In this day and age, it is very rare to come across an artist of such enigmatic presence, originality, and influential diversity, especially in the world of electronic music. But let us rewind back to 2013 for a moment…
FKA Twigs had emerged from her past as a professional dancer for certain artists music videos, and then channeled her artistic creativity in to two EPS, aptly titled ‘EP1’ and ‘EP2’. It was only until the video for ‘Papi Pacify‘ surfaced online, was it really evident how much of a unique and promising artist she was threatening to become. Fast forward to present day – and we have the first studio debut, ‘LP1‘, from this years most critically acclaimed artist.
Whist FKA Twigs previous efforts were more so surrounded with an enigmatic mystique (with the addition of barely any social network activity whatsoever), on ‘LP1‘ she has been able to finally emerge from the cocoon that she so protects herself, but still manages to be able to harness a truly empowering aura around herself not only personally, but musically too.
There is not one bad track on ‘LP1‘ by any means whatsoever. Whilst Twigs has proved herself to be an extremely talented songwriter and producer, this album also proves to be a most wondrous entity due to the collaborative efforts through the mediums of other producers such as Clams Casino, Arca, Cy An, Sampha, Devonte Hynes, Tic, and the legendary Paul Epworth.
Each song is not only but a extremely well written and executed piece of songwriting, but the production values bring another element to the table which not only compliments the songs overall, but it elevates them on to an almost celestial plane which makes each individual song soar. More notably on the flawless track ‘Pendulum’, where both FKA Twigs is creatively at her best, and Paul Epworth introduces a whole range of production techniques which brings another element to the song altogether. Even on one of the album highlights ‘Hours’, Clams Casino‘s now signature production sound provides a unique lo-fi, almost dream like sound to the composition.
It has to be said, this album is very, very nearly free of any flaws. The only minor criticisms that could possibly be of a hinderance lie within the sheer abstract nature of the album content. What is meant by this, if ‘LP1‘ was unleashed on to an untrained ear, or even perhaps a listener who was not used to this most compelling of listens, it may sound somewhat too advanced for the listener to digest. This is definitely an album that needs to be revisited to be truly understood and appreciated, because of its substantial nature. But the rewards that ‘LP1‘ provides are truly majestic by all means.
The only other small minor criticism, is that whilst FKA Twigs proves here to have one of the most unique and beautiful voices in the world today, some of her vocal lines are a tiny bit repetitive – particularly when you compare the songs ‘Two Weeks’ and ‘Video Girl’.
But ultimately, these criticisms could almost be deemed irrelevant, due to how much ‘LP1‘ can give to you listen after listen. FKA Twigs comes out of her shell to give you a more personal, heartfelt show of emotion, prowess, and serenity. In some ways, it feels like FKA Twigs is teasing us throughout the album, because she gives us so much with such little output – kind of like less is more. She uses her voice and creativity to such an extent that it brings us that little bit closer to her as an individual, and as an artist. But when we think we have fully understood what she is trying to project… the album ends! But in that respect, the brevity of the album provides for further speculation as you will want to revisit ‘LP1‘ over, and over again with something new to discover every single listen. But just what is FKA Twigs truly capable of if she is holding back?! Only time will tell…
Put quite simply, ‘LP1‘ is the most rewarding, substantial, and beautiful album of the year. But what FKA Twigs is capable of showing on here is that not only is she proving to be the most innovative female artist in the world today, but she projects a sense of divinity that an artist can rarely give to the listener. Just like female artists before her like Sinead O’Connor, Elizabeth Fraser of The Cocteau Twins, and the mesmerising Beth Gibbons of Portishead, FKA Twigs harnesses a voice and presence that will make you stop everything you are doing, and all you need to do is watch and listen to truly grasp the majesty of this most stunning of albums. FKA Twigs has the potential to rewrite the rulebook for every female artist in music industry, as well as the electronic music world – and on this debut effort, she has been able to prove that in so many ways. A solid debut, and quite possibly a bonafide classic which will have huge relevance for many years to come.