People of LA/Cali/OC
Come join us at the playa del rey beach for a game of volleyball, although I haven’t played before I am quite certain that I am the best in world so come through today at 2:30(LA time) but don’t be in your feelings when you loose, bring your friends (at Playa Del Rey, California)
With a voice that is at turns tender and yearning, and at other times earnest and rasping, Jacob Banks is a truly extraordinary talent. I don’t write those words lightly. He’s an artist with a unique vision. That he’s still unsigned and therefore recorded, mixed, and released his new EP all by himself just shows his level of talent and vision. All this, and he’s only 24.
I discovered him this past Friday evening. I had decided to finally watch the movie, Beyond the Lights. A gossip blog I read had been recommending it as a movie that is surprisingly better than one would think. And they were so right. Beyond a good story with great acting, the music is stellar. The soundtrack includes India Arie, Yuna, and many other great artists. But when it got to Jacob Bank’s Worthy, I had to stop the movie and go look him up. And it just so happens that he released his second EP, The Paradox, last week.
Birmingham, UK based, Banks was the first unsigned singer to appear on BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge. And he deserves the hype with that voice and the music’s unique blending of 60’s soul, R&B, hip hop, rock and roll, blues, gospel and more. The Paradox is quite accomplished. There’s hardly a misstep. The final, bonus track, All Mine, being the one, in my opinion. It’s got a saccharine quality that the other tracks do not have. It feels like it was recorded at another time when Banks felt he had to be commercial in a certain way. All of the rest of the tracks feel lived in, feel like he’s saying something he really means. And the voice and sounds surprise at every turn. I have a hard time deciding which song is my favorite. But the rawness of Monsters and inspiration of Sink or Swim are at the top. And Silver Linings is simply extraordinary. I’ve listened to it perhaps 10 times now, and I’m still not tired of it. The video here features footage from the movie, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, a heartbreaking film about misfits coming of age. And the music and lyrics match the celebration of self that the footage shows; Banks’ voice is heart-achingly tender until it grinds and growls. On his Facebook page, Banks talks about how much the song means to him. And that fully comes through.
Jacob Banks is a singer you need to know. He’s the real deal. And I so want to see him succeed.