New and Dying Again: on first hearing FKA Twigs’ Cellophane

Mark Mordue

She has something new to offer.
Can she be new again?
I mean ‘new’ in the sense of reborn.
‘New’ as in alive once more.
She sings this phrase over and over till it turns into a circle:
Why don’t I do it for you?
Why didn’t I? Why won’t I?
Why didn’t you?
She does not want to share this love she has, she’s overwhelmed, people are watching and waiting, hoping for failure.
It’s a life lived in public and we can relate.
All of us living that way.
Our terrible public private life.
An atmosphere where we get lost in space.
She does not want to share the sacred here.
The sacred belongs to her and her beloved. 
It’s just a piano and her voice, and eddies of sound that move in and away then back again powerfully, like a constellation of stars that is too close or the faint surge of a city.
The piano so bare it’s hard to tell if she is playing it, or it’s a lone chord inside the guts of the instrument being plucked.
The lyrics are simple and straight.
You almost have them all.
Less hidden, less truncated, less obscured than how she used to write before.
Less alienated and cool.
She is becoming new and it’s not certain what will happen, but the feelings here are both painful and strong, her calling her beloved and anyone who cares to listen.
Calling, calling. In beautiful pain.
Something so precious it feels like it’s already dying. Dying in the sharing and the remembering.
FKA twigs’ love song ‘Cellophane’.

about the author

Mark Mordue is a journalist, editor and poet based in Sydney. His poetry collection Darlinghurst Funeral Rites mapped the inner city post-punk music and art scenes of the 1980s. He is currently at work on a long-awaited biography of Nick Cave; another collection of his own poetry; and the second draft of a novel set somewhere in the very near future.

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