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Albums of 2014 #8: FKA Twigs: LP1

Even if you chose to hear Tahliah Barnett’s remarkable voice as just one instrument among the many sound sources assembled so painstakingly (by Barnett herself, with assistance from Paul Epworth, Arca, Clams Casino and others) on LP1, the music of FKA Twigs was unmistakably a very sensual thing. Taken as nothing more than a series of coos and moans and excitable squeaks, the artist formerly known as Twigs’ vocals merged symbiotically with swooning synths and shuddering R&B-influenced beats to create a deliciously dark strain of cyberspace erotica; the aural equivalent, perhaps, of Chris Cunningham’s oddly arousing video for Bjork’s “All Is Full Of Love”, where cold, unfeeling machines build robots for the specific purpose of replicating the experience of human physical intimacy. Listen to what the singer was actually saying, though, and LP1 became a very different animal – still sexy, but in a much more hot-blooded way. Barnetts’ lyrics painted her variously as a vamp, an ingénue, a potty-mouthed dominatrix, the perfect girlfriend and jealous ex, teasing (“How does it feel to have me thinking about you?”), torturing (“Feel your body closing/ I can rip it open”) and threatening (“Pull out the incisor/ Give me two weeks, you won’t recognise her”) the object of her affections over a backdrop of mutant electronica so trippy the overall effect was as disorientating as waking up drugged and bleeding and tied by the wrists to your stalker’s bedposts. Twigs’ allure was obvious, but she wanted you to know: mess with her and you’ll come away with your fingers burned – and other appendages likely missing altogether.


About foamhands

My name is Michael Dix; I'm a decade or so past being down with the kids, but to me new music never gets old. Apparently I like music that sounds like faulty kitchen appliances and ritual slaughter; really I just like what I like, whether that happens to be indie, pop, punk, hip hop, metal, electronica, Afrobeat or jazz. Follow me on Twitter @FoamHandsBlog to receive notifications of new posts and the occasional random brain-fart, and please share links wherever you can. Enjoy!

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