A few years ago, Toronto was introduced to The Weeknd. The seductive voice of Abel Tesfaye over melodic hip-hop beats really opened me up to a side of electronic music I hadn’t explored before. Recently, I came upon the artist BANKS (Jillian Banks) and she immediately had my attention. At only 25 years-old, listening to her debut EP, London, it’s evident she has already found her sound. If you head to her YouTube page, her collaborations with reputable producers include Shlohmo, Totally Enormous Disctinct Dinosaurs, and Tim Anderson, not to mention the beautiful covers and remixes. To describe BANKS, one could say her music is dream-like and atmospheric with an electronic overlay. Each song is like BANKS is taking you on a vulnerable journey guided by her expressive voice and suggestive tone.
So many elements of BANKS can be traced back to many other artists, some of which come straight from her own influences such as Lauryn Hill and Fiona Apple. Regardless of the similarities, it’s hard to compare BANKS as a whole to any other artist. It’s really exciting to see a young act develop and work with the right people, resulting in releasing some solid songs. With the EP being released last September, it’s only a matter of time before a full-length is announced.
Considering how much I’ve listened to her already the past couple weeks, I’m sure the album will be something great. For those who haven’t heard of her, Victoria’s Secret had BANK’s song, “Waiting Game,” featured in last year’s Paris commercial. Her songs are available to stream on Soundcloud and if you’re intrigued, the London EP is only $5 on iTunes.