Banks Returns With Her Explosive New Record ‘III’
BY LEXI LANE
Three years after 2016’s The Altar, singer Jillian Banks (better known as Banks) released her powerful follow-up III this past Friday. Even with time, the lyrical concepts of the ups-and-downs of love stay the same: In this way, III concurrently delivers a sense of familiarity and novelty.
III opens with “Till Now,” the song that sets the album’s tone and concepts of exploring and recognizing toxic relationships. Banks sings on the track lyrics “I let you push me around till now,” and “Had your gaslight on / Then you promised I’m the one who’s crazy,” — lines listeners who’ve dealt with manipulative situations will connect to. For fans of her previous records, “Till Now” is most reminiscent of tracks like “Mind Games,” “Haunt,” and “Change.” The gas lighting and themes of toxicity continue on the equally powerful “Stroke” halfway through the album.
The album’s three singles “Gimme,” “Contaminated,” and “Look What You’re Doing To Me (feat. Francis and the Lights)” are all solid songs in their own right and contribute to tying the album together in a bow. “Gimme” is the easiest and most fun to dance to, while “Contaminated” is one of the slower, quieter songs of Banks’s discography. Both show just how versatile Banks is as an artist.
Yet, all of her singles become eclipsed by the energy brought on the choruses of “Propaganda,” “The Fall” and “Godless” — arguably the three best songs off of III. These three songs bring a thrilling combination of Banks’s lyricism and a sense of a louder narrative presence. They all have the duality song-wise to be played in headphones during the daytime or screaming them in your car alone at night.
The record ends on a much quieter note, with the album’s finale “What About Love” ending with the words ‘I love you.’ On III, Banks is fully capable of providing several different sides of herself. This multifaceted nature not only shines in her musical tastes and range, but the different stories she tells through the songs on this album. Maybe it’s the fact she’s a Gemini and able to be incredibly adaptable by nature or perhaps she’s one of the strongest songwriters of our current musical climate. Whether you believe in astrology or not, one thing is for sure, III is beautiful and dark and both simple and complicated, and definitely worth a listen.
Lead Image Credit: Banks / Instagram