Unsigned, self-released, and setting the blog-o-sphere, and the mainstream media alight. Birmingham’s Jacob Banks is busy redefining what it means to create and release music in the 21st century. With a vocal that’s smooth, but somehow manages to seem wiser, and more worldly than his 24 years would suggest.

“It’s a raw anthemic call to arms, which see’s Banks almost proving to himself and the listener that he/we can do this.”

Banks created ‘The Paradox’ entirely on his own. From recording, mixing to even designing the album artwork. Telling i-D magazine “I’ve put my heart on the line,” which is instantly apparent from the opening track ‘Sink Or Swim’. It’s a raw anthemic call to arms, which see’s Banks almost proving to himself and the listener that he/we can do this. This confidence isn’t lost, even during the records more mellow, and heartfelt moments such as ‘Home’ and ‘Unknown’.

But Banks is at his best and in full stride during stand out track ‘Monster’. Banks belts out the enrage-filled lyrics “Oh you won’t see me when I’m coming, I’ll be the monster you’ll be wanted, oh no!”. ‘Monster’ is Banks at his most raw and full flow. With its melodic elements adding a layer of dance-floor readiness to the track.

Are the labels dead? Is this the opening charge in a new music industry ‘world order’. It’s certainly a confident, and impassioned rallying cry, which sets Jacob Banks apart as something special.

Review // Jacob Banks - The Paradox EP
4.3Overall Score
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