Electric Picnic | FKA Twigs: harsh and bruised, rushing and distended

Like an apparition in club gear, she emerges from the smoke

Artist: FKA Twigs

Venue: EP2015

Date Reviewed: September 7th, 2015

The first and sharpest surprise of this deliciously brooding set from FKA Twigs is to discover that she actually exists.

Frankly, after a chilly debut album, hyper stylised videos and a failure to materialise for last year’s festival, I’d begun to think Tahlia Barnett was just a digital conspiracy, aloof and untouchable.

The next surprise is how tactile her music is in performance. Like an apparition in club gear, she emerges from the smoke, slinky and sensuous, to perform those impressively shrill and drifting vocals, twisting through spidery poses.

To doubters who never warmed to her on record – guilty! – it’s a performance that comes as a revelation. Played almost entirely on drum pads, from beats to melodic lines, Video Girl, Water Me and Two Weeks are actually, confirmedly percussive dance music – harsh and bruised, rushing and distended, as though fighting through the fatigue of an endless night.

In a time of mandatory cheer, or aggressive posture, it feels as real as you can get.

In Three Words: Video girl incarnate