Review: BANKS – ‘To The Hilt’

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Hauntingly beautiful

A beautiful ballad which, though not an obvious choice for a single, does remind everyone of BANKS' raw vocal talent – as if we needed such a thing.

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For those who are literally starving for The Altar, BANKS’ imminent sophomore record, ‘To The Hilt’ is a tasty little aperitif to be savoured while we wait. The slow and haunting ballad is perhaps not what one would expect to be chosen as a single, however, it does serve to remind us how she can make a track special by purely relying on her talented vocals and the raw emotion present in the lyrics.

‘To The Hilt’ isn’t the first time BANKS has bared it all in a slow melodic track – people who enjoyed Goddess‘ ‘You Should Know Where I’m Coming From’ and more recent album teaser ‘Mind Games’ will definitely find much to enjoy here. The multitude of emotions she exhibits in each of her songs and the skill with which she conceptualises and metamorphoses her emotions into lyrics really are beautiful, which she also displays with To The Hilt.

Accompanied solely by a piano, BANKS sings of a relationship that has crashed and burned and a lover that has left her (“Hated you for leaving me / You were my muse for so long”). This is mere conjecture, but if the theme of heartbreak present in a lot of BANKS’ songs refers to one particular lover, then ‘To The Hilt’ exposes more detail than ever before. It’s possible that the estranged lover was from the music industry (“They say its just the industry / But I miss you on my team”) and maybe even someone who helped her on her rise to fame (“You saw me as a superstar / And I was a case you helped them see”) and, even though it’s hard to know exactly how this piece fits into the complete picture, if at all, it is definitely fun trying to put them together with ‘Fuck With Myself‘ and ‘Gemini Feed‘ to foretell what more The Altar will reveal.

‘To The Hilt’ is out now via Harvest Records

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I'm a third year philosophy student. I love wandering, travelling, exploring and just generally doing new things that will turn into awesome memories. My biggest dream is to be brave enough to travel around the world as a full time job.

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