In 1977, Wire released one of the most influential and important records of all time. I should probably say it’s one of the best Punk records of all time too, but it goes beyond that. Way beyond. It’s 35 minutes of mind-blowing and euphoric songs that make you want to pick up a guitar, make some noise then trash the stage as you leave. It’s a riot in your ears, and it has never sounded or felt so good.
Wire are a band that held English Punk in their hands and squashed it to turn it into something else. They kept the aggression and the snarling sounds, and made it go beyond it being just Punk. Pink Flag is a defining record and you can’t believe something so fantastic was a debut record. It sounds like something from a band well into their career. It’s all well and good me going on about how amazing this record is now, but when it came out in 1977, it was pretty much overlooked. Which is just absolutely criminal. A record like Pink Flag doesn’t hit us all that often. It’s a record that once you hear it, that’s it- life changed for ever.
Lowdown is my favourite off Pink Flag, and I love that I can hear how bands like Fugazi and Black Flag have been influenced by this record, and probably this song. There is something about it that reminds me of Waiting Room by Fugazi. I think it’s all down to the vocals. Ian MacKaye has definitely taken notes from Pink Flag and who can blame him.
The songs are short but by no means sweet. They have a brilliant rage to them that makes you listen to them with how they are played- with urgency. Like I said, they just make you want to take a battered guitar and make a load of noise. It’s a record that you can lean on and let it unleash any fury or demons you may have. It’s a record that becomes more than a safety net and best friend. For me, the production is exceptional. It is above and beyond whatever else it was up against back in ’77.
Pink Flag is a record full of songs that in their absolute glory, smack you right in the chops and do not care for how much damage they cause. I know I said it goes beyond being a Punk record, but bloody hell it is such an amazing Punk record. I love how every song just feels like something you have never heard before, even if you’ve been listening to the record for decades and decades. However loud you want to play it, every song will have you moving about without a care. 106 Beats That is THE song that will definitely have you moving in all sorts of ways, and sure the songs aren’t that long but they don’t need to be. They’re just insanely brilliant and effortlessly cool.
Pink Flag has been cited by many as being an important record, and a record that you simply must own. I can’t help but think what it would have been like to have heard this record for the first time back in 1977. Imagine hearing the riff of Strange for the first time, and just being left with your jaw wide open in awe of how brilliant it is. Colin’s voice grips you and makes you feel like he’s taking you under his wing to join the cult of Wire. Imagine…just imagine first hearing this record all those years ago and having this feeling just absolutely take you over. Holy shit!
To sum up, Wire are one of the greatest bands of all time and Pink Flag- regardless when you hear it for the first time, will change your life and improve your record collection. What they did with this record, they have done all throughout their career and that’s why Punk will never ever die.
Although the gig was about 5 days ago, I have every moment from it stored carefully in my mind. There is something about BANKS that just makes her standout. There is something about her that I’ve not seen in anyone else. That I’ll never see in anyone else. It’s a form of healing but it is also a work of art that cannot be ignored.
I toyed with reviewing the show because I really cannot say anything else about her shows that I hadn’t covered earlier this year. However, it is fairly obvious that with each show she just gets better. Her band and dancers get better each time. Her fans are the best also. If you are ever seeking a dedicated fan base, then just speak to her fans. I’ve loved her since 2014, and I remember that feeling I got. I felt like someone just got me. Someone could pull out everything I was feeling and thinking, and expressing it in a way that I knew I couldn’t. Like I said, healing. The front row of her shows consist of fans who are so passionate and an absolute credit to her. They also make you proud to be a fans of hers. I could easily write an essay about them. If I was in a band, I’d be honoured to have such a solid fan base. They sing every word back to her with such urgency and again, passion in their voice. No one cares if you can sing or not- it doesn’t matter. No song towers over the other with how loud they are. Every single song is sung as if their lives depend on it- and these songs have probably saved their live, and provided a safety net. I’m just speaking for myself, but I reckon it’s a pretty accurate assumption. Fuck With Myself and Gemini Feed are stunning, and the way the crowd yell “There is no fixing to the problem when you’re talking to, an idiot!”during Trainwreck is a brilliant moment too. You can sense how much it means to everyone.
