I had the opportunity to see Jacob Banks this year at the Fader Session x TAMU SXSW event. I had never listened to Jacob before that day nor did I know what I was in store for as he took the stage. During his performance as well as the other artists scheduled that day, the room had maybe 50 people (at most) in the crowd which made it all the more memorable. I felt as if each artist was singing directly to me, allowing me to really indulge in the performance, instead of battling the audience for breathing room, like most SXSW events.
Jacob Banks’ performance was raw. I had never experienced a man perform with such soul and feeling before. His vocals have the ability to transfix a room, pausing in the moment and just experience a song in mind and body. Banks’ soulful performance captivates the audience as he bellows out the lyrics to Mercy and other popular tracks.
The Boy Who Cried Freedom EP is Banks’ first release in over two years and exhibits the same passionate feeling as his previous records. TBWCF has defining blues influences that can be heard throughout each track, as if his intent was to send the listener back in time to a decades dance, gliding back and forth with your sweetheart while listening to Part Time Love.
Chainsmoking is about a commanding love the woman holds over the man. Lyrics like “…although I’m black and blue, I’m begging for more” and “…can’t be good for my sanity” compel the audience to remember their first love, always having to be near that person, even if the relationship ultimately destroys them through heartbreak.
Unholy War is my favorite track on the EP, it was the song that made me join the Jacob Banks fanbase and I don’t think I’m jumping off that train any time soon.