Since returning with her first new music and shows in three years back in spring, FKA twigs has kept us waiting for word on her next album. Now, in a new interview with i-D, the R&B artist has finally detailed the release, which is called Magdalene and expected to drop this fall via Young Turks. Update: The album is out on October 25th. See the artwork and tracklist below.
With Nicolas Jaar serving as co-producer, the effort came together over the course of three years in London, New York, and Los Angeles. FKA twigs described Magdalene as “really fragile,” having been made while she recovered from emotional and physical distress. Last summer, she revealed that she’d had surgery in 2017 to remove six large fibroid tumors from her uterus. While recording in NYC, she cut herself off from those close to her, indulging in a solitude of ornate medieval dresses and solo wanderings around the city.
“I was in a sad place, mentally, and I didn’t want to come out of it,” she recalled. “I don’t have many friends there, and wasn’t communicating with my friends or family [in England]. I just went and locked myself off.”
Despite this, the vulnerability of Magdalene gives way to twigs’ natural grace and power. “Just when you think it’s really fragile and about to fall apart, there’s an absolute defiance and strength in a way that my work’s never had before,” she explained.
Reflecting on how “as a woman, your story is often attached to the narrative of a man,” she said the album “is about every lover that I’ve ever had, and every lover that I’m going to have.” As the title suggests, she was inspired by the Biblical Mary Magdalene:
“No matter what you’re doing or how great your work is, sometimes it’s as though you have to be attached to a man to be validated. I’d felt like that at times. And then I started to read about Mary Magdalene and how amazing she was; how she was likely to have been Jesus’s best friend, his confidante. She was a herbalist and a healer, but, you know, her story is written out of the bible and she was ‘a prostitute.’ I found a lot of power in the story of Mary Magdalene; a lot of dignity, a lot of grace, a lot of inspiration.”
In addition to the previously released “Cellophane”, Magdalene features tracks called “Daybed”, “Home With You”, and “Sad Day”. Another song, “Holy Terrain”, sees Future delivering a guest verse on what’s described as “a dark, sexy, witchy trap tune.” While Magdalene is “a really empowering, sensitive record, with a lot of feminine energy,” “Holy Terrain” finds Future “talking about his downfalls as a man; how he’s how he’s sorry and asking for healing,” as twigs explained. “I love sad Future. I love when he gets emo, when he expresses himself. It’s just so beautiful when he opens up.”
Additionally collaborators include Skrillex, Jack Antonoff, Oneohtrix Point Never, Cashmere Cat, and Benny Blanco.
FKA twigs has been previewing some of the Magdalene material on her recent tour of the same name and at festival stops throughout the summer. She’s next set to appear at Atlanta’s AFROPUNK (Future guest appearance, anyone?) and Tyler, the Creator’s Camp Flog Gnaw in Los Angeles. Get tickets to all her upcoming shows here. Update: FKA twigs has just announced her first North American tour in three years.
01. thousand eyes
02. home with you
03. sad day
04. holy terrain (feat. Future)
05. mary magdalene
06. fallen alien
07. mirrored heart
Below, revisit the video for “Cellophane”.