Two Shell & FKA twigs: “Talk to Me”

FKA twigs, one of contemporary pop’s greatest dancers, has only rarely dabbled in actual dance music. Aside from “Ego Death,” her 2020 collaboration with Ty Dolla $ign, Ye, and Skrillex, and a few tantalisingly brief moments on 2022’s CAPRISONGS mixtape, the London singer and producer has mostly found body-moving potential in sinuous slow jams and bursts of frantic, fragmented electronic noise. No more: “Talk to Me,” her new collaboration with puckish London dance duo Two Shell, is a fiery heater that lays all its cards on the table, stitching together elements of big-beat, techno, 2000s EDM, and Eurodance into one furious dance-pop scream.

Most of Two Shell’s music leans euphoric, but “Talk to Me” taps into an intense sense of melancholy, a mode that’s long suited Twigs’ mournful, clarion voice. If the pair’s semi-anonymous dance project has lost a little steam of late—too many hijinks, not enough CHUNES—it regains it all here; they insert pieces of Twigs’ vocal into the mix like splinters, turning it into as much of a textural tool as it is an emotional one. Twigs’ sentiment still comes through, her desperate lyrics hypnotically reverberating against Two Shell’s rubberized beat like spheres at opposite ends of a Newton’s cradle. Her glum appeal to someone who’s “never picking up” continues to echo through to the song’s end—marking what might be the saddest happy hardcore song of all time.