MAGDALENE (FKA TWIGS)

RELEASED 8TH NOVEMBER 2019

Favourite track: holy terrain

Musically intricate, intense and fascinating. I have never heard anything like it and it’s truly creative and challenges the musical norms at a whole new level.  

Although I am familiar with the artist FKA Twigs, I hadn’t heard any of her music (or at least I don’t think I have) but I have seen a good few people play her songs on Instagram and recommend her so I was keen to give her album MAGDALENE a listen. The UK artist is known for her unique style. The album is 9 tracks long and the cover art is immediately eye-catching. It’s FKA Twigs almost made out of porcelain with her eyeballs marble like with splashes of colour.

Image credit: Wikipedia

‘thousand eyes’ begins with a haunting, Kate Bush-esque, choral arrangement with dramatic clashing sounds and drums. The vocals are stunningly beautiful with a variety of pitches and layering, making it a true work of art. The backing music becomes more intense as bassline is added almost replicating a monster. Then the synths are frightening in collaboration with the fragile vocals. The production here is very detailed and it transports you to another world, in a magical cave atmosphere with lots of water and echoes. There is a simple, melancholic, broken, distorted melody towards the end which replicates the melody of the choral vocals done throughout. ‘home with you’ opens up with dramatic, monotonous warped audio. It has a sci-fi edge as she makes a commentary about how people want more from you when you give. There is a piano in the background which clashes with the futuristic vocals.

I love the 80s melody in ‘sad day’ and then a strong beat comes in contrasted to the soft piano. Then there’s a running instrumental and powerful pulsating additions. Future features on ‘holy terrain’ which has a HARD beat. You can dance to this as it has a Hip-Hop/Trap feel to it when he introduces it and then she cuts it until the chorus comes in and the beat is back whilst she sings angelically. Future’s verse compliments hers so it works well. It’s a great song and sooooo listenable. ‘mary magdalene’ opens hauntingly, then goes into xylophone/toy box/harp noises, then into deep grand piano. It then fades and is silent as FKA Twigs comes in with a dual/triple voice message via song about women. A bass comes in as an echoed drum and then from about 2 minutes in there is a gorgeous melody and it becomes almost Alternative Hip-Hop in parts and then goes into a mash-up of all sorts of toolkit instruments, all distorted and then still manages to blend perfectly into the chorus.

‘fallen alien’ opens with more piano chords then some synths and FX cutting through the softer sounds. It’s melancholic and passionate in the delivery whilst still having many futuristic elements to displace it. The bass and instruments in ‘mirrored heart’ open in an 80s old school love song way and then her vocal work distorts it. More of the haunting but also retro sounds in ‘daybed’. It really evokes feeling and I don’t know how it’s been done so well. The final track ‘cellophane’ is perhaps the most delicate song. The vocal work here is pained and expresses such raw emotion.    

You just have to listen to this and appreciate the composition of every song.