There was little doubt that from the first notes of her 2012 debut, the mysteriously monikered FKA twigs (it stands for “Formerly Known As,” should you have missed it until now) would decisively turn the stagnant R&B-pop-go-round on its expensively-groomed head.
Seven years on, she still manages to send a decisive, iconoclastic chill, with her enigmatic new single “Cellophone.” The opening sound effects could just as easily be crashing waves as audience applause, followed by an eerily minimalist piano accompanying the lyrical insistence, “They wanna see us / Wanna see us apart / And I don’t want to have to share our love.” Her haunted vocal performance suggests both fear and defiance.
In the accompanying Andrew Thomas Huang directed video, she plays something between awesome mythical goddess and stunningly proficient erotic dancer. In it, she’s seen performing some harrowing acrobatics on a shiny, skyward pole – before falling and ending up covered in a reddish, surely metaphorical mud.
“When I wrote ‘Cellophane’ over a year ago,” she recalls, “a visual narrative came to me immediately. I knew I had to learn how to pole-dance to bring it to life, and so that’s what I did. Thank you Andrew Thomas Huang, for elevating my vision beyond words. You are a visionary.”
The song acts as a veritable teaser for her long awaited second album, due out later this year via Young Turks. In the meanwhile, she’ll be touring from LA to NYC, Berlin to Sydney, throughout May and June.