at the helm the musical zeitgeist in 2013, and she’s pushing it to a new plateau of futurism.
EP2 – as its title may suggest – is the 25-year-old’s sophomore EP release, following on from last year’s debut. It stands at only four tracks long, but don’t let its short stature deceive you: this is a sublime release that perfectly encapsulates twigs’ unique, game-changing sound.
Twigs’ aural aesthetic is a pulsating brand of gothic ambient trip-hop. The production approach is a hybrid of maximalism and simplicity, with giant walls of bass embellished with dense layers of subtle off-kilter noises weaving together to create immaculately detailed soundscapes.
Sailing above this backdrop of textural electronic beats is the standout element of the FKA twigs’ equation: her weightless, high-pitched voice. At times it drips with poignant heartache on “Water Me” and then oozes with sexual eroticism on “Papi Pacify”. It’s unshakeable, chilling, and utterly bewitching.
Simply put, the EP’s four ballad-like tracks are nothing short of stellar.
“How’s That” immediately pulls you into twigs’ alluring seduction. “How’s that/How’s that… feel”, she enunciates with a stirring slowness, letting each word drip out honey as bellowing crashes of beats echo in the background. “Ultraviolet” is the most experimental offering, with her Aaliyah-esque vocals spliced through deep vocal filters before the track arrives at an unexpectedly bright, soaring climax.
The bedroom anthem “Papi Pacify” is truly dizzying, oscillating between patches of sparse quietness before erupting into its menacingly powerful chorus, whilst the heart-wrenching “Water Me” strips it back even further to put full emphasis on twigs’ hyper-emotional lyricism. Each track offers a slightly varied experience, but together they blend with complete cohesion.
FKA twigs’ second EP is a beautiful, near-spotless opus that is scarily possessive and wonderfully transfixing.