Aaliyah was never a bazooka of a singer. Instead, the late R&B siren perfected a slow, languorous, intuitive take on her genre. And now, nearly 13 years after her death, she’s probably the single greatest vocal influence on an entire generation of R&B, bedroom-pop, and popwise indie singers — and the growing population of singers who exist at the intersection of those three genres. One of those singers is BANKS, the American-born, British-based singer who’s been moving up in the world in the past few months. During a recent BBC Live Lounge session, BANKS knocked out an acoustic cover of Aaliyah’s monster 1998 hit “Are You That Somebody?” (an odd choice, since so much of that song depends on its production), and she also sang an acoustic version of her own Shlohmo-produced single “Brain.” Listen to both below.
BANKS’s debut album is coming later this year from Harvest.