Yesterday, FKA twigs released her highly anticipated third EP along with a 16-minute film soundtracked by four of the five new songs. Though many expected the project to be titled EP3 (following the naming of her previous releases—EP1, EP2, and LP1), twigs instead chose to call it M3LL155X (pronounced “Melissa”), a name that refers to her own “personal female energy” and is her most forward, cohesive release to date. It arrives only a week after the one-year anniversary of her debut album.

twigs examines this female energy within the M3LL155X film as its main character. First, twigs is born (from the mouth of Michèle Lamy, no less), then she gets pregnant, then she gives birth, and then she vogues. The pregnancy, birthings, and voguing are symbolic, as twigs described during an interview with Complex for our June/July cover story. M3LL155X is a much greater metaphor for learning to accept and understand oneself. 

“You can get pregnant with pain and birth creativity,”​ she said. “​You can birth being yourself—that’s something I’ve learned through vogue. Being humble and staying committed to being the person you want to be despite criticism, prejudice, and everything you’ve been through. Just being you.”

Whether singing about how vogue also helped her embrace her femininity (“Figure 8”), the intricacies of submitting to someone else (“I’m Your Doll”), or initiating IRL interaction and rejecting obsessive celebrity fan culture (“Glass & Patron”), twigs ties it all together with M3LL155X, which she produced with Tic Zogson, Cy An, and Boots. On this EP, her voice is clearer and louder than ever before, partly thanks to encouragement from Boots, who also embedded visceral, real-world field recordings into the songs, like water dripping from a toilet and coins falling out of a jar.

The EP shows that twigs has come a long way from LP1, which began with her repeatedly singing a line of Sir Thomas Wyatt poetry, “I love another, and thus I hate myself.” Read on to learn about the self-realization of M3LL155X in twigs’ own words, shared during our cover interview, and buy the EP here.