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Starbucks' Song Pick Of The Week: 'Drowning' By Banks


Just when I am going to see her (at Sonos Studios on Saturday night) Starbucks offers me one of Banks’ songs on iTunes, the track ‘Drowning’, off her debut album ‘Goddess’, which was just released on Harvest Records.

Apparently, Banks, is one of these artists that goes under a single name which is a bold thing to do, or may be it destines you right away to great future,… just look what happened to Madonna, Sting, Prince, and even Feist, whom Banks has been compared to.

On the other hand, Banks cites Lauryn Hill and Fiona Apple as major influences, but when I listened to ‘Drowning’ for the first time, I almost heard the dark and melancholic soundscapes of a Lykke Li. She is quite young but there already is this songstress title behind this slow electronic R&B, filled with melancholia and mystery; the song is warm and cold at the same time, the sound is lush and it wraps you entirely while a dense forest populated of squeaky sounds and voices are echoing Banks’ emotional vocals.

I haven’t listened to the entire album, since I wanted to focus on this specific song and its rather dark atmosphere, and I have no trouble imagining Banks drowning as the music and the vocals make ripples and ripples through thick layers of electronica and gospelic voices… and to be honest the crescendo at minute one reminds me something from Kate Bush.

‘Take it from the girl you claimed to love/You gonna get some bad karma/I’m the one who had to learn to build a heart made of armor/From the girl who made you soup and tied your shoes when you were hurting/You are not deserving, you are not deserving’ she croons to an ex-lover, because whom else a song filled with such sadness could be addressed to?

Producer Al Shux (Jay Z, Alicia Keys, Snoop Dogg, Nas, Lana Del Rey,…) is behind the song but there is an army of producers behind Banks’ album: from Sohn (Lana Del Rey, Rhye) to Lil Silva, Shlohmo, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs,… it’s amazing how many people are behind an album these days and I suppose, I will see soon if she can reproduce this lush production live.

You can download the song ‘Drowning’ for free on iTunes, using the code H4H4L3AXA7KA.

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