FKA twigs’ new song ‘Figure 8’ is another stunning sonic achievement

In case you hadn’t noticed, we’re completely obsessed with FKA twigs, the body-contorting, voice-stretching visual artist and musician behind some of the sexiest, strangest songs of the decade. Tunes like “Water Me,” “Pendulum,” and “Two Weeks” were a revelation; in an industry obsessed with anonymous breathy voices and undulating bodies, twigs’ brand of dissonant, distorted, and diverse music traded on borderline disturbing imagery while opening up minimalist soundscapes, tethered to the listeners’ ear only by the ethereal quality of her voice.

Following her landmark LP 1, twigs has been slowly revealing what’s up next. First, there was her self-directed video for “Glass & Patron,” which combined two songs (the aforementioned one, as well as one sinisterly titled “Mothercreep”) into a double video. Notable for the new focus on traditional dance beats and breakdowns, it also showcased twigs’ new appreciation and study of the historically gay Black and Latino vogue dance tradition. The moves suit twigs, whose dancer background allows her to hold her own against storied practitioners of the form.

Then came Congregata, a series of special shows in which twigs debuted her vogue ball-themed show alongside genre legends like Dashaun Wesley. More details on her upcoming music arrived in bits and pieces — an EP named Melissa to drop during the summer; live tracks at Soundtrack 7, the multimedia, WIP project documented and curated by twigs; and now, new track “Figure 8,” debuted on British radio personality Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 Radio show — spoiler alert, it’s amazing.

In an interview with Lowe on the show, twigs reveals the inspiration behind the song:

The song itself is peppered with skittering, mechanical sounds which grind into bursts of industrial noise, as twigs’ voice glides and groans over cryptic lyrics: “I feel in ten breaths / it’s a miracle if we’re still alive.” Listen to the track, as well as Lowe’s interview with her, below; just wait, you’ll get chills.

Related reading:

It’s time to finally talk about FKA Twigs (and watch her new video)

The most electrifying music videos of the year so far…

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