Her set list for her Birmingham show hasn’t really changed from when I saw her a few months ago. A couple of songs were missed a lot (Weaker Girl and 27 Hours) but it#s alright! Her Manchester and London shows did get 27 Hours but they also FINALLY got a live performance of her cover of Fast Car by Tracy Chapman. BANKS fans know how much she loves her and we’ve waited so long for a full version of this song. I didn’t get to see it, but the live clips I’ve seen have been amazing. It shows her voice in a different way and it shows also, how powerful she is.
What I absolutely love about her shows is that it feels like a pure body of art. It is a masterpiece that has so much thought, love and care put into it. The dance routines she has to certain songs make you see and feel the songs differently. The choreography to opener Poltergeist is one of the best things I have EVER seen. The way they move their bodies in a way that looks like they are possessed is so hypnotising. You cannot help but focus on the movements rather than the song at times but like I said, it makes you take the song differently. I love the choreography to Haunt too.
A few weeks ago she put out Underdog. I was hoping she would do this, and she saved it right for the end. The choreography to this is also mind-blowing. They stalk the stage as if they’ve got the devil with them. They move in this wonderful darkness that has a hold of you and doesn’t let you go. The way they move their bodies is just astounding. Pretty sure if any of us did it we’d end up in A&E with a broken back or something! Obviously it would be worth it.
To be a little personal, I cried during Crowded Places. I was doing so well until the last minute or so of the song. I held it together until that last part of the song. I don’t know if it was because of what the song recently got me through or because of how beautiful it was to see everyone sing a long. Everyone sang as if they wrote the song, and it was just gorgeous.
I adored seeing Beggin’ For Thread and This Is What It Feels Like again. There is something about seeing these two songs live for me that just makes me feel like some kind of spiritual/out of body experience has hold of me. She hits this note during This Is What It Feels Like, and my god it just…it’s so powerful and so captivating. I could hear it on a loop for hours and hours and it would still leave me in awe. It’s another moment in her show that shows just how fantastic she truly is. It’s such an ethereal thing to watch and to hear. The crowd really belts out this song to her, especially Beggin’ For Thread. Waiting Game is also effortlessly wonderful, and the choreography to this is just perfect. Once you see BANKS, you cannot stop. You have to find way to cope with waiting to see her again. It is worth the wait. We waited long enough for someone like her to exist, so holding out for a tour seems easy enough, right?
Goddess and The Altar are two of the most captivating records I own and constantly listen to. Her music can ease the rut I get myself into, they can calm me down after a panic attack, they help when the depression wants to kick in and my medication feels like it is doing nothing for me. Her words, her music are my safety net. Her live shows feel like home. Not every band or singer can have this much of a grip on someone, but when we find them- we cling.
The confidence she has on stage is so subtle but you know it is there. Her fans have this outpouring of love for her that you sense she just feeds off, and it is such an amazing thing to see and be part of. There is such diversity in her crowds, and I think that is part of what makes her shows so special. She can connect with anyone and it is so powerful.
Her music will soothe any soul and her live shows will make you feel like you can take on the world. The comedown from her shows isn’t great. All you can think about is when you’ll see her next. But you know, worth the wait. Always.
“And I’m chugging along in a train. And I’m heading the wrong way, and I’m a trainwreck”
Since it came out, I have religiously, ritualistically and obsessively listened to The Altar by Banks every single day. I listen at work- her voice can sometimes tame my panic attacks. Not always. But after I’ve had one, her voice provides this level of security that I guess, I need. Her lyrics have always been a massive thing for me. She has this brutal honesty that is so fragile- it can break the person listening. Goddess came out in 2014, prior to that a couple of EPs. Everything she’s released has been nothing short of ahead of its time. She’s ahead of us all. There’s no one quite like her. She’s my kind of strange. The kind that delves into what others want to distant themselves from. Her words are gut wrenching, heart breaking and truthful. It is okay to have these feelings, it is okay to explore and expose how you feel. Music is a safety net. Goddess was my safety net when it came out. The Altar is exactly the same. There’s something about her that draws you in. I don’t have the words for it, but my god she’s out of this world.
