Jillian Banks, with her meticulous pout, heartfelt lyrics and sleek electronic R&B sound, occupies a contradictory space. On the one hand she seems easy to dismiss as a major-label bet hedged on a pretty face and easily digestible vocal hooks, purred over beats from a conveyer belt of trendy producers. On the other, she is an artist on the rise, who is connecting with her fans. Whatever you believe, when Banks breathes over Lil Silva, Shlohmo and Sohn's understated synths and basslines on singles Goddess, Brain and Waiting Game, the internet hype humming around her makes sense. She lays her emotions bare, at times almost embarrassingly so, sounding raw and vengeful when she belts – and a bit like Fiona Apple in the chirr of her upper vocal register. The Tim Anderson-produced Someone New and Under the Table sink into nondescript ballad territory, but otherwise Goddess is an accomplished debut.
Banks: Goddess review – an accomplished debut
(Harvest/Capitol Music Group)
Tshepo Mokoena is a freelance journalist