[Artist Spotlight]: FKA Twigs

twigs_papi“How’s that feel? You feel right”

Tahlia Barnett, the artist Formerly Known As Twigs, hails from a middle-of-nowhere area of Gloucestershire, but her sound is informed by her experiences of London’s urban sprawls as much as the quiet stillness of country life. Her mesmerising EP2, released through Young Turks during September last year, narrowly missed out on being my EP of 2013, with Sampha’s Dual overtaking it at the last post. If she looks vaguely familiar, chances are you will have seen her as a backup dancer in Jessie J’s videos or in the BBC skit ‘Beyoncé Wants Groceries’. Far from these roles on the sidelines though, Barnett’s solo work unmistakably positions her centre stage, with her siren call puncturing the fog of slouching beats on EP2 opening track ‘How’s That’. It is clear she has a keen ear for melody and composition as jerking click tracks keep things unpredictable while ebbing and flowing synths and nymph-like backing chorals imbue ‘How’s That’, and much of EP2, with the sense of spiralling depth which permeated Tricky’s Maxinquaye. Indeed in terms of musical DNA, FKA Twigs’s closest progenitor would probably be the musical shapeshifter Martina Topley Bird, whose vocals featured prominently on that album. Also, her attitude as a dancer seems to seep its way into the visual aspect of her music, as she has a penchant for mind boggling videos. See for yourself below…

EP2 is available through Young Turks now.

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