FKA Twigs takes us to a sonic soiree of sounds with Caprisongs

2021 seemed to have been quite the inspiring year for artists, as we saw many new releases from some of our favorites. Artist FKA Twigs was one of those artists gracing the world with some new tracks to get this year started in the right way.

FKA Twigs found a home in contemporary R&B, mastering emotive sounds that can make you move, cry and laugh while unapologetically embracing her musical genius and leaving us impressed.

English-born, tidal wave of a talent, Tahliah Debrett Barnett (FKA Twigs’ government name) had been writing, producing and recording professionally for a decade now and had predominantly dabbled in some edgy avant-garde sounding music that people would regard as a specifically ‘acquired taste.’ Her previous record “MAGDALENE” (2019), was a 40-minute long roller coaster of emotion that shocked the audience with ravishing sounds of longing and heartache that recounted bits of her past abusive relationships. 

With this previous record, she cemented that she is inarguably a visual-driven, uniquely sounding artist who knows how to write a moving song and how to give a performance. Yet, her artistry took a giant leap forward in 2022 with the release of her new mixtape that she made for us – as she clarified in the intro – which dropped on January 14, 2022. She and El Quicho, the Spanish producer that helped create Rosalia’s breakthrough album, “El Mal Querer” (2018), are credited as the sole producers for “CAPRISONGS.”

FKA Twigs gave us a bit of her mystique in the mixtape’s opener “ride the dragon.” This piano heavy track laid out the mixtape’s uniqueness and cohesiveness, incorporating a slew of instruments like subtle flutes and dreamy harps. FKA Twigs flirted with the song’s subject as she crooned that she had been waiting a minute for their love. This song vibrated with sexual intensity that can easily cause the audience to feel the heat of her love that she ostensibly breaths out. Luckily, we got a chance to kiss her quickly before the end of the song, because she took us further – blissfully – into her album.

honda” (feat. pa salieu) is an eerily done dance song with Gregorian chants reminiscent of background vocals, but the vibe is quickly lifted into the night sky. We are transported to a dark club where sweat, strobes and sweetness serenade our soundwaves. The afrobeats complimented the song’s nightmarish feel in an ingenious manner. She further captured her audience with her allure as she slickly sang, “I wonder why you so delicious,” creating another sensually-driven palatable song.

Whereas “honda” may sound a bit more mainstream, “meta angel” sounds a lot more like the experimental FKA Twigs that her audience is accustomed to, to which she began the song with what she read on her Co-Star app, “Saggi’ Moon. Pisce’ Veen. Capri’ Sun.”

Sure, she got a little bit astrological – and does so again on “christi interlude” – but it all played a higher purpose and spoke volumes as to who she is: an emotive, creative, hesitant, but determined individual. It also clarified the album title, CAPRISONGS: Songs of the Capricorn.

In “meta angel,” she tried her hardest to look past her fright and uncertainty and found the inner-strength to fly closer to the success she saw for herself. She ended the track repeating a chorus that vowed to throw her past ego in the fire.

Mainstream pop girls better get ready for the takeover FKA Twigs is going to create.

tears in the club” featured the English artist willing to dominate the radio alongside Canadian pop star The Weeknd. The two artists found consolation after a rocky relationship through dance, strobe lights, and opening themselves completely to their emotions and forgetting all about their past love as FKA sang: 

“I wanna get you out of / My hips, my thighs, my hair, my eyes; tonight’s the night / I told the universe I’m gonna fuck your lies then cut all ties / And you’re high as a satellite”

This playfully piano-heavy pop song is a radio-friendly, soon-to-be hit. The Weeknd’s verse guided us through the lamentations and FKA lifted us up into the party in this feel-good song about letting go. The music video is a further testament to the overwhelmingly distinct aesthetic captured by the song.

Where rejection leads some to complete despair, FKA Twigs found her worth in “oh my love.” She wrote about a boy who pushed her away and refused to look at how badly she wanted to be with him. She sang with so much confidence, seduction and passiveness, and makes a less than four-minute track a momentous masterpiece. This mellow R&B-esque pop song is a definite standout from the brief mixtape and found the artist tapping into her lyrical genius that’ll be sure to keep you saying, “Why you playing, baby boy, what’s up?”

FKA Twigs merged mainstream music and contemporary R&B in the captivating duet we did not know we needed. Daniel Caesar dives headfirst with Twigs into heartbreak with “careless.”

Contemporary R&B is revisited by her in the experimental and dreamlike “lightbeamers” – pensive harps, subtle percussion and angelic harmonies wrap this unorthodox track.

Twigs also finds solace in the chaotic subgenre of hyperpop with tracks like “pamplemousse” and “which way.”

She dabbled into a slew of different genres and feels, but somehow still remained the same avant-garde innovator she has been. Her esteem as an innovator is further upheld as she unleashed her desire for dance through the dancehall/afrobeat infused charms “jealousy” and “papi bones.” These two are obvious standouts off the mixtape and impelled us to get into the untouchable rhythmic groove that FKA Twigs created, alongside rapper Rema and hyperpop star shygirl.

CAPRISONGS is a thoughtful body of work that placed FKA Twigs’ artistry and ability to shift her sound on an auspicious pedestal. She showed us happy, sad, annoyed and flirtatiousness within 50 minutes, and guided us with her soothing voice throughout. 

Twigs is more bold and determined than ever before, liberating herself on this project through song and dance, posing for the mixtape cover beautifully aloof, with an impressively done set of nails as one point to her teeth that read goat. This is FKA Twigs at her most bold, her most ambitious and her most confident. Everything that encapsulates a Capricorn sun. 

CAPRISONGS is available on all streaming platforms.

Ivan Manriquez (he/him/his)

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