Tinashe has made her still-blooming career an exercise in divided identity. Her excellent debut album Aquarius toes the line between populist, radio-ready R&B and something much more fragile and tormented. Armed with impressive dance skills and a captivating voice, Tinashe could surely become the next queen of Pop-n-B (and perhaps that’s what she wants), but with tracks like “Vulnerable” and “Bated Breath,” she seems equally committed to the her genre’s dark underground; she’s something akin to Drake, with a much more viable voice and none of the macho bullshit.
And so in her newest music video for “Cold Sweat,” seeing the 22 year-old become distorted by visual effects seems, almost, natural. Strange duplicate faces appear and vanish on Tinashe’s skin while against a black backdrop her barely-lit form seizes and spasms to the beat. If you’re put-off, that’s the idea: “Cold Sweat” is a song of content detachment, one in which Tinashe even rejects the alluring touch of a potential lover, singing “This ain’t a place to be making friends they all got agendas / These eyes on your back, hands in your neck.” All over the track, at points where FKA Twigs or The Weeknd would admit that they’re aroused, Tinashe pushes us away. All we can really do is watch.