KEXP at CMJ 2012, Day 1: Paul Banks

photo by Lauren Slusher

Paul Banks has played music under a variety of names for some years, but it’s only about fifteen years into his career that he started performing prominently under his own name. He’s well known as the lead singer for Interpol, but when he released solo material in between his duties with the New York City-based band, he did it under the Julian Plenti moniker. Now touring behind the appropriately-titled Banks, Paul has eschewed Interpol’s streetlight-lit guitar rock for a brighter sound that flirts with electronics, lush strings, and sweeping landscapes all within the span of the six-song Julian Plenti Lives... EP. Although Banks’ resonating baritone is immediately recognizable, it’s clear that he’s consciously avoiding any of the calling cards of his prior work while pushing himself in directions that couldn’t be reached under any other name, but it’s also clear that he knows what he’s made of.

Live at the CMJ Union @ Union Square Ballroom during KEXP’s live broadcast during 2012 CMJ Music Marathon and with a full band behind him, Paul Banks found a space between all of his projects to appease fans of his earlier work and push it forward for fans wanting more. His resonating baritone was all “Banks”, but the shredding guitars added a much livelier kick. Based on the cheers of the crowd alone, the forthcoming Banks is sure to be a hit.

photo by Lauren Slusher

photo by Ben Mobley

photo by Lauren Slusher

photo by Lauren Slusher

photo by Lauren Slusher

photo by Lauren Slusher

photo by Ben Mobley

photo by Ben Mobley

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