Tag Archives: fka twigs

The Best Albums of 2014: #13 FKA Twigs – LP1

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This is the sexiest album of the year. Straight up. LP1 is memorable for not just the haunting production from the likes of Arca, Emile Haynie, Paul Epworth and even Sampha, on top of stoically deep and dark lyrics by Twigs, but it’s also for the visual atmosphere that FKA Twigs builds within her music. Essentially, you can’t listen to LP1 without thinking about her movements, her dancing, her look. It’s synesthesia of the highest order, which we went in depth about in this April post. 

There was a lot at stake for LP1. Twigs had built up steam on EP2, largely on the massively popular song and video for “Water Me” (produced by Arca, video by frequent collaborator Jesse Kanda). I remember seeing her play at Glasslands in Brooklyn, which will go down as my last time visiting the soon-to-be defunct venue and it being the hardest concert ticket to get in all of New York. There was so much mystique around Twigs, who was a prolific music video back-up dancer for the likes of Kylie Minogue and Jessie J, before launching into her solo career, that everyone wanted to see her. It was a cryptic evening: the red lights were low, the smoke machine was on and she left us all jaw-dropped. She was one of the alpha girls for the electro-R&B movement alongside Banks and on a greater scale, Grimes. But where Banks fizzled on her debut LP into a clear product/pawn of the industry (shade, i know), FKA Twigs is in a class by herself.

This is artistic expression. There are maybe one or two other artists on this list (yet to be announced) that can pull off this type of art. She’s stunning. Case in point, the video for “Two Weeks”:

She performed this song, in similar fashion to the video on Jimmy Fallon and as the set ended, Fallon couldn’t contain himself: “Wow! I have NEVER seen anything like that!” It was genuine and a moment that resonated with me for sure, when I think about how affectatious FKA Twigs’ music is.

Paul Epworth’s lone production credit on LP1, is on “Pendulum,” and it’s a finely crafted work, with the meandering beat and Twigs coursing through it’s vibrations. On “Video Girl,” Haynie and Twigs weave a memoir of sorts, from her time as a music video dancer. It’s an honest journey into the brain of her 19-year old self, who she was and who she wated to be:

The camera loves you, ain’t that enough?
You’re craving for the whole universe
So nothing’s gonna get in your way
You’re gonna get yourself broke one day

It’s a window into the mind of a budding star. She was the best at her craft, but she yearned for more out of life and out of art. And like every track on this album, it has a distinct and powerful degree of sensuality. On “Lights On,” she’s a fierce lioness and shrieks:

When I trust you we can do it with the lights on
When I trust you we can do it with the lights on
When I trust you we’ll make love until the morning
Let me tell you all my secrets in a whisper ‘til the day’s done

Fuck. This is sexy stuff and it renders us uncontrollably drawn to her. Calm and demure, standing on stage, provocatively clad in leather and fishnet undergarments, moving erratically, yet in sheer fluidity. And I can’t get these visions out of my head when I listen to her music. It’s more than just an aural experience; it’s a full-on sensory exploration and sometimes it feels like she taps into 6th and 7th senses that I didn’t even know existed. She crashes wildly in and out of lyrical bars and I’m left speechless and in awe. Every time.

The Top 10 Music Videos of 2014 – Pt 1

You are now in tune to Everything Ecstatic’s annual “Best of The Year” project. The 8th year highlighting albums of the year and this is the inaugural EE Best Music Videos of the Year list. These videos are a combination of artistic production, artists that hit, engagement and cool concepts. Breaking this up into two editions and this post begins the countdown starting at number 10 through number 6. Enjoy!

10. King Tuff – “Black Moon Spell” 

The black and white component here really reminded me of one of my favorite videos from 2012, Cloud Nothings’ “Fall In,” with the Busby Berkeley theme. The “Black Moon Spell” vid sees Tuff spinning around on a Marshall stack, with the wind blowing his long hair behind his cap. The spinning motion seemingly moves with the epic guitar riff that plays throughout the song. It’s like a scene out of a fucked up road side biker bar. Love it:

9. FKA Twigs – “Two Weeks”

Everything about FKA Twigs is visually stunning. The “Two Weeks” vid feels like that old Michael Jackson video for “Remember The Time” with Magic Johnson, Eddie Murphy and Iman. It’s the kind of extravagance that we’ve come to expect from Twigs as she’s dressed like an Egyptian queen with dancers flanking her from all sides. The beautiful irony here, is that she herself was a prominent video girl before her solo stardom.

8. Sinkane – “How We Be”

A video about dance, in all it’s many global forms. Hip-hop, krump, African, pop-lock, break and ballet with Sinkane’s Ahmed Gallab, looking cool as fuck walkin’ through different parts of NYC. It’s a dope anthology of dance, much like Sinkane’s new record, Mean Love is an anthology of his many global musical influences.

7. Vic Mensa – “Down On My Luck”

Ok…let’s get one thing out there: I fucking LOVE Vic Mensa. Dude is part of the bright future of hip-hop and he works his ass off. He’s tireless, straight up…All day, all night, he’s working on his music. Now “Down On My Luck” is a bit of a depart from Vic’s usual style. It’s a club banger and that’s new ground for him, but the video is solid gold. It reminds me of Kylie Minogue’s classic “Come Into My World” video directed by Michel Gondry, where Kylie goes around town 4 times over and the video just builds visually and conceptually, much like Vic re-creates his potentially disastrous night on the town over and over until it comes out roses. It’s an incredibly clever video and shouts to Vic for experimenting with new styles and creative shit.

6. Ibeyi – “River”

I stumbled onto these French/Cuban twins randomly on a late night and I’ve been enamored ever since. They sing beautifully in their unique tribal style, taking turns holding their breath under water as they harmonize in and out of the track. The detail of the air bubbles when one of them is submerged and then quickly rises above water to sing the verse is mesmerizing. As far as debut singles and videos go, this one is as good as any and no surprise, they’re signed to XL Recordings, who’ve been masters of artistically marketing their artists with a perfect balance of releases.

Check in later this week for the Top 5!