What I have linked for you here, friends, is one of the coolest, sexiest songs to land in a long time. Banks is a Los Angeles native and self-taught pianist/singer/songwriter whose track “Before I Ever Met You” has been gaining popularity and radio airplay since it first dropped a few months ago. Her voice is sultry yet powerful, evoking the same raw feminine power you’d get from Lykke Li, Fionna Apple, or Beth Gibbons. It’s certainly in the tradition of trip hop, in this new electropop-crossover-revival-thing that’s been slowly gaining steam.
You can believe that I’m doing everything I can to find out who produced the track. Maybe she did it herself? Who knows? She’s been keeping herself completely removed from the limelight. Most other blogs, tumblrs, buzz sites, etc. are all full of conjecture and searching for adjectives or references to fill the void, just like this one. We need more Banks!
She has released three tracks to date, which have been enjoying a bevy of online attention and remixes. The two others have videos now, the most recent being for “Warm Water”, a track produced by Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs with a video by Dylan Knight. It’s a softer song, showing the versatility of the artist’s expressive and unique voice (I mean that literally in addition to the overarching meaning of “voice”).
And this next video shows, among other things, the incredible expressivity of her upper range. Banks, ladies and gentlemen, can fucking wail. I get chills listening to it.
The production is simple, rhythmic, and very effective. The songwriting is natural and has the feel of a real tune that would work just as well as a solo in front of a piano as it would in an electronic setting such as this. The organically repeating refrains make for wonderful songwriting. As long as the attention that will be lavished upon Banks in the coming months/years/forever doesn’t overwhelm her, we will be seeing massive things from this new artist.