Female R&B artists are nothing new. Female R&B artists with an indie/electronic twist, however, are somewhat a novelty, at least for the moment. Along with FKA Twigs, Los Angeles native BANKS (aka Jillian Banks) is leading the current charge of current artists with this buzz.
After two EPs, her debut album Goddess was released this fall, and based on the crowd’s response Tuesday night at The Showbox, her music is already gaining an enthusiastic following.
On the shadowy stage, BANKS and her two bandmates set an atmospheric mood, both with the music and dark lighting. The sole burst of white spotlight came late in the show, briefly shining on the guitarist during “Waiting Game.”
Over keyboards, drums and occasional guitar, BANKS’s vocals ranged from subdued R&B frills to full-throated declarations. The crowd responded immediately to her calls for participation, singing out the chorus to “Fuck ‘Em Only We Know” and the album’s title track, introduced with the affirmation “every single woman is a fucking goddess.” She even dipped into a little hip-hop, covering Drake’s “The Motion.”
Much of the show maintained a slow, sinuous groove. Not until set-closer “Beggin’ For Thread” and the encore “Stick” did the music pick up tempo and display a little rock flair.
Sydney’s The Movement opened the show, and their well-received set was an excellent complement to BANKS’s sound.