Today’s new artist is called Twigs. She’s a performer who cropped up on many early adopter blogs this summer with the usual ‘we don’t know much about her / them’ type commentary and a provocative not safe for work video featuring a see through bra, a gyrating body and a strategically placed flower. Even now,several months on she doesn't seem to have any sort of website or facebook page and is keeping things low key. Yet the very observant among you (or those with good Google detective skills like us) may have been able to find out a little more about her.
Twigs is London model and singer Tahliah Barnett, although according to The Bouche Diary she has also used the name Twigs Paramour. It’s easy to understand why she started out semi-anonomously with this project; we wonder if the hipper end of the music blogosphere would have paid Tahliah so much attention if they knew that she had appeared in the videos of Jessie J for example? (She first appears around the 20 second mark). We’d like to think they would have done, because the music (or rather the two songs that she’s put out officially so far) are distinctively good; a mix of dreamy ethereal vocals and slow-mo electronic atmospherics close to the likes of Grimes, Aluna George or a more electronic Lykke Li. Yet indie / alt snobbery can be a funny old thing. For example how many blogs would be exulting Jessie Ware’s praises earlier this year or last if they had known that this autumn she’d be on a daytime cookery show making dumplings? The music hasn’t changed, but perception of an artist’s credibility does. Right now with her arty videos and clever media positioning Twigs is ultra-credible. Give it a year though and maybe she'll be making chocolate brownies on Celebrity Come Dine With Me.
If you fancy doing a bit more snooping you can find some earlier Twigs material from a couple of years back (here), which seems to take some references from first album Marina & The Diamonds. So the Twigs project and the music that has come from it has developed over time.
More recently you may have already seen Twigs face on the cover of i-D magazine where her youthful gaze stared out petulantly with the word Love formed out of hair on her forehead, although according to one of her biographies she’s been modelling since she was seven years old. This sense of knowing what looks good continues into the video for her second song Ache, which features a man who looks a little like a distressed Bane from Batman writhing around. It’s a little freaky but suits the music perfectly. She's one to keep an eye and ear out for in 2013 we suspect, hopefully because of the music, not her cooking skills.
Twigs - Ache (Video)