Lorde knows I have affinity for highly talented female vocalists (see what I did there? Lorde? Get it?) Go back 15 years you got me freaking out whenever Aaliyah and Timbaland’s Try Again came on The Box. I’d be screaming, “THIS IS THE SONG FROM THAT DMX & JET LI MOVIE!!!”. Did you guys have The Box? If not, it was a short-lived phone-in music video request channel. Cost $2.99 per request. Not shocking it was short lived. Due to the fact that it played actual music videos, MTV saw fit to take them down, replacing The Box with MTV 2 which promptly began airing reruns of Cribs and Pimp My Ride.
There’s a new artist breaking into the big time using sounds harking back to those mid-90’s lady R&B days. With a heavy bass electro backing and a haunting voice, BANKS claims this week’s ARTIST OF THE WEEK spot. Lets start out with a stripped down version of her latest single Change.
BANKS (born Jillian Banks) Got her start back when she was a teenager living in the Los Angeles area. In middle school she fell into depression, going through many of the same trials and tribulations as many teens these days, most notably her parent’s divorce. In order to cope, she began messing around with a toy piano. Locking herself in her room for hours on end, she started creating her very own melodies and songs. Like so many tormented teen musicians that came before her, she used her music as an outlet for any and all feelings.
BANKS had pretty similar outlets. She was a disgruntled teen and created beautiful songs. At the same time, I too was an angry teen, but instead of making music I bounced a tennis ball off a wall in the parking lot behind the movie theater. Alone. Same kinda thing. Her track Waiting Game is the type of song I’d listen on the way home from said parking lot, crying about how no girls liked me. I mean that as a complement. This stuff is way artsier than anything I listened to in high school though. For sure.
10 years later Banks is still pounding away on the piano writing thoughtful, entrancing tracks that swirl inbetween the realms of indie pop and electronica. After garnering attention through her Sound-cloud account she began working with many big name producer’s in London. Most note-ably, Lil Silva, Sohn, and Jamie Woon.
She made big news this past year when she announced that would no longer “do” social media such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Instead she decided to maintain fan interaction by posting her cell phone number online and asking them to ring her up and have a chat. You would think that would be the last thing a young, pretty, up and coming muscisian would want to do. Why is that the worst thing to do?
Well, as a member of the male gender I can say a majority of us are monsters. That being said, I am also a male who has interacted with some members of the female gender, and they too are monsters. Bottom line, humanity is made up of monsters and you shouldn’t put your phone number on the internet. Yet apparently BANKS hasn’t had any issues, in a recent interview she recanted a story about advising a young fellow on shoes to wear for his upcoming date.
BANKS has released two EPs thus far (London and Fall Over) as well as handful of singles. This summer she will kick off her first European tour and will hopefully then head stateside so she can show the Pop Pricesses around these parts how to do it. She already has the ears of the one and only Katy Perry so I can only hope some of her fans will give BANKS a listen and broaden their musical horizons. I see bright things in this lady’s future. I’ll leave you with one of my favorite tracks a minimalist pop track titled Warm Waters. Check her out. You’ll be glad you did.