In Review: FKA twigs - 'Don't Judge Me'
Any fan of FKA twigs has one of two videos that lives in their mind rent-free: her music video for ‘cellophane’, or its live performance on The Tonight Show. She is living proof that the role of ‘late-night guest musician’ can always provide a chance for those willing to express genuine artistry.
Care must always be taken when writing about twigs. A singer, songwriter, dancer, actress, and director cited by critics as a modern evolution of Kate Bush, she is an artist’s artist, through and through. It can be far too easy, then, for any reviewer to trip over themselves in pretense and obsequiousness as they dissect the artistry of a whimsical, humble young woman from Gloucestershire.
Her latest, ‘Don’t Judge Me’, is an uncharacteristically straightforward affair. Yes, the insectoid synths morph in chaotic ways, but there’s structure and order to the music. ‘Don’t Judge Me’ is the first in a string of upcoming collaborations by twigs, featuring a potent extended verse by rapper Headie One. Where twigs asks her lover not to judge her and to “take care of my heart”, Headie One uses the title as a springboard for a devastating self-portrait of a young black teen and his all-too-frequent experiences of police brutality and discrimination.
As she is customary throughout her canon, twigs’ vision extends beyond music into the visual. The accompanying music video, filmed in Tate Modern, is set in front of Kara Walker’s depiction of the British slave trade, the Fons Americanus monument. It goes without saying for anybody who has seen an FKA twigs video, but go watch it.
Twigs recently announced that she’s completed an entire album over lockdown. Though insiders claim this is unrelated to her upcoming third LP, ‘Don’t Judge Me’ is surely an indication of the collaborative energy that FKA twigs seems more than eager to embrace this time around.
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