BPM: Getting Wet and Bubbly With BANKS

When a friend of mine first introduced me to Banks, I immediately thought but didn’t say, “You missed a ‘y.’” Like a good wannabe hipster, of course I knew Banks-y and the girl with the red balloon and wow I didn’t know he made music let’s check it out. Then, sex. Sex just happened in my ears and I was really not mad about it because holy Tegan and Sara this was so good.

Oh, hello.

Oh, hello.

Artist: BANKS
Cliffnotes: Sex, sexual things, downbeats, intimate, brooding, sex.
Same Aisle As: Frank Ocean, James Blake, the opposite of Justin Bieber

BANKS is actually a very talented up-and-coming voice who creates some really friggin’ awesome music. There are some notes that remind me of Portishead and Little Dragon, but there are also some really sick new-wave-y elements along the lines of James Blake and Jamie Woon. At the young age of 25, her music invokes a lot of powerful emotions along the lines of broken relationships, newfound crushes, and really everything she writes makes you want to dance and cry and fuck all at once.

BANKS’ tracks have incomprehensibly smooth vocals, exploring both velvet lower ranges and a perfectly-layered-on-top upper range. Transitions are smooth and every single beat is just SO. SEXY. This is like if trip-hop lounge music and new-wave electronic conceived a perfect R&B child with slight dubstep tendencies. Then they all get their own sticker on the back of the BANKS minivan and it’s awesome.

This song, “Warm Water,” is probably one of her more popular ones. I really don’t want to spoil it for you but I almost cried at work at how much I loved this song upon first listen. I think if you like this song, you will like every other thing this artist has written. I just love this song because you can feel the tension, but it’s tender. You can feel it pleading, but it’s seductive. Not to mention the music video is just so perfect for the song and it’s just everything okay WHATEVER WHO IS CUTTING ONIONS IN HERE PLZ STOP. Anyway, I almost want to tell you to use protection for this song because it is just teh secks.

hearingprotectionBANKS is still establishing a solid fanbase, but I don’t think it’ll be long until she blows up. If you look her up on Wikipedia, it even says Ellie Goulding loves listening to her. Don’t you want to be like Ellie Goulding? Even more, BANKS is known for connecting through social media with her fans; her number is available to you via Facebook.  Her EP “London” is available on iTunes.

To pair with BANKS, I would recommend a “Black Velvet” drink. This is one of the simpler drinks to make, albeit an unusual combination. It’s punchy, surprisingly refreshing, and has a darker lower layer and a light upper layer, like her music.


  • ½ Guinness Draught or Guinness Extra Stout

  • ½ champagne


  1. Pour the Guinness until about half the glass is full.

  2. Fill the remainder of the glass with bubbly of your choice.

    1. PRO TIP: If you pour the champagne over an overturned spoon instead of pouring it straight into the stout, the effects of dual layers of booze will last longer.

Guinness is one of my favorite beers, and this unusual combination won me over a few years ago. The ratio is easily adjustable for those who are averse to or have a penchant for darker beers, so just indulge me. If you like a sweeter drink, I would recommend Prosecco for your bubbles, as that’ll give it a sweeter and fruitier finish. The drink is smooth and rather subdued, but also if you hate it, now you have a bottle of champagne or a pack of Guinness. Everybody wins!

Extra credit:

“Work” – This song is quite different than her others. It is much more upbeat and aggressive. A nice departure from her usual productions.
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/74570624″ params=”color=ff6600&auto_play=false&show_artwork=true” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

“Before I Ever Met You” – Tough break up? BANKS understands.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/77796678″ params=”color=ff6600&auto_play=false&show_artwork=true” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

“This Is What It Feels Like” – UHauled too hard. (I love the chorus in this one.)

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/109564263″ params=”color=ff6600&auto_play=false&show_artwork=true” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

“Warm Water – Snakehips Remix” – This is a remix to the music video shown above and if 1:13 is not the best moment then I don’t know.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/100547289″ params=”color=ff6600&auto_play=false&show_artwork=true” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]


An installment of BPM: Booze Paired with Music. A brief exposé on artists, popular or obscure, to suit your need for beats. Along with it, a little treat to make for yourself while you bask in the sound of glory and a drink well done. As a former DJ, violinist, aca-bopper, and hip-hop dancer, I try to bring you as much variety in artists and commentary as I can. Listen on! 

Are you a Spotify user? Here’s an ongoing playlist that compiles all the listed tracks of this column into one playlist: BPM on Spotify

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Jeanie has written 8 articles for us.


  1. Oh my god.
    Thank you ^.^
    The Little Dragon and Portishead references were enough to make me listen and I am so glad I did.

  2. Yeah I’ve been listening to Banks for awhile now I’m glad people are starting to notice. Hopefully she gets bigger and tours cuz I gotta hear this stuff in person.
    That Waiting Game song is great.
    I’m also a pretty huge Ellie goulding fan.

      • Yess I kno i just recently found out from her Twitter. Plus a ton of other artists I love are going to be at coachella. Sadly I live in NY and don’t have adventurous friends or I’d be there :(

  3. 1. BANKS is BOSS
    2. Variation on the Black Velvet: I do Guinness and Strongbow, and I know we love Strongbow. Highly recommend.

  4. As if I needed yet another artist to go mad over, but it looks like I did! I’m looking forward to hearing all of her stuff now.

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