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Paul Banks of Interpol with his eponymous debut
Includes free MP3 download of the entire record
Identity's a tricky thing in the annals of rock music. Whether David Bowie's chameleonic mindtwists in the ‘70s, Dylan going electric, or Lou Reed's perpetual metamorphoses, rock thrives on persistent flux in self-presentation.
Where does Paul Banks fit into this equation? As Interpol's frontman, he's largely been a cipher. While certainly not lacking in charisma, albeit in a steely and often sardonic manner (his dry, wicked sense of humor is largely lost in interviews), he's often polarized and confounded listeners and critics alike.
Banks' first ostensibly solo album found him assuming the alter ego of Julian Plenti. He jettisoned the nom de plume for this semi-eponymous album, Banks, credited to Paul Banks (as was its preceding EP). And where 2009's Julian Plenti Is...Skyscraper was culled largely from songs pre-dating Interpol (as far back as the mid-'90s), Banks - with all new material written in the past few years (with the exception of "Summertime Is Coming") — is a vivid documentation of Banks in the here and now, and his most abjectly personal work to date.
"I suppose I wanted to simplify this time around," he explains. "Julian Plenti was something that I had to do, but once it was done, I didn't need to hold on to it. I didn't want the burden of shtick for these songs. If anything, I'm trying to draw attention away from the notion of a persona this time. I'm just making music and hoping to let it speak for itself."
|Over My Shoulder|
|I’ll Sue You|
|Paid for That|
|Summertime is Coming|