FKA twigs is the latest to perform for NPR’s Tiny Desk concert series, debuting her upcoming single ‘Killer’ in-between cuts from her ‘Magdalene’ album.
Coming as part of NPR’s celebrations for Black Music Month, the Cheltenham multi-hyphenate – real name Tahliah Barnett – sang alongside pianist Kelly Moran, violinist Damsel Elysium and cellist Lucinda Chua. The set was recorded at the St. Matthias Church in London, where Barnett and co. performed amid a striking setup of twinkling white candles.
‘Killer’ was sandwiched between singles from ‘Magdalene’ – Barnett’s second album as FKA twigs, which landed in 2019 via Young and earned five stars from NME – with her set starting on ‘Home With You’ and wrapping up with ‘Cellophane’.
Take a look at the full performance below:
As revealed on Monday (June 6), Barnett will release ‘Killer’ on Thursday June 16. She’s described it as being a song “for baddies with a tear in their eye”, which is made immediately clear in her Tiny Desk performance. Its official release will add to an already stacked year for the singer, who in January dropped her ‘Caprisongs’ mixtape.
The 17-track effort sported a litany of singles, including ‘Meta Angel’, ‘Oh My Love’, ‘Honda’, ‘Which Way’ and ‘Thank You Song’, as well as collabs with The Weeknd (‘Tears In The Club’), Rema (‘Jealousy’), Shygirl (‘Papi Bones’) and more.
In a four-star review of ‘Caprisongs’, NME’s El Hunt wrote: “After pouring her darkest moments into ‘Magdalene’, this varied and playful mixtape represents a moment of release, though it remains to be seen whether Barnett will head further into this direction, or enter a new album era recharged. You suspect, knowing twigs and her crew of chameleon-like collaborators, that she’ll probably continue to do both at once.”
Back in March, Barnett was honoured with the title of Godlike Genius at the 2022 BandLab NME Awards. Following a stellar performance, she said in a speech: “I don’t know a godlike genius but it’s a godlike strength to carry on throughout difficult times, the personal experiences, through world experience.
“The hardest thing to do is to keep going and I feel so grateful to know people like [Soul II Soul legend Jazzie B, who presented the award] who I know stayed up all night music and people like Boy George who do the exact same, staying up all night making art and music. That’s what I’m doing and I’m just so grateful that there’s a space for me here.”