I try to avoid doing track by track reviews, but some records bring it out of you. Sorry!
Gemini Feed: I’m sorry now for going on about how important the lyrics are and how with this record she takes it darker. I love the attitude she has on the chorus, “And to think you’d get me to the altar.” She finally sees what a piece of work this asshat is and lets them know they have no chance. As if she’d want that kind of forever, that commitment with them. I love the line, “If you would have let me grow, you could have kept my love.” When someone hides you away or doesn’t let you be the person you are, they lose you and rightfully so. If they saw you for what you could be, maybe they’d still have you. Tough luck, right?!
Fuck With Myself: The song is equally as strange and as brave as the video. This shows Banks really go for it with respect to her exploring her sound. This is the sound of someone really pushing themselves but still holding onto what they are known for- their honest lyrics. She’s not going to let someone fuck her over again, she knows her worth and if you can’t see it, then you don’t deserve her.
Lovesick: One of her most pure songs of love and adoration. The way she expresses how much she loves, wants and adores this person is so beautiful. This has this beautiful and gentle feel to it like Fuck ‘Em Only We Know has. I think the line, “I knew your love before I kissed you” is one of the most unconditional declarations of desire and love I’ve ever heard. I could quite happily write an essay on this song and probably that one line, but I think the song explains itself. It’s so exposed in a way that just leaves you in awe.
Mind Games: Mind Games is brutal. It’s exceptionally harsh to the core. You can sense the hurt and betrayal in her voice. It possess a wealth of hurt that makes you flinch slightly at certain lines. The way she sings, “Do you see me now?” I think we can all relate to where we leave something, and someone else realises what they are losing (maybe) and you wonder if they ever noticed the times you tried and the times that were trying. This used to be such a hard song to listen to, but lyrically it’s one of her finest.
Trainwreck: Today she released the video to it. I really thought she couldn’t push herself further than she did with the Fuck With Myself video, but Trainwreck is on a different level. It’s easily my favourite off The Altar. I can’t count how many times I play it a day and how many times I’ve played it since September. I can’t pick out specific lines, I really can’t. It just perfectly expresses the demises of something that’s beyond repair and a person that’s beyond fucked up. The music and the lyrics fit so perfectly together. It’s a brilliantly produced record, and this song in particular shows how great the production is. This is the one I am most looking forward to seeing live in March.
This Is Not About Us: It wasn’t until recently that I paid this song the attention that it really deserves. I changed my mind on it because I read the lyrics before going back and listening to it. It picks up perfectly on relationship issues some have and that sometimes the issues aren’t you and the person, it’s something entirely differently and Banks goes into it in a way that some would rather shy away from than confront.
Weaker Girl: The way in which she sings the word “motherfucker” is one of my favourite moments on the record. This is easily one of the strongest songs on the record, obviously I love every song but this one is so tough and you know that although she exposes this vulnerable side- she’s tough too, and that side isn’t to be messed with. It’s the kind of song that’ll be nothing short of euphoric when she plays it live (I hope she does.)
Mother Earth: She released The Altar the day after I saw The Kills in Manchester. I remember listening to this song first, and the high I was on from seeing them and meeting Alison ended as soon as I listened to this. I don’t think I even played it in full. This is one of the most open songs on the record. Songs like Someone New and Under The Table from her first record are painful but beautiful. Mother Earth is exactly the same. This song shows how strong her voice is, how brilliant a writer she is. Her voice cracks at the right parts- the parts that need emphasising. It’s such a haunting song, and at times it is tough, really tough to listen to but the words are just wonderful.
Judas: This is one of the harsher songs on the record and you can really hear the disappointment in her voice, it’s like she’s singing it through gritted teeth in some parts. The way she projects hurt and betrayal is so beautifully executed. For me it’s all in this line, “Reminiscing all the backwards ways you made me stay. Begging me for thread, I think you need to change your brain.” I love how she references to exceptional songs from Goddess, and maybe these three songs are about one person in particular. That’s how you’re left thinking.
