Exposure: FKA Twigs
Self-proclaimed urban punk artist set for series of UK gigs
At time of writing, FKA Twigs is getting dangerously close to shedding her title as one of the most interesting new artists working in the orbit of the mainstream today and instead appending the words ‘… girlfriend of Twilight star Robert Pattinson’ to her name for the foreseeable future. We can deal with that as long as she keeps making good music, we guess.
What’s so interesting about her?
Brought up in rural Gloucestershire, Tahliah Barnett’s not a groundbreaker, but she does capture a current mood in music for something that goes beyond the pale of rhythms and sounds we might accept as traditional, and she packages it in such a way as to carry it into view of the mainstream. Her debut album LP1 made it to number 13 in the UK last month.
Tell us more.
It’s in the voice that the connection’s made. It’s a vulnerable, yearning, soulful thing, but she sets it against cold, glitching cut-up slices of music: see the frosty shimmer of ‘Pendulum’ or the minimal, blood-rushing-to-the-head bass rumble of ‘Two Weeks’ for an idea of what she’s about. Just don’t call her R&B. To Twigs’ mind, what she does is more a kind of modern urban punk.
What does her name mean?
A dancer (for Kylie Minogue and Ed Sheeran, once upon a time, and extensively in her own shows), she earned the nickname Twigs for the way her joints crack, but had to add the FKA (Formerly Known As, as any Prince fan will tell you) when another artist called Twigs objected to her using it professionally.
FKA Twigs plays Òran Mór, Glasgow, Mon 6 Oct. LP1 is out now on Young Turks.