Last night (August 3), FKA Twigs joined Zane Lowe on his Beats 1 show to deliver her first new track since she shared ‘Glass & Patron’ earlier this year. ‘Figure 8’ was previously debuted at a gig in Melbourne in January, but this was the first time it’d been aired in its proper state. As far as Twigs songs go, ‘Figure 8’ isn’t too wild a deviation from what we heard on her debut album ‘LP1’, but there is more of a tension and dark atmosphere than usual. Bass-y synths and jittering noises skitter around as discordant notes occasionally pierce through. Twigs (aka Tahliah Barnett) doesn’t let that do away with her sense of elegance, though, keeping everything pinned down with poised vocals and breathy gasps infiltrating the menace.
It ends with Barnett crying “let me live” – a plea that seems to have come from feeling like the opposite was about to happen. “I felt like at any minute my life would completely fall apart, despite being so lucky,” she told Lowe on the show. “‘Figure 8’ to me is a reflection of my mind state.”
The track – which is reportedly taken from a forthcoming EP, potentially titled ‘Melissa’ – was also inspired by a trip the singer took to New York where she began taking voguing lessons – a style of dance that originated in Harlem in the ‘60s and features dancers striking model-esque poses between movements – and going to vogue clubs. “I met this amazing vogue dancer called Derek Prodigy,” she explained. He taught me that every hand movement that you do in voguing is a figure of eight, and that is eternity. Every single move has to flow into the other – the eternal move that never stops moving.”