When Lady Gaga first came onto the scene, those of us covering her music and art were confused, excited, and tantalized by her bizarre world and expertly picked collaborators, who all helped her push an envelope that felt deliciously dangerous. That same feeling, that same charged energy is what characterizes FKA Twigs. She occupies such an incredible space: Tabloid fodder because of her seemingly unlikely relationship with a guy who was once half of the greatest couples in fandom (real and fictional); an artist who fuses dance, music, and visuals to create an explicit, codified world of movement, horror, and sensuality; a young woman and, whether or not she uses this terminology, a feminist who is endlessly fascinated with exploring, picking at, and celebrating the power of the yin.
For M3LL155X, her next EP, it is the latter that is her topic of choice. M3LL155X stands for “Melissa,” another identity of hers that she calls, “not an alter ego, it’s a way of looking objectively at my feminine energy, my wild woman, my she x.” In true twigs form, she has released a four-track visual feast, with each segment feeling uniquely creepy but also a part of her oblique spaced-out aesthetic.
The first is “Figure 8,” which has Michèle Lamy posing and staring into the camera, while her face is blown and her teeth are bared. The second, which is born out of the Lamy’s mouth, is “I’m Your Doll.” This track is disturbing, but it uses and old twigs song from her teen years and reclaims the lyrics, imagining herself a blow-up doll who is lasciviously used and then deflated. She dances with cute pigtails and dead eyes, almost accusing the listener by spitting, “I’m your doll.” The previously heard, “In Time” features a pregnant twigs and single shots of her dancing. (This may be the most “traditional” R&B jam she has ever done, which she acknowledges by taking a page out of Aaliyah’s wardrobe. When her water breaks, it turns into a syrupy technicolor mess, juxtaposing the traditional music video dancing to a visceral birth. And the last is “Glass & Patron”, which...if you haven’t seen, well. Your bad. The feminine, the corporal, the body, and the mystical are all front and center for M3LL155X. Check it out.