One tool that fka twigs has always used effectively in her (usually self-directed) music videos is the concept of autonomy. Barring a few clips, like the powerfully choreographed “Glass & Patron,” she is often the only focal point in her videos, which invokes a multitude of themes that also seem to reflect in her music: self-reliance, introspection, singularity, loneliness, confidence, strength, abnegation, self-acceptance.
Her videos also tend to add to the ambiguity of her music, which never seems to be about the easy answer; on “Lights On,” for example, she sensually sings the line: “When I trust you we can do it with the lights on,” but it’s not explicitly about sex. “That’s a metaphor for letting certain people see the different, ugly sides of you that others won’t be able to see,” twigs told Pitchfork in 2014.
So in “Good to Love,” the new single and video she released today, it’s tempting to assume the song’s about a lover—luscious Robert Pattinson, twigs’s fiancé, is the automatic default—but it could just as easily be about self-love, platonic love, familial love. (Three weeks ago, she Instagrammed an aorta captioned with a lengthy meditation on the concept of loving fiercely and endlessly.) The bedsheets imply sex, for sure, but it’s also just visually striking, some kind of study in the way photographic light can connote intimacy a la Jean-Luc Godard (that bedroom scene in Breathless) or Robert Mapplethorpe.
It begins with the soothing sound of twigs’s feet—dancer’s feet, in rare repose—rubbing on the sheets, no doubt a purposeful inclusion for the ASMR-prone among us and lending an added depth to the meaning. “It’s good to love,” goes the chorus in a song where twigs has never sounded so purposefully sweet, or so open; it’s the closest thing to a traditional ballad she’s ever done, and it’s equally pleasing to hear something approaching simplicity and light from an artist who trades on her intensity and complexities. It’s also a song that allows itself to be beautiful for beauty’s sake, soaring and, wow, major-key in a territory she rarely treads.
There’s also a sense of being filled up, of quiet rejuvenation, in both the tone and the lyrics (she sings, “So will you hold me while I cry/and let me lay against your side/so let me love, it’s good to love, it’s good to love”). You know what else is good? Hearing twigs express a simplicity in a key that can be almost universally understood as having joy. I’m very much looking forward to her next album! She’ll be on The Tonight Show next week, February 24.
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