Review: BANKS – ‘Better’

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Restless

BANKS' dark, provocative and vigorously tangible sound is back, and more unregulated than ever.

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Yesterday (4th November) BANKS dropped a brand new single, ‘Better’, the lead track taken from her upcoming sophomore album which she revealed on Beats 1 would be released very early next year.

The track begins with BANKS’ staple layering of pitches, her high-pitched coos and low-pitched growls fusing together to make a seductively rich opener. The song reverberates with her intrinsically shaky (but controlled) vocals, as the American artist confidently asks,why you so afraid?. The song’s intensity builds rapidly, and even within the first verse of ‘Better’, the listener delves into the depths of BANKS’ luscious, epic sound.

The chorus then arrives, where it pulses with deep synths, combined with moments of breathy silence, these juxtapositions working to create an eclectic musical palette. The track continues to build in intensity, its pace quickening and electronic sounds colliding to reach an almost explosive state. The song’s final seconds’ abrupt nature reflect that of the whole track: it is passionately restless.

BANKS’ recently described her vocals as “crunchy,” and never has this been so relevant. Her vocals are painfully emotional, and their raw, rough nature enables you to almost feel them against your skin. BANKS’ dark, provocative and vigorously tangible sound is back, and more unregulated than ever.

‘Better’ is out now via Harvest Records.

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Film & English student, Deputy Editor of The Edge and President of FilmSoc. Likes FKA twigs, BANKS and other capitalised artists.

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