Haunt: This is another really open song, lyrically. The words are so full of hurt and such heavy sadness but she writes about it in a way that’s reassuring. I think it’s because she freely and easily calls the person out for hurting her. She’s openly saying it would have been better if the person cheated because that kind of hurt is easier to get her head around. Instead, this person is just a shitfest and they repeatedly haunt her, as she knows waiting for them just isn’t worth it anymore.
Poltergeist: Banks manages to really portray her hurt and anger in a way that is done purely through her voice. It’s not what she says, but how she says it. She effortlessly let’s her hurt out in her songs that makes you connect in all ways possible. She does it so well on Poltergeist and it is one of her most cleverly written songs, especially in the way she calls this person out. I think with this one she’s exposing Industry type idiots. The ones who just want something and don’t know how to deal with being challenged. Banks isn’t someone to mess with, and she expresses that so elegantly on this one. I love the line, “You mistaking all my mistakes for my crooked nature.”
To The Hilt: This one is on the same level as Under The Table and Someone New. It’s got this wealth of sadness to it that just breaks you. The sense of loss in this song is overwhelming. It’s an overwhelming song. When you listen to this through headphones, you can really pick up on her voice and she makes you feel as if you’re the one that she’s lost. There’s nothing worse than losing the one person that no matter what, believes in you. Trust me. But sometimes, years have to pass before you get them back and you get them back in a better way. Personally speaking. To The Hilt is one of the best songs Banks has written so far. It’s the ones that are the toughest to listen to that are the best because she really hits you in the gut with her words, and her vocals on this are so brave and so powerful. It’s truly one of the best things she’s done so far. It slowly builds and builds, and when it gets there- she gets you. She has you gripped.
27 Hours: There are three songs on this record that I play more than others- Lovesick, Trainwreck and this one, 27 Hours. This is perfect to end the record on because it has you playing it all over again. Maybe that was her intention, but this song again is another that shows how strong her voice is and how far she’s come since her EPs and probably Goddess was just a hint of what she’s about. It shows how destructive a person is, and the other person isn’t budging and she can’t work out why; “How can you not walk away after everything I’ve done?” It feels like she’s stuck in destroying things and can’t get out of the vicious cycle of doing so and is unsure how another person can stick with her for doing so. By no means does it feel like a love song, but maybe it is. Banks isn’t conventional and her kind of love songs are dark. Very dark and they’re the best ones. They are the ones that are easier to connect with.
The Altar is a body of unfiltered confessions, declarations and a comfort blanket. Her voice has gotten stronger, her writing cuts even deeper and is braver. She’s not afraid to be so open and vulnerable. She allows us to be fragile with her on the songs; this is a powerful connection and is truly a phenomenal record.
“I don’t really mind All of this wasted time Just wish that I had something to show for it.”
Best Coast are one of those bands that magically take you to a place that you possibly can’t ever afford to go. In my case, I’m far too broke and too much of a coward to go on a plane for longer than 50 minutes. Best Coast take you by the hand and take you to a Californian beach. With their past records they have taken us on some ethereal journeys to the West Coast, their latest and probably best release, California Nights is no exception.
With Best Coast, I always seem to hold some sentimental value to Bethany’s lyrics. Some that in time will eventually leave me be, the rest will probably irk me for a few more years. You adapt and can sometimes forget. Crazy For You had songs on it that were a constant reminder, The Only Place was easier to listen to and Fade Away made it easy to be an adult. Where does that leave California Nights? The escape route, easily.
The record consists of songs about leaving, growing up, being unsure and general growing pains. There are many bands that can write in a vulnerable manner but there is something about the way Bethany does it that makes you feel as if you’re the one she’s writing about. It is exactly as if she’s got in your head and wrote every nagging thought you had down and projected them for the world to hear.
