At its best this is an album that can be genuinely explosive, as it increases the intriguing divide between attitude and balladic vulnerability Ever since Banks first stepped on the scene with PBR&B tunes like This Is What It Feels Like, she has had a way with low-key hooks and forward-thinking beats. Her fourth record Serpentina continues some career-long alliances, with production from Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs and Lido, and increases the intriguing divide between attitude and balladic vulnerability. The song Fuck Love very much does what it says on the tin, as glitchy synth chords and little spurts of jungle percussion underscore her aversion to commitment in style, while the gospel-tinged intro track flips Nina Simone's classic refrain on its head and proclaims "please let me be, please let me be misunderstood".
During her previous III album tour Banks was diagnosed with the autoimmune condition Hashimoto's Disease, the consequences of which lead to her taking steroid shots to enable her to perform. Overcoming and getting to grips with this is what inspired the album's snake-themed name - "Snakes represent rebirth and the shedding of one's skin," the singer explains "They just move on, and I think that's what life is about. " One thing that is undeniable about Banks is that her voice is an absolute powerhouse, and Serpentina sees some new vocal styles for the artist, particularly on the rapturous "Holding back", with its Nao-like pitched-up vocals.
Jillian Rose Banks, commonly referred to as BANKS, continues to push the envelope. Her fourth album 'Serpentina' bursts with character, her true persona visible as she sheds off her skin like a true serpent. Multi-layered and filled with enigma, BANKS steps away from expectations to deliver a creative masterpiece. The reinvention of herself is witnessed throughout the album, her numerous new layers explored.