California-based artist Banks is at it again with her hypnotically dark sophomore album, The Altar, a release which has been described as neo-R&B and “a trap, hip-hop, electronic cocktail.” Her first record, Goddess, was a somber and beautiful mixture of both mystery and emotional nakedness, and The Altar is styled similarly.
Thematically, her newest release concerns female empowerment and independence as she grows not only in her personal relationships, but also as a woman in an industry that so often tries to undermine strong, self-reliant women.
With tracks like “Fuck with Myself” and “Weaker Girl,” Banks uses her haunting vocals and experimental beats to give an “I don’t need you or anyone” message to listeners. She also uses her voice to tackle many more topics: the remainder of the album discusses emotionally abusive partners, being in love, and loving herself.
In the video for “Fuck with Myself,” featured below, Banks uses mirrors, dancers wearing masks of her face, and a mannequin of herself to broadcast that she is the most important person to her, and that she is in love with herself. It’s a message that is not too often seen or promoted by women, but definitely one that needs to be heard.