Tuesday’s Tunes: BANKS Is Back and Better Than Ever With “The Altar”

The sad-girl songstress’ new album proves she’s here to stay, baby.


BANKS shook the ground all the way from California with this one. A follow up to her premiere album Goddess, which put her on the map with hauntingly beautiful ballads such as “Beggin For Thread,” and “Waiting Game,” her new album The Altar responds to her previous work with all the bells and whistles that accompany her steady development as an artist.

The album is an intriguing meld between alt R&B, future soul and pop. The resulting sound, though somewhat confused at times, is resoundingly hers. Beyond the personal signature she embeds in each song through her confidence in her very human and relatable struggles, her airy yet dark and powerful vocals repeatedly declare the album a success. Having reinstated many of the producers who worked on her previous album, such as Al Shux, SOHN, and Tim Anderson, the 13-piece album rings true to her previous voice with new insights into the demons she’s been wrestling with recently. The result, though not perfect in every respect, is compelling and honest.

The second track on the album,”Fuck With Myself”, is one of the most relatable tracks on the album. The song itself is very simple when broken down into elements; hollow and metallic plucked strings giving way to a classic R&B bassline, and the soft whisper of “I fuck with myself more than anybody else.” This dark and interesting message is the perfect segue into the soft and vulnerable “Lovesick,” which takes account of her mental and emotional state after a complicated relationship. Despite dancing with the line of overproduction at several points throughout, I would call the album a win for Banks and for all of us listeners.


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