Music

FKA Twigs - "Figure 8" (Singles Going Steady)

Here's another major statement by an artist (FKA Twigs) who's looking more and more like a visionary with each passing year.

Adrien Begrand: When you have the gall to declare an album one of the best debuts by a woman auteur since Kate Bush's The Kick Inside you'd better hope like hell the artist follows that up with something special enough to prove they're not a flash in the pan. This track from FKA Twigs' forthcoming new EP is indeed a stunner. Structurally it builds from the skeletal, minimal R&B of LP1, but there's even more darkness before, not only in the skittering beats and the shockingly simple three-beat riff, but in the roars of noise that blast into the track as if Khanate is sitting in. Toss in some wicked, pitch-shifted rapping to offset her tasteful and highly sexual vocal acrobatics, and you've got another major statement by an artist who's looking more and more like a visionary with each passing year. -- [9/10]

Timothy Gabriele: While EP2 was stunning off the bat and pronounced itself through Arca’s melted cast iron deformities of pop, LP1 was more of a grower, taking its time to creep under your fingernails and implant itself into your nervous system. “Figure 8” seems like the more pronounced single that people were looking for on that full-length. She’s in top form, as ever, here. Twigs is a comprehensively corporeal artist, her on-stage dancing and video contortions part ballet/part body horror. A common motif in her work seems to be the close and uncomfortable relationship between eroticism/ sensuality and violence, how heterosexual relationships rely on a level of trust and ambiguity that could very easily be misread or abused. “Let me live through your vines," she opens, rooting herself into both the natural world (a la tree vines) and the virtual one (via the six-second Vines she and her beau, a simulacrum of a movie vampire, must feel like they are constantly governed by). Appropriately, the production lurches ominously with the gait of affective naturalism but with the obvious remote, plugged-in radiance of synthetics. A huge success and a great tease for her next EP. -- [8/10]

Brian Duricy: FKA Twigs invokes vicarious living through dance, and the slinking melody provides a perfect template for her otherworldly, warped vocals. "Figure 8" takes on a darker tone than much of LP1, bringing her futuristic R&B deeper into space. An evolved form of one of music's most unique figures. -- [8/10]

SCORE: 8.33

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