In the days before Twitter, People magazine and the other mediums of our constant consumption of celebrity culture, there were very few ways to find out about an musicians life. You could be a huge fan of someone and know very little about their personal life. I think my least favorite thing about the advancement of social media is the entitlement people now feel they have to know the intimate details about someones life, they want to interact with their favorite artist on such a personal level. My childhood subscription to Bop magazine let me know that Andrew Keegans favorite color was blue and he had a lizard named Blizzard (so clever), but beyond that I didn’t know and didn’t care where he did his grocery shopping or whether his father got a DUI.
I’m usually hard pressed to find a new rising artist that isn’t totally over-exposed. I’ll hear a great song, type their name into google and within 15 minutes I can tell you where they are in the world and what they had for breakfast. The actual ‘music’ tab of their website is hidden between the links to their various social media press kit. It’s so revealing that I often find myself turned off by this over-sharing. Just like a girl showing all her skin can over saturate your eyes, I still like when people keep a little something for themselves and do things in their life just for their own enjoyment, not just for the facebook photo.
So it is with great pleasure that I introduce you to someone today who is dare I say, underexposed. Jillian Banks, who goes by the plain moniker BANKS is a twenty something from LA that has been gaining some great momentum this past year . She’s managed to make all recent ‘ones to watch this year’ lists, toured as the opener for The Weeknd and had her music featured in several commercials without showing us 30 photos of herself lounging on a beach. I went searching for her bio online, I laughed out loud to find her actual phone number listed with a message stating she’s not into social media, so give her a call or text if you want to chat. All of her songs are filled with tense, haunting vocals over almost industrial sounding beats. Her lyrics are sung with incredible sexiness, whenever I listen to her songs I feel like she’s slinking across the room to me.
It’s probably in poor form to start you off with a cover, but whatever, I do what I want. Her cover of ‘In your eyes’ by Peter Gabriel is wonderful and sultry; she makes it totally her own. ‘Before I Met You’ and ‘Change’ are my favorite new breakup songs, she perfectly captures the back and forth of a relationship you’re fighting for even though you know you should go your separate ways. ‘Warm Water’ is sung sensually over the simplest tiny beat that lets her voice really shine through. My boyfriend is in San Francisco right now and I can’t wait for him to get home so we can dance in the kitchen together to this one. ‘Waiting game’ is a visceral experience for anyone that has ever dated someone who tours for a living. When she croons ‘I never even see you cause we’re both on a stage, don’t tell me to listen to your song, cause it isn’t the same’, I can remember the exact frustration of a long-distance relationship on the road.
I set out to write about 2 or 3 of her songs today, but I of course didn’t heed my own advice and have probably over saturated you. I’m not going to be sorry about that though, because if there’s anyone out there right now that deserves a little extra exposure of the right kind, it’s her.