banks

BANKS — just BANKS, not Azealia Banks — has been on my radar (on my ray-dah) for a while now.

I first heard about the burgeoning LA-based songstress because of her song “Before I Ever Met You” back in February (the B-side to her single “Fall Over”), which gave me all sorts of smoky, mysterious Fiona Apple-meets-Massive Attack vibes. Her next single, “Warm Water,” was another win, gliding across a muted electronic pulse.

And now, there’s a gorgeous new track to add to the mix: “Waiting Game.” (And no, it’s not a cover of the brilliant Rachel Stevens B-side for all 3 of you who were asking.)

“Waiting Game” was produced by fellow downtempo singer-songwriter/producer SOHN (a caps lock collaboration!), and it’s probably Banks’ most spooky and spectacular production to date.

Initially led by a solemn piano melody and haunting voices in the distance, the song soon dissolves into heavy gloom. Banks’ featherlight vocals conjure Ellie Goulding, but the production’s purely the darker stuff of Charli XCX and, fittingly, my favorite late night listen: The Weeknd. (Despite the moody vibes, things have been looking pretty perky for BANKS, who is now about to support The Weeknd on his North American tour this fall.)

“What if I never even see you ’cause we’re both on the stage? / Don’t tell me listen to your song, ’cause it isn’t the same,” she aches across the hazy, atmospheric synthesizers. It’s masterfully produced and pretty devastating, so please — leave this one until after your big night out.

“Warm Water” was released on May 24. (iTunes)