BANKS is expected to take listeners on an emotional journey in her upcoming album, set to be released on Sept. 30.
After receiving overwhelmingly positive feedback for her debut album, alt-pop singer BANKS will release her second album, The Altar, through Harvest Records. This album will be her second following her debut album, Goddess, which was released in 2014. BANKS is known to blur the lines between various genres, including R&B, pop, synth, hip-hop and alternative.
Listeners can expect her trademark sound in the 13 tracks on the upcoming album, but with fresh, new meanings and concepts behind the songs. Speaking about the differences between her first and second album, BANKS said in an interview with i-D, “My music is different in the way that I am different; it’s like I have gone through a lot of new things — new relationships, new obstacles, new experiences, and I think I put that all into my music.”
The Altar features confessional, bold songs about the confrontation behind human interaction. Not only does the album explore themes about relationships, but it is also about self-understanding and discovery. Having struggled with depression, BANKS views her music as a diary and outlet. The story of her struggle between self-hate and self-love is a recurring theme throughout her album and is presented notably in the lead single, “F-ck with Myself.”
“I feel more comfortable being confrontational and authoritative,” BANKS said in an interview with NPR Music “It’s important for women in this business.”
As a proponent of female empowerment, BANKS sends her messages through the emotional honesty of her lyrics. BANKS strives to express her own experiences and connect with listeners in the vulnerability behind each track on The Altar.
The lead single of the album, “F-ck with Myself,” was released in July. BANKS appeared on Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 Radio Show to debut the new single and music video.
“There’s so many meanings to it,” she told Lowe of the track. “It could be like, ‘I f-ck with myself,’ like, ‘I mess with myself more than anybody else.’ It could be, ‘I f-ck with myself,’ kind of like, ‘I’m feeling myself.’ It means a lot of different things that I think a lot of people can relate to.”
The music video features dramatic scenes of masked dancers abstractly twisting their bodies around her and of BANKS putting lipstick on and toying with a look-alike mannequin. Its eerie mood matches with the soft but powerful rhythm of the song as well as its notions of empowerment.
The second and third singles on The Altar have likewise also been released; “Gemini Feed,” the second single on the album, premiered on Annie Mac’s BBC Radio 1 show on Aug. 2 and released digitally the following day. “Mind Games” was released a few weeks later. Both tracks stay consistent with the theme of collapsed relationships — a common thread throughout the album.
The Altar is expected to be more nuanced than Goddess, but BANKS’ signature style along with the relatability of the album promise that each song will move and assure listeners that both the darkness and positivity explored in the album are universally experienced.