Published Oct 15, 2020On Jenny Banai's sophomore album, couchwalker, she has proven herself one of the most gifted vocalists on the scene today. While she had already established herself as a powerful vocalist with her debut, flowering head, she's clearly responded to the praise of music critics by taking her voice to a whole new level and allowing it the room to shine throughout the record.
While Banai's bio refers to her music as being pop, her compositions are noticeably more sophisticated and thoughtful than those common in pop music. Even on its most pop-sounding track, "Shadow Thoughts," there lacks an attention-grabbing hook. That's not meant to be a stab at the track, since this is an album of subtlety and tact. At times throughout the album, Banai's jazz influence is prominent, though the songs stay accessible. At times, as in the two instrumental tracks "Something Soft" and "Timshel," it even dips its toes into dream pop.
On tracks like "Intermittent Heart" and "Daunting Dazzler," Banai's voice twists and turns expertly, meandering itself into something resembling the crooners of times past. It's hard to pinpoint the high point of her performance, because the quality is so consistent throughout these 12 tracks.
It's also worth noting that Banai persistently employs her skills as a classically trained violinist throughout the album. It adds a layer of musical identity to her sound and a touch of refinement and polish to the whole production. (Independent)