BANKS - London EP

Enough to give genuine reason to BANKS’ mighty cause

Label: Harvest Records

Rating: 7

Her name is BANKS. She’s from LA, she’s already set to support The Weeknd across the world and every producer under the sun would give their left ear to work with her. But why? Early offerings from the beginning of the year were direct, bass-heavy oddball pop songs. Purposefully sluggish, every now and then they’d lack a chorus, a drive. The attention being lent towards BANKS wasn’t perplexing, but it did seem a tad overblown.

The ‘London’ EP’s here to prove otherwise. Unsurprisingly, it was recorded in the same city it’s named after. Something had an impact. BANKS is the real deal now, even though she’s occasionally prone to diving too deep into murky songwriting waters.

When ‘London’ goes really dark - we’re talking production that sounds like it’s been extracted from the city’s sewers in ‘This Is What It Feels Like’ - the unbelievable hype begins to explain itself. BANKS isn’t afraid to wrap soulful, lusting lyrics in rough-edged nuances, the kind you’d usually associate with artists trying to shun attention rather than bask in it.

EP centrepiece ‘Waiting Game’ isn’t the sweat-dripping giant it’s claimed to be. Vienna producer SOHN goes so gung-ho with foggy effects there’s barely any sign of an exit. It feels like a fairly by-the-numbers ballad being sold as some supreme game-changer. ‘Bedroom Wall’ is swimming in synthetic quirks, while closer ‘Change’ is a sweetly-told track that puts all its focus on the singer. Nothing quite matches ‘This Is What It Feels Like’, but that alone is enough to give genuine reason to BANKS’ mighty cause.