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Music / FKA twigs

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I know it hurts / You know I'd quench that thirst...

Tahliah Debrett Barnett, born 16 January 1988, who is better known by her stage name FKA twigs, is an English singer-songwriter, producer and dancer originally from Gloucestershire and currently based in London. Her music is like a mix between Björk, Janet Jackson, Sade and Aphex Twin. Or something like that.

Her debut album, LP1, was released under Young Turks in August 2014, and it was one of the most critically acclaimed albums of that year. In 2015, she released M3LL155X, her third EP, accompanied by a short film featuring 4 of the 5 songs in it. This was followed in 2019 by MAGDALENE and in 2022 by CAPRISONGS, both of which were similarly met with widespread critical acclaim and the former of which was deemed the best album of the year by Time Magazine.


  • EP1 (as Twigs) (2012)
  • EP2 (2013)
  • LP1 (2014)
  • M3LL155X (2015)
  • MAGDALENE (2019)
  • CAPRISONGS (2022)

FKA tropes:

  • Album Intro Track: "Preface" from LP1, aptly. It clocks in at a mere 1:46 and consists of operatic vocalization, heavily distorted rapping, and a spacey trap beat, serving as a fitting introduction to both twigs' soft vocals and her abrasive production.
  • all lowercase letters: With the exception of a few collaborations with other artists, all of her song titles since the MADGALENE era are rendered entirely in lowercase.
  • A Wild Rapper Appears!: Future provides the bridge for "holy terrain", delivering a melodic rap interlude to what is otherwise a fairly pop-adjacent song.
  • Color Motifs: The "holy terrain" video alternates between a soft bluish tint when twigs is doing her Three Minutes of Writhing and a dark red tint when she's performing arcane rituals, suggesting a sense of serenity in the former and danger in the latter. She also has one blue eye and one red eye, implying that her witchy character is tied to both the human world and the world of dark magic.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The videos for "Papi Pacify," "Video Girl," and "Good to Love" are entirely in black and white.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Some of her videos play with this trope, working with makeup, her natural pale skin and dark hair, and a lot of eeriness.
  • Epic Rocking: Both "Kicks" and "mary magdalene" exceed five minutes.
  • Eyes Do Not Belong There: The "home with you" video ends with a jarring reveal that twigs has an eye in place of her bellybutton, disrupting the serene tone of the video's second half with some good old-fashioned twigs-style Body Horror.
  • Genre Mashup: Think of her music like a mix between R&B, IDM, Trip-Hop, Dream Pop, Soul, Wonky and many other genres. Alternative R&B and Art Pop are the closest terms to describe it, technically. Then M3LL155X introduces elements of Industrial, Glitch and Trap music as well.
  • Hitler Cam: The "holy terrain" video is shot almost entirely from a bit below twigs' eyeline, amplifying the sense of power and majesty inherent to her witchy character.
  • Intercourse with You:
    • "Two Weeks" sees twigs lauding her sexual prowess and promising that her love-making skills will win her beloved over immediately, despite them already being in a relationship with another woman.
    • In "mary magdalene", she embodies a dominant yet caring lover who tempts the object of her desire with her love, warmth, and, again, sexual prowess.
  • Leave the Camera Running: The "Two Weeks" video consists almost entirely of one shot of twigs seated on a throne that just gradually zooms out over the course of four minutes to reveal the contents and occupants of her throne room.
  • Light Is Good:
    • The "home with you" video shows twigs struggling with an injured eye in a dark and dingy nightclub, only to find respite and healing in a well-illuminated rural residence where everyone wears white.
    • Averted in the "thank you song" video, where her guardian angel is a satyr-like man with pitch-black skin.
  • The Mistress: In "Two Weeks" , she tries to convince her love interest to leave their partner for her, saying all she'll need is "two weeks" to win them over and prove she's the superior lover.
  • New Sound Album: Although still far more experimental than your usual pop album, CAPRISONGS sees Twigs ditch the sounds from her previous works in favor for more directly identifiable genres like house, R&B and even dancehall.
  • Pink Is Erotic: In "holy terrain", she describes herself as "blue" until you "open up her sweet thighs", at which point she becomes "hot pink".
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • The first verse of "Two Weeks" sees twigs promising "I can treat you better than her"; in the second verse, she twists this lyric to "I can fuck you better than her".
    • She gives us this gem in "Glass & Patron":
      "Look a little harder/ Shut your eyes and feel the rush/ Will you fuck me while I stare at the sun?"
  • Shout-Out: Her costume in the "Two Weeks" video resembles Aaliyah's in Queen of the Damned.
  • Slow Transformation: Over the course of the "Water Me" music video, her eyeballs gradually grow to way beyond natural size. It
  • Surreal Music Video: Just about all of her music videos feature Uncanny Valley, Body Horror, surreal Biblical Motifs, or some demented mix of all three, often courtesy of her and Arca's frequent collaborator Jesse Kanda.
  • Textless Album Cover:
    • Her albums LP1 and MAGDALENE.
    • Two of her EPs, EP2 and M3LL155X.
  • Three Minutes of Writhing: Spectacularly subverted in the video for "Cellophane", which starts with Twigs pole-dancing in a sparkly bikini. Then a giant insect with her face flies down from the ceiling. Then things begin to get odd.
  • Timmy in a Well: The "home with you" video sees twigs on a quest to return home and fish her younger self out of a well that she's been stuck in for years.
  • The Trope Formerly Known as X: Her full stage name is "Formerly Known as Twigs," owed to the fact that her original stage name, Twigs, was already taken.
  • Uncanny Valley: In the EP2 and LP1 eras, she was wont to depict herself with distorted, discolored, and unusually framed features in music videos and cover art.