Every band has that one record that defines their career and becomes their defining record.Combined with the growth in Bethany’s lyrics and Bobb’s ability to take you on some lucid trip with his ridiculous guitar skills, these are just some of the factors that make California Nights their defining record. They’ve gone from fast-paced sun-kissed tracks to hazy sunset and anthemic gems for the lost. Their sound has grown into a fully fledged adult still flailing in that awkward stage. Listening to California Nights is like falling in love, finding pieces of yourself and getting to grips with self-acceptance. Thing is, it doesn’t matter if others don’t like you or accept you. If you don’t accept yourself, then it can get difficult. I know. I know. Records like this make it so much easier to feel alright in your skin. Even if you dislike it.
It is fair to say that this record is one of the best this year. It just shows how strong a band Best Coast are. California Nights is the essence of looking into the sunset on your own, as the sun sinks into the sea with a cool yet calming breeze circling around you. It is the sound of the summer that you can feel all year, that’s the backbone of Best Coast and it is much stronger and a lot clearer in this record. The songs on this record can mend and fix a person all at once. The songs on California Nights are what daydreams are made of. Full of hope and courage at best. Songs like Jealousy see the wrong in how people behave, songs like In My Eyes make you think of the wrongs you are trying to correct even if nobody wants to know, songs like When Will I Change are like coming to terms with everything around you. The art of growing up is underlying in this gorgeous record. There is so much to say about this record; it’s the kind you sit down with someone and talk about how bloody brilliant it is. Or you could be a sad case like myself and write about it!
The vulnerability in the songs is what makes this record so damn honest and easy to connect with. I’ve read reviews about this record that say that every song sounds the same, they haven’t grown. The same old shit from those who like to be mean. Maybe it’s because I really do love this band a hell of a lot that I can’t see why anyone would slate it. Maybe I’ve got some sentiment clinging to this record that I daren’t let a bad word be said. Or maybe, just maybe I can hear a band that I’ve been a fan of for so long and who mean a lot to me, have become the band that they deserve to be. The lo-fi sound isn’t as prominent as it once was but the subtle angst peaks through and when you feel it, it’s something to really treasure.
Whether you’re a stroppy teen or an uncomfortable adult, guaranteed there are songs on this record that will make you feel as if it was written for you. Maybe it was because really, nobody likes feeling alone.
I’ll stand by the title track being the most euphoric on the record and is easily one of my favourite songs of the year, but I feel with this record that each song, with every listen they will become a favourite. There are no album fillers and there aren’t any dull moments on this record. It’s a record to take a long walk to, to listen to on your bed at 2am when you can’t sleep, to wander aimlessly up and down the beach to, to get lost and found to. Just let this record become your world, let it be the soundtrack to the summer and beyond. Records like this make you proud to be a fan of a band you quite simply adore.
There are some songs that when you listen to, nothing can touch you. Every sad and horrible feeling you are carrying around fades away. A song that just becomes a part of you, a very important part of you. It doesn’t matter who sings it, just as long as you feel it.
Songs that take you away, I feel, are the best ones. Real life is dull and repetitive. How do you escape it? Through headphones. You take a song that whisks you away to some place so calming and your own piece of perfection. You can find it anywhere. You might already have that song, if you do then remember you can always have more.
For me, the song that sums up everything surrounding escapism and daydreaming is California Nights by Best Coast. It is 5 minutes of sheer bliss. I urge you to take 5 minutes out of your day to zone out and listen to this gorgeous song. I’ve been a fan of Best Coast for years, and I say with confidence that this is their greatest song to date. Their debut record holds a lot of sentimental value to me, but I am willing to move on from it and cling onto California Nights with all I have. It sounds nothing like their previous songs/records, but still holds firmly onto that beach/dream-esque atmosphere. Best Coast are a band you listen to when on the beach on a hot day with nothing else to do. Pretty hard to do that when it’s freezing cold out, so you play it on repeat and allow it warm your bones in the comfort of your own home.
Listen to it on the journey to/from work to imagine you are anywhere you want to me, place it at work, on your lunch break, before you go to bed. It doesn’t matter, all that matters is you allowing yourself to be taken on this ethereal trip that you don’t want to come back from.
