I interviewed T-Pain this week and when asked who he was listening to, he immediately answered, “FKA Twigs.” A response that makes no sense until you realize it makes perfect sense. Both artists attack the genre in opposite routes. Tallahassee Pain ran rhythm and blues through vocal filters to create a maximalist robot cabaret frequented by everyone from Kanye to Sicko Mobb. Twigs submerged sound out until it drowned, then built an infinity pool to sing laps. Her new song, “Figure 8” owes something that idea, an act of circular levitation until the song becomes a lemniscate.
In the words of D. Byrne, this ain’t no disco. She describes it as emerging from a period in her life where “everything could fall apart…everything was shattering.” This is why Twigs’ music can’t be quantified or calculated. You might call it boring, but it’s really just baleful collapsible music when the earth threatens to swallow you whole. Soul music for Samsara. Lovers rock for the ruined. A series of endless curves without beginning or end, beats and brains threatening to decompose, but keeping it together –just barely.