More about: Banks
In the midst of an alternative rise in 2013 we witnessed Lorde, Tove Lo and HAIM rise to the top. Since then, a flurry of alt-girls battled for the throne, leaving many unable to maintain momentum in the ever-changing stan culture universe. Jillian Banks aka ‘Jilly’ to her fans or as the world knows her as simply ‘BANKS’, broke that barrier a long time ago.
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Reluctance surrounds BANKS when it comes to running social media, following in the footsteps of the mystique online presence that Lana Del Rey glimmers so effortlessly. Even when the Los Angeles gentlewoman does slip in the odd tweet it’s usually perforated with vague, cryptic backstories. Three records in and BANKS is still letting the music do the talking - a smart move that undoubtedly adds to III’s advantage.
Opening track ‘Till Now’ sets us off to a promising start. “You’ve been messin’ me around till now, I let you push me around till now,” a gradual build of emotion with a triumphant peak that leaves the musician gleaming bare. The track acts as a lightbulb moment, letting you know exactly what the remainder of the record will entail and firmly lays down the foundation for the whimsical yellow brick road leading to the inner-workings of BANKS’ mind.
‘Gimme’ takes centre stage and holds no shame in wanting to be the utter centre of attention. Pulsating synths that at points become overbearing and causes you to miss a lyric or ten due to its grating soundscape. If anything good came from III’s lead it’s that it’s dissimilar and constructs its own lane, something we failed to see with sophomore album The Altar.
Despite elements of rage shown up until now, III is–just like all of her previous efforts – a record drenched in love. “You are my God, and when you’re gone I’m Godless,” BANKS strains in ‘Godless’. It’s impossible to overlook the passion in Jillian’s range and right here it’s spotlighted. III reaches a summit, then diverts itself down a quiet sideroad with ‘Sawzall’ starting a blank canvas for the rest of the journey. Children’s voices tie a bow around a soirée of piano following in the same vein as the ‘Weaker Girl’/’Mother Earth’ section of The Altar.
Ending on ‘What About Love’ BANKS gives one final plead of lust backed with transcendent strings to top her statement off. Overall, III is heading in the right direction. Worshippers of her previous material may be left startled, but where’s the fun in churching out the same record three times in a row? III is otherworldly, in whichever way you interpret it. It’s experimental, it’s treacherous and it shows BANKS’ musical progression. III doesn’t play by the rule book, it creates its own.
III is out now via Harvest Records.
More about: Banks