“Is she the girl from the video?/You lie and you lie and you lie.” In the semi – autobiographical ‘Video Girl’, Gloucestershire born Tahliah Barnett gives us a glimpse into her previous life as a back-up dancer for artists such as Ed Sheeran and Jessie J, before she became the avant garde trip hop life form she is today. Hearing about her video past, it is surprising to learn that Tahliah, or as we are introduced to her FKA Twigs, is impossible to pigeonhole both visually and sonically.
Having released two EP’s since 2012, creatively titled EP1 and EP2, Twigs is coming to the surface with a blend of R’n’B, trap and trip hop that is far advanced from her peers and has seen her compared to everyone from The Weeknd, Bjork and Portishead. ‘Preface’ opens, sounding like a hymn set to trap claps. The track adds to the mystery shrouding the album and doesn’t give the listener any hint as to what to expect. ‘Lights On’ gives more of an indication as to what this album is all about – trip hop beats with breathy vocals. Single ‘Two Weeks’ and ‘Hours’ stick to this formula but are individually mesmerising in their own right.
Closer ‘Kicks’ let’s all the sensuality that has been building up throughout the record spill out, stripping down to her vocal and closing with “Tell me what do I do?/ Baby its clear.” Although she may have Formly Known As in her title, Twigs is making sure she makes a name for herself as a creative, confident powerhouse and not just a girl from the videos.