Banks ‘III’: A Review

Banks third studio album ‘III’ opens up a new perspective on the calm and chaos of learning to let go.

Jillian Rose Banks, known as Banks, told Apple Music the record is like the beginning, middle and end of love and life.

“It feels like everything that comes to an end is kind of represented by three’s, and a big theme of the album is letting go and being able to start a new chapter and be present.”

Featuring song writing and production from BJ Burton, Buddy Ross and Hudson Mohawke plus a duet with Francis and the Lights this album ensures listeners are in for a treat.

‘Till Now’ opens the record symbolising a new chapter, put simply this is an ode to where she’s been and where she is now.

‘Gimme’ is sweet yet dangerous, as Banks’ sweet feminine voice intertwines against the boldness of the intrusive heavy electronica. There is an inherent power in the contrasting instrumental elements of the track as Banks sings erotically, “gimme what I want, what I deserve.”

‘Contaminated’ is an ode to adulthood. Exploring situations where you might want something to desperately work out but it’s way too toxic. In essence, it’s the realisation of how something may feel good in the moment but is bad in the long run. The dulled vocals throughout almost imitate that inner voice in your head against the more imminent contrasting vocals telling a more honest reality.

‘Stroke’ is about a tainted relationship with a narcissist and their need for constant validation which ends up sucking you dry. The darker narcissistic electronica tones fill the crevices of the track in an almost pressurised manner as Banks delicately sings through the forceful instrumental. Banks also opens up on how these rollercoaster relationships can also be extremely addictive. As she sings, “you want me to stroke your ego, beg for it, die for it.”

‘Godless’ delves into the depths of a previous broken relationship. Here, we are able to hear more of Banks voice and her need for ‘this relationship’ and how it still strongly lingers in her mind.

‘Sawzall’ is the most stripped-down track retreating away from the bold, raging synths. Here, Banks explores those push and pull type relationships from a non-judgemental place, trying to come to terms with why it didn’t work out. Rolling open with a springy piano which progresses towards richer, warmer acoustic undertones. Banks’ husky vocals ascend alongside metallic percussive claps.

‘Look What You’re Doing To Me’ was created with BJ Burton in LA. Right from the start Banks’ electrical vocals hit hard, capturing your attention with the ringing clicks in the background. One of the more organic tracks from the record, as Banks told Apple Music, “it just came out so quick and then I was like, ‘F**** this is good”.”

‘Hawaiian Mazes’ resonates a more equable tone with modern hints here and there. Exploring her retreat to Hawaii for a couple of weeks to silence her brain and release ‘something’. The occasional interjecting piano rolling in just makes for the perfect track to unwind.

‘Alaska’ is actually a song she wrote in her sleep, as Banks told Apple Music, “sometimes I dream melodies.” An immense industrial-type sound you could imagine would sound scrumptious in a vacant warehouse. Banks’ demanding yet subtle warped vocals possess a supernatural vibe, taking you into another world.

‘Propoganda’ and its opening melodious synth reminds you of some of Banks’ previous pop-infused sounds. Taking a darker turn, as Banks details the feeling of getting too deep in something, you need help getting out of it. Although upon first impressions the lyrics appear quite inky, Banks’ assures the track is more about being empowered enough to acknowledge it and pull yourself away.

‘The Fall’ is a ball of creativity as Banks’ builds a compelling soundscape by using the complex layers and tones of her voice. The dramatic almost earth-shattering slaps and ticks remain disjointed yet melodious. Although this track is relatively short, that is what makes it.

‘If We Were Made of Water’ takes us back to a more simpler time, washing away some of the divisiveness and complications of reality. Such a smoothly subtle yet complete opening which makes you feel like you’re walking on clouds. A more daring tone interjects just over halfway into the track to perhaps imitate the full vigour of ‘life’ alongside the subtleties of ‘love’.

‘What About Love’ is one of Banks’ most admired songs she has written over her career, “there’s something about the song that felt life-changing to me.” A fulfilling track about learning to be happy by yourself whilst learning to still embrace love and innocence. Something about the rich and robust staccato piano chords ensures each chord lingers in conjunction with each lyric. Strings of hope simmer away in the background growing louder with a yearning for ‘love’.

Go snap up your copy of Banks ‘III’ HERE.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s