Jillian Rose Banks has spent the past six years making fascinating, sedated songs that vacillate between trap-pop and R&B. Now, with music’s dominant sound moving in her direction, the Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter’s third and most impressive album yet only lacks the helicopter hit that would lift her to a higher level stardom.
As with all the best sets, it’s coherent but not repetitive, the ghostly Auto-Tune choir, which features on most tracks, sighing and whispering encouragement behind Banks’s increasingly empowered words. There are shades Bon Iver and Billie Eilish in her layered, subtle sound, but also a rare, steely delicacy all her own.
The fairly anodyne Sawzall reminds you that without the protective cloak clever production, Banks’s voice can get a little chilly. Elsewhere, though, warmth floods the smudgy grooves. There are many moments worth cherishing, among them the hyperventilating harmonies on Stroke that give way first to gentle dubstep then chillwave funk, and the swooning digital sighs Hawaiian Mazes. Bank’s last album began with the introspective Fuck With Myself; it’s fitting that III’s lead single is the liberating, confident Gimme