With an individualist shimmer and a focus brimming with desire for vast emotional experience, FKA Twigs dives deep throughout her debut LP1.
Something mysterious and pensive and rather spooky greets the listener when Preface begins - raw and aching vocals with reverb claim the sonic territory early. From then on the journey is tender and yet, as meek as some of the breathy and lack-of-projection type of vocalization might suggest, it comes across as anything other than shy.
"Two Weeks" holds a sensual heaviness partnered with a beat that lets you know FKA is well aware of the intrinsic qualities of movement and even more aware of how to equip a song with an adequate touch of it. No wonder professional dancing is a huge part of FKA's creative lifestyle. The beats of this album really define and manipulate where emotional release/experience/evaluation meet the listener.
"Pendulum" entertains the devastation of a relationship that is unbalanced, of giving your %100 and knowing it is not enough for the other person, of realizing the loneliness and the tension of that inevitable pendulum swing. Lyrically it echos a young but aware sentiment that I might have related to so well in my early twenties. That awareness that things are not equal and perhaps doomed and yet that grey state of limbo has clouded over the logistics of next steps and future self-preservation and you are immobilized and perhaps even deluded as you change nothing. The sweeping soundscape is saturated with the abundance and tang of these thoughts and truths. The imagery in the video of being suspended, of being tied back, stuck and claimed by some elusive heavy and dark form is eery but underneath the spine-chilling imagery the density of vulnerability and honesty strikes again.
So lonely trying to be yoursWhat a forsaken causeSo lonely trying to be yoursWhen you're looking for so much more
I first started listening to FKA a few years ago and I don't know how to begin to describe the roadmap of emotion, overstimulation, wonder and pure admiration for the creativity that was and seems to be continually embraced. LP1 specifically was something I did not expect - something about the harmonies and quivering voice, the bass and the beats that fluctuate and ebb and flow both mechanically and somehow at the same time naturally sparks so many questions in regards to experimentation.
It has an acquired taste and I know this firsthand because I didn't know how to digest it at first. But I wonder if everything art related truly does have an acquired taste at the end of the day and perhaps that division and difference, especially in the experimental genre, proves to be part of the charm. It isn't everyone's cup of tea and some of the creative choices seem so far out of left field that it is a jarring experience to listen to it. In time though, for myself, I have found that difference and risk-taking to be priceless as a listener and artist myself. The boldness to be unique and the dedication to art itself and the constant state of flux and flow is a takeaway with most of what FKA develops as an artist. Experimenting, chasing playfulness, movement and contemplation... all of these aspects stand out to me as I listen to LP1 and remind me of the great variation within art and self-expression. And that is a feat.
Dive in to LP1 and soak up all of the texture and layered thought - it's a journey.