This twenty-seven year old trip-hop music sensation has been sweeping the globe since her debut release of Grammy-nominated LP1 in 2014. Referred to as ‘indietronica’ FKA Twigs mixes electronic beats and ethereal vocals to create songs that have landed her with the ‘Best Track for Two Weeks’ running award at the recent AIM Awards.
Not only does she write her own music, but Twigs also directed or co-directed most of her videos. In August 2014 she was signed to Academy Films, a London based production company, as part of their A+ roster. Since then she directed videos for her tracks Pendulum, Glass & Patron, M3LL155X as well as the forthcoming Soundtrack 7 dance films. She has also directed a promo film for Google Glass.
M3LL155X, a five-song EP accompanied by a 16-minute film was released mid-August, just over a year after the release of Twigs’ high profile debut, LP1. As a creative package the EP is faultless; a high-concept, intellectually disquisitive project that’s evocative, yet accessible and transgressive enough to satisfy the competing demands of a newly broadened fanbase and her existing audience of ‘Tumblr-educated aesthetes’. M3LL155X (pronounced ‘Melissa’) builds on her previous work, exploring ideas of dominance and submission and drilling down almost completely into the self.
Rather than obscuring her soft voice with layers of effects or singing in that satirically frail and breathy falsetto as in LP1, Twigs’ voice confidently dominates over M3LL155X. The opening track Figure 8 consists of mechanical whirrs and cracks like most of LP1, but her voice is clearer than ever before. Over modular synth patches and a fluid wheeze of artificial strings on In Time, she demonstrates her most robust delivery yet: “Every day, every day, you be testing my sane, you’ve got a goddamned nerve.” When there are vocal effects, they’re sinister instead of the previously sweet tones we are used to from Twigs, giving the listener the impression that she’s haunted by her own thoughts. This makes the seemingly submissive song I’m Your Doll into an angsty love song written by her pre-woke teenage self that twigs repurposes for adulthood.“I just want [for] you to love you,” she implores, as a reminder, on the garage-meets-gagging dancefloor massive Glass & Patron. M3LL155X — like Beyonce’s Sasha Fierce — isn’t interested in vulnerability.
Pitchfork Music dubbed Twigs as the ‘[universal] feminist pop star’ as she launched issues of her personal life into a political platform though her latest EP. Amongst other artists such as Taylor Swift, Beyonce, Rihanna and Nicki Minaj, Twigs has made the biggest statement for the artist as a feminist.
M3LL155X was released on the 13th of August 2015 and is available through iTunes, Spotify and the Google Play Store.