Amidst the growing crop of artists wielding that sultry, powered by synths and R&B musicianship, a woman named BANKS stands apart, occupying an island of her own fearlessness. With a voice that cuts like glass, Los Angeles-bred Jillian Banks is poised to take over the world armed with her powerfully introspective songwriting and melodies that linger like the sheen atop freshly laid gravel. After opening for The Weeknd on tour in 2013, Banks drew rave reviews from festival crowds the world over, setting the stage for her long-awaited debut album, Goddess, which is set to release September 9, 2014.
Since we’re totally obligated to give you a rundown of the albums we thought were Ones To Watch this year.
Sure, 2014’s not over yet, but we’d like to pause for a moment and look at some of our favorite live performances so far.
Jillian Banks has survived a torrent of pre-debut album publicity with hardly a scratch. Since 2013, the 26-year-old self-taught musician and producer has riled the music community with her expressive confessional lyrics and emotionally electrifying production while keeping herself an arm’s length away from self-promotion. In that time, she’s paired with the beat-making community’s biggest rising names, releasing smoke-filled single after single and un-ostentatiously forging a reputation as the female version of The Weeknd. Her new album Goddess brims over with emotional urgency, dropping slicing truths about her relationships with irrefutable deftness and swagger. Make no mistake, this is an album that anyone needs to give a listen to.
Genre: Alternative / Electro-Pop
From: London, UK
Sounds Like: Depeche Mode, Tears for Fears, The Neighbourhood
Genre: Electronic / R&B
From: Nashville, TN
Sounds Like: Peter Gabriel, The Weeknd, Sting
Genre: Alternative / Singer-Songwriter
From: Auckland, New Zealand
Sounds Like: Lana Del Rey, Lykke Li, Florence + the Machine
Genre: R&B / Singer-Songwriter / Soul
From: London, UK
Sounds Like: Adele, Sade, Amy Winehouse