FKA twigs | MAGDALENE | Young Turks
Release Date: 8 November, 2019
Feature Image: FKA twigs in ‘holy terrain‘ music video
Ever since her musical debut in 2012 with ‘EP1‘, and ‘EP2‘ following in 2013 – English singer, songwriter and producer Tahliah Debrett Barnett has taken the music world by storm under her moniker FKA twigs. An artist of all trades, twigs’ not only excels in creating her extremely distinct and captivating musical style – but as a gymnast and performance artist, is able to sculpt a timeless aesthetic; allowing her to shine brightly as glimmering virtuoso in all aspects. Her debut LP entitled ‘LP1’ was released in 2014 to raving reviews and critical acclaim, with critics praising her ability to create a unique voice for herself by combining and playing with various genres and experimental elements with confidence. After 5 years, FKA twigs’ returns with her second LP ‘MAGDALENE’ – boasting polished production by twigs’ as well as co-production with icons such as Nicolaas Jaar, Oneohtrix Point Never, Skrillex, Michael Uzowuru and Jeff Kleinman just to name a few. Released via independent label Young Turks, FKA twigs continues to flourish, and demonstrate her musical and artistic prowess.
‘sad day’ glows with a tender melancholy, shimmering with a cold morning light; embracing listeners in a gossamer blanket woven with gentle swells, twigs’ vocals swirl with a loving nostalgia – delicate yet self-assured, hints of a powerful love ballad. Enmeshed with intricate electronic timbres – the progression of the track blooms contemporary and confident, a raw beauty in it’s powerful percussion. A compelling heartbeat, honeyed blood pumping through a graceful dance, dotted with moments of elegant introspection.
The theme of religiosity in MAGDALENE swims vibrantly through the veins of each track, with ‘holy terrain’ sprouting in strength; a collaboration with rapper Future, with twigs’ signature ability to bend and twist genres into something unique and confident evident from the start. Serenity envelops twigs’ vocals, accompanied in turn with a velvet beat, hints of R&B and trip-hop glimmering with soulful sugar – a carefully sculpted soundscape boasting an effortless relationship between twigs’ and Future’s vocals.
‘mary magdalene’ greets listeners with a haunting swell, reminiscent of a gothic organ or gregorian-esque darkness – ghostly keys playfully dot the track, sweeping into the phantom silk of twigs’ loving vocals. The stained glass spirituality of mary magdalene seeps into the modern day, womanhood as the holy spirit – twigs voice sings harmonious in a call-repeat, a choir of the self. A sacred embrace in tone and timbre shines with spiritual melodies, dancing as electronic angels in an intricate power, the beautifully layered soundscape divine in it’s intimate overwhelm.
MAGDALENE is a stunning showcase of FKA twigs talent; an imaginative sculpture of melody and culture, stinging pure with an elegant drama – an experience hallowed in the graceful maneuver of genre-bending, the open arms of experimentation and polished production sprouting a luminosity as the brightest full moon.
Review by Jenna Dreisenstock