OK, places everyone! Here’s the video concept for the new FKA Twigssingle, “Glass & Patron”: a white van is parked in the middle of the piney woods and inside a pregnant FKA Twigs goes into labor and gives birth to a magician’s endless multicolored silk streamer that billows in the breeze … fade into a “Paris is Burning”-meets-“The Cremaster Cycle”-style vogueing ball that takes place on a long mirrored runway in the middle of those woods, with an enthroned FKA Twigs judging from the far end and telling the half-dozen dancers: “Hold that pose.” Got it? Go!
The bizarre, fascinating new video (from the album LP1, released by Young Turks) is classic FKA Twigs, with its slow build, extreme close-ups, high-drama sexuality and energetic dancing. As with all her videos, Twigs directed this herself.
The FKA Twigs cocktail is a mix of equal parts “Controversy”-era Prince + the falsetto soul of James Blake + Manchester-based late-1990s trip hop/drum and bass duo Lamb + the daffy physicality of Shelley Duvall as Olive Oyl in Robert Altman’s version of “Popeye.” She’s really something. Weird, intense, with a beautiful wavering soprano that floats over the stuttering static and deep bass undulations of her band, this is dark, erotic music. No matter how much you dig it, this will never be your summer jam. It’s more of a darkest-night-of-winter jam. “So do you have a lighter?” she sings, “Am I dancing sexy yet?/I can’t wait to make your body my own.”
Like Madonna and Lady Gaga, she emerged from an underground club scene (Twigs performed in London’s burlesque clubs and was a backup dancer for Kylie Minogue and Jessie J) with a highly refined total vision of herself, from the music to the fashion to the performances. Many of FKA Twigs’ points of reference seem to borrow from early 1990s Madonna, especially “Sex,” “Erotica” and of course, “Vogue.” But Twigs is no copycat. This isn’t Miley Cyrus licking a wrecking ball. This is something more convincing: a serious performer with a 360-degree artistic vision. She may be young, she may look like Prince’s runty kid sister, but like that crazy club kid Maddona Louise Ciccone before her, this little Bjork chop clearly has world domination on her mind.
Buzzy Jackson's newest book is "The Inspirational Atheist: Wise Words on the Wonder and Meaning of Life" (Penguin/Plume). She writes for the Boston Globe and on her own blog at BuzzyJackson.com. Buzzy lives in Boulder, Colorado and she believes that, some day, Nick Cave and PJ Harvey will get back together.
They just have to.