Recent years have seen a resurgence of soul music, as artists such as The Weeknd, Frank Ocean and Rhye have brought soul sensibilities into the contemporary fold. As passionate croons meld with modern styles and production, it becomes increasingly exciting to see what new talents may enter the fray. Banks is exactly that. The Los Angeles-based singer draws on the soulful past, but rather than get lost in history she envelops her dark, lustful voice in evocative electronic production.
Banks, who is now signed to IAMSOUND, has little on offer, but what is within reach is stunning to say the least. Her lone two-song single is comprised of “Fall Over” and “Before I Ever Met You”, both exemplifying her immense talent. Trust me, Banks is worth listening to. “Fall Over” begins with the isolated echoing vocals of the songstress, and it is here one begins to realize how versatile and breathtaking her voice is. It reaches chilling highs and sultry lows, commanding your attention with each breath. As her voice meets with gloomy electronic production the song takes on an alluring energy, with brooding synthesizers pulsating and sweeping around her captivating melodies. “Before I Ever Met You” exerts this same energy, finding its foundation in pulsating rhythms and glittering notes as Banks belts out with passionate reserve (“Before I ever met you / I never knew I could be broken in so many ways”); Banks finds beauty in her haunting affect.
For now, all we can indulge in are these two songs—as well as her “Work”, her collaboration with Lil Silva —but expect big things from Banks in 2013. Stream both “Fall Over” and “Before I Ever Met You” below.
Words by Adrian McCavour