I wanted to write a massive essay on how this song makes me feel and such, but my words will not and cannot do the song justice. I heard it last week and it’s all I’ve been listening to. It’s all I want to listen to. Some songs win you over instantly and become a huge and vital part of you, that’s exactly what California Nights has gone and done. It is one of those songs that reinforces your love for a band, for music.
Have it on repeat, and go somewhere nobody can disturb you.
“But I’m so tired of eating All of my misspoken words.”
After waiting for what seems like an eternity or something equally dramatic, the gorgeous Banks has FINALLY released her debut record. Anyone who has heard her EPs knows just how bloody great she is, and how she manages to make you long for a full length record in just one song. Goddess is a record for those who have ripped hearts out, had their hear ripped out, those in love, in shame, in doubt and in pain. In short, it is one of the best records to come out this year.
In some songs Banks is longing for the love of the one who holds all her affections, but in others she is the one wanting to leave romance behind. She’s a storyteller, and she has this ability to really rip you apart with her honest words. Songs such as Change show the harshness of love and how manipulating it can sometimes be but opposite to this are songs like Waiting Game which echoes a desire to be loved. Personally, I feel You Should Know Where I’m Coming From to be the best song on Goddess, but I’m likely to change my mind.
Goddess isn’t a record for those who are tough; it is for those who have recently been hurt and if you can get through Someone New without crying then you are a stronger person than me (although it doesn’t take much.) There is so much that needs to be said about this record, but I really have no idea how to get the words out. It is one of those records where you just have to really REALLY listen to it. Take in every single word that Banks sings, and how she sings them. She sings these songs as if they were made for you. Her lyrics at times are sad, but not in a “woe is me” kind of way, but in a way that just stops you in your tracks and throws you back to a time where you felt that way.
One of the best things about Banks is that she is unlike anyone else, but if you’re someone is keen on comparisons, then basically Banks has an Aaliyah like quality to her voice. It is delicate and extremely powerful in the right places. She can break you and mend you with her songs, and that is what makes her not only believable but accessible too. Goddess is a mighty fine debut record, and one I’ll probably never grow tired of listening to.
Banks sings about love and relationships in a way most would shy away from. She’s not afraid to exploit the ugliness of them and the beauty of them. The good, the bad and everything in between she unleashes, and she does it in such an elegant way that makes you become addicted (there’s probably a better word) to her voice. Goddess is the kind of record you play when you stumble home at 2am and are unsure about everything around you. Banks’ voice will ease you into a peaceful slumber and you’ll wake with a clear head.
I don’t know what it is exactly I love about her music, but I’m guessing is it the sheer honesty and detail in her lyrics. Take the song, Fuck ‘Em Only We Know- the lyrics to it are full of detail and love, “I know exactly just how many kisses fit between your eyes.” That’s modern romance in all its glowing glory. And back to You Should Know…the line “If I told you solitude fits me like a glove, would you let me out?” is probably my favourite on Goddess.
In all its seductive and haunting glory, Goddess is one of the most impressive records I’ve heard in a long time. It doesn’t feel like a debut record, and I think that’s what makes it effortlessly brilliant and memorable. It is one of those records that her fans are going to cling harder onto than they did with her EPs, and why? Because the song cut into the heart and soul a little deeper. Her songs are bold, beautiful and vulnerable, and that is why Goddess doesn’t feel like someone’s first record. Some say perfection doesn’t exist but they’ve probably not heard Goddess yet.
“Don’t tell me listen to your song because it isn’t the same.”
There are some singers that when you hear them, you can’t really believe someone can sound so perfect. Alright so “perfect” doesn’t exist, but you know what I mean. There are singers that just hit you in the gut wth how pure their voice is and how honest their words are. Some singers just have this gift of sounding so ethereal effortlessly. Examples of this are Sade, Aaliyah and Jessie Ware. From Sade we got Aaliyah and since Aaliyah died no female singer has really come close to what she did aside from Jessie Ware. They all have this delicate voice that just makes everything alright, even if their songs can be heartbreaking.
