Subtle certainly doesn’t live up to its name. From the moment it starts, it’s a thumping course of synth – an unusual path for the normally understated music that goes with Pat Grossi’s undeniably gorgeous falsetto. It’s still the most powerful weapon in his arsenal; while we initially questioned the involvement of Mikky Ekko – Grossi needs no support – he does add a bit of throwback R&B funk missing from Active Child till now. We miss the harps, but this is still dynamite.
Let the hype machine continue whirring, for BANKS is showing no signs of slowing down. Another cracking dark cut – this time co-produced by Jamie Woon, probably could have done with some of this magic on his own album – This Is What It Feels Like fully justifies all the excitement around this girl. Challenging and relentless in the best way.
From the opening of Blush, it seems like somebody’s been listening to a lot of the xx and London Grammar. But what follows is something a bit more fragile, more defeated. A lot of it is carried through the force of Ellie Rowsell’s emotion, both tender in the “Are you happy now?” refrain, and vehement in that swirling crescendo. By God, heartbreak never sounded good.