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Categories: Hear This

Banks: The Poster Girl of Emo Pop

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You don’t have to read Banks’ Wikipedia page to guess that she’s a bit dark, depressed, and affected. Hell, you don’t even have to listen to the lyrics in her songs. Looking at her shadowy, colorless album art is enough to tell you that she’s been through some deep, emotional shit. Which, of course, she has.

She taught herself piano while in high school to help cope with her parents’ divorce. (And then she wrote her undergraduate thesis about children of divorced parents.) She’s written odes to lonerism (“Fuck With Myself”) and spoken publicly about her struggles with depression, describing herself to Noisey as a “strange creature that can’t connect to people.”

But there’s a boldness to her art, too, and you can see it in music videos where she kills her masked captors or sets fire to an effigy of herself. There’s strength to her music, as well. Banks’ lyrics might weave tales of loss and powerlessness, but you can hear her courage and conviction in the force of her voice — which, when she’s not hitting the high notes, can sound particularly declamatory.

Banks
At 8 p.m., Thursday, April 20, at the Warfield. $29.50-$34.50; thewarfieldtheatre.com

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Jessie Schiewe @j_schiewe

Jessie Schiewe was the Music Editor for SF Weekly from Fall 2015 to Summer 2017. She is now the editor and publisher of OK Whatever (www.okwhatever.org), an online publication dedicated to all things weird and strange. You can send her mail at jessie@okwhatever.org.

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Jessie Schiewe @j_schiewe
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