I’ve recently become completely obsessed with Banks’ album ‘Goddess’. I’ve had mixed feelings about her when listening to her songs on the radio previously, but I really loved the cover she did in the Radio 1 Live Lounge of ‘Are You That Somebody?’ so I thought I’d give her album a chance.
I am as inarticulate about music as I always am, and it’s especially hard with Banks because I don’t really know why her sound works for me. I know I love her voice and how she uses it in her music. I like most, if not all, of her songs. I find her lyrics really interesting, if at times somewhat depressing.
The first (original) song that I fell in love with was ‘Before I Ever Met You’, which is a break up song. It’s not a very happy one, but it’s interesting because it captures that feeling of anger and longing in a way that I find really interesting. I’m not personally acquainted with it, but I imagine that ending a relationship that’s been such a big part of your life will cause a lot of mixed feelings throughout the adjustment period that follows.
Then there’s ‘Waiting Game’, which is a great song about unbalanced relationships where one person is more invested than the other, and not wanting to string along someone and break them. ‘I wish I was in love but I don’t wanna cause any pain‘ and ‘I don’t wanna say your love is a waiting game’ and then ‘What if the way we started made it something cursed from the start’.
‘Someone New’, although not a song I listen to a lot because it’s melodically not my favourite, also has a sentiment I really appreciate. It is, similarly to ‘Before I Ever Met You’, a song about ending a relationship because it’s not working and it will be better for both parties at the end of the day. Unlike ‘Before I Ever Met You’, this song is about holding out hope for a time in the future, and about not wanting the other person to move on. This is illustrated in the final two lines of the chorus: ‘And please don’t fall in love with someone new, I promise one day I’ll come back for you’. Another great passage from this song is this bit: ‘And now I am supplying you the time and space. To let you grow into the person that I know, that I know you can be. And I can be one too. And I’ll come back to you.’
My second obsession on this album was ‘You Should Know Where I’m Coming From’. I’m not entirely sure what this song is about, or how much of it is actual story and how much of it is metaphor. My interpretation is that she’s singing about her (actual her, or an imagined ‘her’) flaws and insecurities and whether or not that’s something that can be worked through or if it’s going to stop the ‘you’ in the narrative from giving her a chance. I’m not sure if it’s a song about pushing someone away or asking them to stick through the bad stuff. I guess that comes down to the listener maybe. It’s pretty either way.
‘Warm Water’ is a really pretty love song, albeit a sad unrequited one. ‘With you I’m in warm water swimming down’ is just a really nice way of describing love that I’ve never heard before, and even though I don’t need originality to enjoy something, I appreciate it all the same.
Lastly, and currently, the song I love the most is ‘Begging For Thread’. I mostly love it because it musically appeals to me with its rhythm and its melody and how it builds, but I also feel like I can really relate to the lyrics. Which is probably not a good thing. In a lot of ways I feel like it kind of describes all my not so desirable personality traits, and it does it in a way that I understand and a way I don’t think any song has ever done before. So it’s all slightly narcissistic when it comes down to it, but I enjoy whenever I feel like someone ‘gets’ me, even if it’s only through lyrics.