Saturday, August 2, 2014

LP1 | FKA twigs


Every year, there seems to be a few musical debuts that blow everybody else in the industry out of the water without even being supported with a radio hit. In terms of dominant radio-unfriendly debuts, the past few years have seen the fresh faces of The 1975, Sky Ferreira, Haim, and Chvrches. Adding to a list of this year's underground debuts from the likes of Broods and Banks, FKA twigs recently was spotted by my radar with her upcoming album, fittingly and simply titled LP1.

This album was preceded by the releases of EP1 and EP2, which were highlighted by songs like "Papi Pacify" and "Hide." Although I enjoy the material on both extended plays, something about the material on LP1 makes the record both dynamic yet homologous. Each song has a production style that walks on the same hazy crossroads of trip-hop and R&B, but each song manages to shine in its own way.

For example, on "Pendulum," twigs' fragile voice is layered beautifully over a swaying instrumental. As it progresses, the song swells with fuller sounds and the heartbroken proclamation of "So lonely trying to be yours, when you're looking for so much more." Trip-hop influences prevail in "Closer," but twigs' voice is reverberated over the track to give it a touch of celestial beauty. "Numbers" thrives on a haunting bell pattern that could easily be slid into a scary movie, but contains lyrics that could have been lifted right out of a break-up letter to a cheating ex: "Was I just a number to you?"

Lyrically, the ten tracks on LP1 cover a range of subjects, including her past as a music video back-up dancer in "Video Girl" ("Is she the girl from the video? Stop, stop lyin' to me"), and the traditional theme of love in songs like "Lights On" and "Two Weeks." Within the lyrics of "Lights On," we find twigs in a vulnerable place, telling her lover, "When I trust you, we do it with the lights on," while in "Two Weeks," twigs transforms into a newly-confident persona and tries to outshine her lover's past girlfriend as she says, "Give me two weeks, you won't recognize her."

LP1 is like a box of chocolates: at first glance, the pieces all seem to be relatively similar, but once you bite into them, something hidden underneath the smooth glaze makes each one stand as an individual, unique delicacy. From the initial vocal warm-ups and chants of "Preface" to the final echoes of "Kicks," listeners will explore the rises and falls of a relationship on these ten tracks, as streaks of seduction fuel the undertones of this album and tears of sorrow stain it with raw emotion. Listen after listen, the feelings associated with the album's composition intensify through my headphones and I'm suddenly sucked into the twigs' glitched yet passionate world.  It's something you really have to hear to believe.

LP1 will be available on August 12 via Young Turks Records. An exclusive deluxe vinyl edition of the album is available on the official FKA twigs website.

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