new music: jacob banks’ ‘the paradox’ ep is full of passion and promise #soundcheck
By Sound Check
November 3, 2015
Singer/songwriter Jacob Banks calls himself a storyteller first. His songs are stories of heartache and pain, drawing on timeless sounds with modern touches. Standing at the crossroads of oldschool soul, indie rock, and electro-tinged R&B, UK’s Jacob Banks’ latest EP The Paradox is awash in passion and creativity.
By Nathan Leigh, AFROPUNK Contributor
“Sink Or Swim” grows from a sample of a street drummer to a call-and-response anthem about doubt and drive. A chorus of inner-Bankses (Banksi?) sing in answer to Jacob’s chorus “I got a feeling / telling me to do it.” The production is inventive, full of mechanical percussion and surprising rises and falls. On “Home” meanwhile, Banks indulges a love for classic soul. Cloaked in reverb, the guitars just a little imperfectly tuned, the only thing keeping this from being a lost late 60’s single is the drum machine.
(Photo credit: johnnyfonseca.co.uk)
The balance between modern alt-pop and vintage sounds is on Banks spends The Paradox‘s runtime playing with. When he gets it right, as on the sultry “Grace,” it’s electrifying. Or the genre-spanning “Monster,” which finds Banks singing, rapping, and chanting over bombastic drums and delicate pianos. The EP closing “Unknown” trades out the percussion for strings, allowing one of his strongest hooks to stand, unadorned, painful and passionate, standing on the rain. It’s a beautiful end to a promising EP.
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