Inglewood, California vocal wunderkind, Brandon Banks has released a couplet of noteworthy singles over the past year, giving the world the sensually hi-fi R.T.B. and the more soft-toned and swaying Autumn. With his latest release, a progression even further towards the softer, acoustically-pronounced corner of R&B’s spectrum, Banks has struck new gold in the form of a Frank Ocean take. ivy + bliss is a cleverly crafted bit of songwriting balanced between lyricism sourced elsewhere and a sonic texture unfailingly his own.
The most difficult thing about creating a fresh cut of an existing hit is doing it justice within the bounds of recreating its identity, and Banks, with his wide range, has no problem doing just that. There’s something romantic about your ear being caught by familiar lyricism while simultaneously being delivered in a whirlwind of emotion and additional penmanship differing drastically from the original. And Banks’ capable musicality firmly delivers.
Fans of R&B and neo-soul seem to be missing nothing from the transcendent star in the making, with ivy + bliss finding comfort in its traditionalist, simple texture and pushing boundaries with its bold, complex songwriting.
Working towards his debut EP, it will be interesting to see how Banks continues to find balance within the expandingly wide breadth of his sound.