Having wondered quite recently what she was up to, I was pleasantly surprised that Jillian Banks, known simply as BANKS, has just released her first new recording since her debut album; Goddess. This year, Banks has lent her vocals to the brilliant remix of 1998 by Chet Faker and with Tala on Wolfpack. Banks has a wonderfully haunting, soulful voice that is backed by smooth R’n’B grooves and slick production. However, she’s not just off a production line. She co-writes all her material and sounds just as amazing live as she does on record. I was lucky enough to catch her just as she was taking off, when she played Brighton at the Concorde 2. If she comes back I’d be shocked if it’s not in a bigger venue.
Better is Banks picking up where she left off with the material on Goddess. It begins relatively softly, with her vocals taking centre stage, but the music as well as her vocals intensifies as the song progresses. The clearest vocals come in the chorus / I can love you better than she. This line is sung with so much emotion that it’s hard to imagine anybody not falling for her. Due to the ambiguity of the rest of the song it’s hard to tell if she is singing about a new conquest or trying to win someone back. The sensuality in the song is matched in the video with Banks covered in gold making her statuesque and like a ‘Goddess’. This aesthetic contrasts with images of cracks, perhaps hinting that she is broken or the relationship is that she is singing about.
This might have come at the end of the year, but it was well worth the wait as it is one of the best songs I’ve heard in 2015.
Better is out now on digital platforms with a new album to follow in 2016
By Simon England.