This leads me onto Banks. In an ideal world I would have written about her last year, but it didn’t feel right because I had no idea what I wanted to say. I didn’t know what I could say. After listening to Beggin’ For A Thread non-stop over the past two days, I think I have some understanding of what it is I want to say. Well, type if you’re going to be like that.
I’ve seen people call her the female version of The Weeknd. That’s just lazy. Using a person’s gender to describe them/what they do is pretty shit isn’t it? There’s more to a person than to what they have between their legs. In the grand scheme of things, gender is irrelevant. Be who you want. I’m ranting. Sorry. Anyway, Banks isn’t the female version of whoever. She’s a brilliant singer who hasn’t released her debut record yet, and when it comes out it will probably blow our minds. I’m expecting it to, fully. I never expect anything, but I firmly believe it is going to be a brilliant record. It’s out in September, and she’s touring the UK in October (I think.) I’m all for someone taking me to see her. We don’t have to stand next to each other, I’m alright with that.
The thing with Banks is that she can pretty much sum up every feeling you’ve had when you’ve come out of a relationship, when you’re leaning towards one and when you’re in one. Basically, she’s like Dear Deirdre but with a lot more sense and class. Her vocals on Brain are dark and brilliant- think a more R&B version of a Zola Jesus song, she’s got this haunting feel to her music that just keeps you coming back for more. I think as soon as you hear one song by Banks, you become addicted. Like pizza. Pizza is all I have, sorry. I’m Italian. Her voice is so smooth and flawless, like the skin complexion we strive to have. I really don’t know why all of this sounds so weird. I don’t know what’s happened. Let’s blame the heat.
Her song, Change is the perfect song for those who are in a fucked up relationship. Banks calls the person out on their “Daddy issues” which is wonderfully done. Her sarcasm in this song is brilliant. If anyone else did it, it would sound a bit bitchy and trashy. But Banks has this superb and classy way of calling you out on your faults, just listen to Goddess, a prime example of it. She doesn’t need to be awfully over the top or pretentious with her words. She gets to the point in a real and raw way. Her lyrics aren’t all “woe is me” they are brilliant “fuck you’s” at times, and you can’t help but fall totally and madly in love with her. Before I Ever Met You will really hit you in the gut, for reasons up to you. There is something about it that will just leave you in awe. It is likely to be her honesty and the way she sings certain parts in the song- it is almost as if she is stood in front of you, and calling you out on all of the times you’ve messed up. Basically, Banks won’t stand for your shit.
Banks has this way of effortlessly (sorry for repeating the word) portraying hurt in a way that makes you BELIEVE it is all going to be alright. It doesn’t matter if you’ve had your heart ripped out, because the person that did it was a twat anyway. She’s got a real refreshing attitude in her music that makes her believable. To be believable is to be honest, and her lyrics are brutal and to the core.
I’ve not read too much about Banks, and I’m not one for caring about what “Music Journalists” say about bands/singers, everyone has an opinion but I’m glad that so many are believing in Banks and see just how talented she is. She’s got something about her that is gracious, raw and pure. She’s everything that music needs, she’s not afraid to be honest with her lyrics, and she portrays the feelings we try to cover. She exposes the feelings that we try to cover or the feelings of someone we know is hiding. She’s got something about her that goes beyond words, and singers like this don’t come around often.
I’ve mentioned artists like Deptford Goth and Burial as being ones I can only listen to when it’s dark out, because it just feels like they were created for the nighttime. In some respects, I really feel that way about Banks but to be honest, I can listen to her anytime, any place. I don’t care. She’s just a real, raw talent that is just going to blow everyone away when her record comes out in September.
Her music just has this beautiful depth and soul to it that just stuns you. When a singer or a band can leave you speechless like that, you know you’ve found something that is really going to last. The eerie atmosphere in her music completes it all, and is part of the reason why she is easy to get hooked onto. I really can’t praise her enough at all.
