Someone New

Banks just released her third album, and I thought it was kind of… the same? Three records of all the same, even when it’s a very good same, gets boring. But I’ll always remember her debut as one of the best things to happen in 2014. Banks offered a heady brew of electronic atmosphere, sadgirl goth aesthetics, sexy R’n’B vocals and confessional songwriting. It was a combination of disparate elements that somehow felt like a sustained mood. Probably because it felt honest in its influences, as opposed to just painfully hip. It wasn’t just moody, it was really raw. Underneath some on-trend production lived a songwriter with a lot of soul. I find it interesting – and relevant – that Jillian Banks was writing music privately for years while earning a bachelor’s in psychology at USC. It explains something about the emotional astuteness of her music.