On the back of her exciting debut, 2013’s LONDON EP, there is good reason to believe that 2014 will be a breakout year for LA-based ‘dark R&B’ singer BANKS. Making your name in the saturated market of forward thinking singers pushing and pulling at the genre boundaries of R&B and electronic pop is difficult in a world of thousands of Soundcloud pages, but BANKS does this by honing in on one particular quality: intimacy.
As documented on last year’s excellent single ‘Warm Water’ (https://soundcloud.com/banksbanksbanks/banks-warm-water-prod-by) there is an almost voyeuristic quality to listening to BANKS’ sensual voice – a kin to eavesdropping on a private moment. Working together with maverick producer Shlohmo, he makes her usual sound bigger and bolder without losing the distinct insularity of her sound. Over prickly synths and cold flushes of electronic wash, there is a bitter undertone to her lyrics as she proclaims, “I can see you struggling / Boy don’t hurt your brain / Thinking what you’re gonna say”. It’s sung in epic tones but it is an epic played out for the bedroom and we’re quietly ashamed to have watched it played out, but marvel at how skillfully she does it.