Recently, the incomparable FKA twigs performed a cover of Sia’s “Elastic Heart” on BBC Radio 1’s “Live Lounge” show. You can watch the performance below and read my very important second by second thoughts as well:
0:03 – Totally forgot she was British
0:10 – I wonder how stupid artists feel pointing to nothing for that graphic
0:30 – It’s hard to make pad-based percussion look cool
0:33 – Buildddd—this is gonna be good
0:35 – What, what?
0:37 – Ahhh hell yeah, I love FKA twigs
0:55 – Her voice absolutely slays me
1:00 – I want that big PVC jacket
1:12 – Haunting…
1:20 – Less bombastic vocals than the original, but I kinda dig it
1:35 – Much tougher than the original, I definitely dig it
1:47 – Who is that?
1:48 – That photographer needs to move
1:55 – Nevermind, not a photographer
2:00 – Oh shit! Niiicee
2:08 – That Robert Pattinson is a lucky dude
2:28 – Background transition sounds a little wonky, but the wardrobe change is conveniently distracting
2:36 – Can that dude see his bass?
2:50 – Damn, that guy is good. This is dope.
3:03 – Is she getting in on the dancing? Yassss!
3:13 – Wait, don’t be the end!
3:19 – Whew!
3:25 – Creepy strobe fingers could also mean incredible shoulder rubs…
3:28 – Just remembered she started as a backup dancer
3:35 – Oh damn. Damndamndamn that’s cool
3:55 – I just realized how not flexible I truly am
4:12 – Power move
4:17 – Pretty sure that’s how angels sound
4:31 – *long exhale* Wow
I’ve been into twigs since the jump—I’ll claim my hipster percentage on that one with no shame. When the video finally came out for “Two Weeks,” I watched it 50 times if I watched it once. That song opened me up to the whole “darkwave R&B” move and totally redefined my ideal of what a sexy song is. Or what sexy is, period.
This is a totally boss cover, and while it lacks the bombast of Sia’s incredible voice, it’s distinctly twigs—sexy and tough, yet fragile and ethereal. I totally wasn’t expecting the performance aspect, either, which was awesome. Her movement and aesthetic contributes so much to her music, and I was really excited to see her dance with someone while performing. The male dancer’s intrusive, threatening presence is greeted by a nervous side eye at first, endured by the singer, who keeps to her craft. Eventually she stalks away from the mic, facing down her opponent, dancing and asserting herself as an equal, before she flips the situation and takes control: spinning her adversary like a top, then grabbing his shirt and holding him as she states “… I move fast/ But I won’t fall apart.” At the last, there’s a moment of intimacy before the two spin back to back, almost as one, but still separate, two people with their eyes on their own distinct futures.
It works well as a gloss of FKA twigs entire oeuvre: a twisting conversation about power, intimacy, trust and self-reliance: a constant push and pull at the elastic heart of it all.