FKA twigs – EP2 (EP) (Young Turks)

fka_twigs_ep2

Words cannot convey just how captivated and entranced we are with this EP.

FKA twigs is the name of the artist formerly known as Twigs (get it?). Back in December of last year, we reviewed Twigs debut self-titled EP; a unique, fresh and enthralling introduction, the 4-song EP was quirky and difficult to pigeonhole. Fusing together R&B, dubstep, electronica, trip-hop, glitch, and ambient the EP showcased a sound that was her own.

At the time of writing the review for her first EP, aside from a Tumblr page and her You Tube channel, there was no further information available.  Since signing with the brilliant Young Turks label for her second EP more detail about the London artist’s identity has been revealed…including the launch of a Facebook page. Still, as an artist, FKA twigs is still as mysterious and intriguing as ever; her videos are at once sexy, strange, frightening, and in the case of “Papi Pacifiy” (watch below), suggestive and open to interpretation. One thing you cannot deny is that her videos are arresting.

‘EP2’ consists of four pristine produced tracks which, like her first EP, is a melting pot of sounds, quirks, beats, and textures, yet more refined, focused and cohesive with its pop hooks ever sharper. Throw around names as varied as Lykke Li, Grimes, James Blake, Aaliyah, Massive Attack, Jamie xx, and Burial, yet it still doesn’t really accurately capture what FKA twigs’ sound is about.

In several ways ‘EP2’ reminds us of Burial where goosebump-inducing soulful vocals are juxtaposed against dark, cinematic atmospherics, then given a groove courtesy of hip-hop influenced beats and multiple percussive counter-rhythms, all combining to create a unique soundscape that is at once organic yet futuristic, human yet mechanical.

From the opening notes of “How’s That” the listener is immediately transfixed. A dark and sexy trip-hop number with resonating pads that swill and swirl backed by massive beats, its FKA twigs angelic voice however, sitting somewhere between Aaliyah and Aluna Francis of Alunageorge, that lures the listener in. An absolutely stunning opening track.

The James Blake-esque “Papi Pacify” is a slow, watery-thick and murky downtempo track which sees FKA twigs’ gorgeous, heartfelt R&B vocal sitting atop of a deep, rumbling sub-bass, resonating organ, and dubstep beat guaranteed to get your body swaying.

The EP highlight is the achingly gorgeous “Water Me”, which demonstrates that underneath all the blips and glitches are quite simply gorgeous, fluid soulful pop tunes.

Initially “Ultraviolet” is the least thrilling but quickly becomes the most experimental of the four tracks with its exploration in creativity and production. In fact, just when you think you’ve got it figured out, its final 30 seconds boasts arguably the strongest R&B hooks on the entire EP!

Musically and visually, FKA twigs is one of the most exciting and intriguing artists to emerge this year. ‘EP2’ is a stunning EP and certainly one of our favourite releases for 2013.

‘EP2’ was released digitally and 12″ vinyl on 17 September, 2013.

Watch the video for “Papi Pacifiy” below:

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