An oddly bathetic chorus notwithstanding, BANKS delivers another tightly-coiled single in the wake of last month's penetrating foray 'Fuck With Myself'.
Firstly, let me get my silly nitpicking gripes out of the way so that I can focus on the positives of BANKS’ latest release. The semi-light, head-bopping first chorus of ‘Gemini Feed’ feels a little at odds with the rest of this dark, brooding composition. Laden as it otherwise is with visceral tension, the texture seems to be gradually opening up toward a grand catharsis, a great release of suppressed angst. Alas, we arrive instead at a somewhat premature chorus unable to deliver on the epic hopes set up for it. If only that most gluttonously devoured entity in pop music, the chorus, were to have been frugally omitted first time round, in favour of a more strategic placement after the second verse – a common tactic in similar situations – then perhaps the nagging sense of anticlimax could have been avoided.
It’s not for me to second guess BANKS’ artistic decisions however, and aside from that pedantic observation ‘Gemini Feed’ is a very strong track indeed. Lyrically it revisits her longstanding theme of relationship breakdown, presenting a typically conflicted pull between her waning love (“I tried to say ‘I love you’ but you didn’t hear me”) and her waxing lust (“Ode to my two thighs / I still want you to kiss ’em cos they’re lonely”). It frankly lays out the nastier, controlling aspects of her ex’s character, painting him in a less than favourable light. Whereas standalone single ‘Better‘ and album bedfellow ‘Fuck With Myself‘ deal with the same topic in a more inward-looking way, ‘Gemini Feed’ outwardly chastises her ex for his belittlement (“But admit it that you wanted me smaller”), emotional manipulation (“Convinced me other people didn’t care about me”), and overestimation of her devotion (“And to think you would get me to the altar”).
If ‘Better’ was a heartbreakingly tender plea to win him back from the mistress he cheated with and ‘Fuck With Myself’ was an obliquely symbolic self-analysis of both frailty and strength in the face of a failed love, then ‘Gemini Feed’ can be seen as a working out of the anger and frustration she harboured throughout the ordeal, so that she might be free of the pain it caused her. When viewed like this, the three singles play chronologically as a sort of truncated progression through the five stages of grief, beginning in denial and ending in acceptance. This, coupled with the fact that her upcoming album is called The Altar – a reference made explicit in the present song, quoted above – suggests that her sophomore effort may even be a concept album, and one that powerfully exorcises the many demons that have crept into her soul.
This is all terribly presumptuous of course. A theory wholly reliant on the relationships referenced in the songs being one and the same. It’s perfectly possible they’re not, or that they’re taking on another person’s perspective, or even that they’re entirely fictional. It does however all feel rather eerily interconnected, as though it were decisively planned to be this way. As The Altar‘s September 30th release date steadily approaches, one thing remains certain – whatever it all means, we’ll soon find out.
‘Gemini Feed’ is out now via Harvest Records