FKA twigs is a 26-year-old Londoner whose debut full-length album, “LP1,” feels emotive yet inert, like R&B paralyzed in its own desire.
When possible, her music is best experienced via her music videos, which remind us that time is actually still ticking along because her body is moving.
Even more helpful: She knows how to move in mysterious ways. A trained dancer, FKA twigs fills her videos with provocatively choreographed motion, sometimes using computer animation to tweak her appearance.
The album’s first video, “Two Weeks,” is a salacious slow-burner that whisks the love triangle sketched out in Mary J Blige’s “I Can Love You” off to the 22nd century.
In the “Two Weeks” clip, the singer is nonchalantly holding court in a palace that feels both ancient and futuristic but ultimately familiar. That’s because she’s taking visual cues from the videos for Michael Jackson’s “Remember the Time” and Kanye West’s “Power.” But the unfolding action, which involves various writhing miniature versions of herself, could also pass for a freakier scene from “Game of Thrones.” Or maybe a dream.
With “Two Weeks” and her other videos, FKA twigs joins the ranks of Grimes, Zola Jesus and other post-Lady Gaga phenoms with a knack for translating pop fantasias into watchable YouTube content.
Yes, her movements are agile, articulate and highly expressive — she’s worked as a backup dancer for various pop singers, including Taio Cruz and Kylie Minogue — but her live show seems doomed to pale in comparison to the sexy science fiction she’s presenting on screen.
Or does it? A live performance is quite literally the place where our savviest pop stars most effectively close the gap between fantasy and reality. So when FKA twigs launches her U.S. tour at Washington’s 9:30 Club on Nov. 6, she’ll be trying to bend time in real time.
There’s no postproduction editing on a nightclub stage. That means there’s a lot for her to lose but hopefully even more for us to see.
Lil Boosie at Echostage, Sept. 19.
Dawn of Midi at Black Cat, Sept. 22.
Charli XCX at 9:30 Club, Oct. 2
The Cadillac Three at Merriweather Post Pavilion, Oct. 4.
Marc Anthony at Patriot Center, Oct. 10.