Don’t confuse Jillian Banks with Azealia Banks; the former, who likes to go by her surname only, is a twenty-five year old singer-songwriter from Los Angeles currently generating a lot of international buzz on the back of two EPs and two singles. She has been nominated for a Sound Of… award by the BBC and a Brand New Nominee by MTV, amongst others. “This Is What It Feels Like” is my favourite of her tracks and it’s taken from her London EP released in September last year.
I can hear 90s Bristol triphop all over her songs (perhaps due to collaborations with English producers Jamie Woon, Lil Silva and Totally Extinct Dinosaurs) with definite hints of Tricky and Portishead. These influences combined with cutting edge production and haunting layered backing vocals give her a unique sound.
She dresses entirely in black explaining recently to Vanity Fair that, “I wear all black because I feel comfortable in it. I feel feminine, strong, and a bit sexy, like a goddess witch…” Given that a lot of female singers (Beyonce, Gaga, Miley, Britney, Katy Perry, Nikki Minaj, etc.) feel that they are fully dressed in a corset and thong, it makes a nice change to see someone who covers up and puts the focus on her considerable talent.
Check Banks out on her website and have a listen to “This Is What It Feels Like” below. You can also check her out live at the Longitude Festival in Marlay Park in July.