There is no greater feeling than your favourite singer releasing a record. You wait, you ache and you wait some more leading up to it. You tremble in the first listen knowing you are listening to something truly remarkable. It doesn’t matter who this singer/band is to you, it’s just a mutual feeling. Especially when that person is more than likely responsible for you still being alive….just. Sort of. Depends on the day.
Could I ever write an unbiased piece on Morrissey? No. Will I defend him? Yes, well..within reason. Do I think World Peace is his best work? Of course. Lord knows how long Morrissey fans have been waiting for this. And of course, the cynics will come out in their masses to find fault in it. They probably like Kings Of Leon or something equally dull.
World Peace Is None Of Your Business is flamboyantly clever, dry and accurate. It is everything I adore about Morrissey. I thought after reading his biography a handful of times I really understood my love and admiration for him, but I was wrong. But when am I ever right. I thought understood my love for him, turns out I didn’t. Not quite.World Peace is lyrically a work of art, and I will gladly place it next to Vauxhall And I as his best work. He has this way of getting to the root of an emotion, churning it out and spitting it out for you to taste. And when you do, you understand. You understand whatever it is that is choking you.
I’m Not A Man is lyrically one of the strongest songs on the record as it dips into society’s skewed vision of what it is to be a man. A nod to Meat Is Murder of sorts is hinted in the line, “I’d never kill or eat an animal, and I never would destroy this planet I’m on.”Man destroys, and Morrissey’s sensitive and gentle disposition feels out of place on this planet. You don’t have to be a man to identify with this, you just have to human. Gentle and kind.
As I listen to the record, I start to make sense of my love for Morrissey. It’s his words and how he uses them. There’s always been comfort for me in his words. If I could communicate using his lyrics, I’d probably feel less awkward in my skin. Too much skin. He has this way of telling it like it is without being grand or pretentious, although some would argue that he is. If that’s the case then they’ve probably never paid any attention to his lyrics. His words are why he is a hero to so many.
I’ve read a few reviews where they comment on how tight his band sound, but I don’t know enough about Music to comment on that. Boz is there still, so I’m happy. As I listen to World Peace Is None Of Your Business, I am visualising these songs live. Kiss Me A Lot is one I hope he puts into his live shows- at his longing best, this song is glorious. Earth Is The Loneliest Planet has one simple line in it that just means everything, a simple line that holds so much; “But you’re in the wrong skin.”If I heard that line whilst a teenager teetering into adulthood, it would have been a touch easier. As an adult, well..I think it still does the same as it would.
Staircase At The University has the same kind of dark humour that is found in Girlfriend In A Coma. The pressures of a young girl excelling in her studies to which she finally packs it all in, and throws herself down some stairs. Splitting her head in three ways. I love the line, “And if it breaks your heart then don’t come running to me.”You can relate that to anyone, it doesn’t have to be someone who is constantly studying. We all know that one person….
Kick The Bride Down The Aisle is a stroke of genius for this alone; “You’re that stretch of the beach that the tide doesn’t reach. No meaning, no reason . The lonely season.”I can’t help but wonder where he comes up with these wonderful words, and how. And in Mountjoy we’ve got the gorgeous statement; “What those in power do to you reminds us at a glance, how humans hate each others guts. And show it given a chance.”If you want an understanding of how shitty the human race can be, just listen to Mountjoy.
There will be mixed views on this record, some will declare it as his best work to date. Some will yearn for past releases. It is his tenth solo record, you can’t possibly expect him to keep making the same one over and over again! He just excels himself with every record, and he will last longer than those who put him down. You won’t win.
I’ll end this with a section of lyrics that I feel are entirely true, and are a highlight for me. A selection of lyrics that I believe in and treasure. In all his delicate, honest and observant nature, he just says it all so beautifully:
“Slamming one shots, gentle pain Someone calling out my name Sex and love are not the same.”
World Peace Is None Of Your Business just reinforces my love, respect and admiration for Morrissey. I could have mentioned this, I could have mentioned that. Maybe I’ll re-read this and add more. But for now, I’ll stick with this being one of the best records of the year.