Thursday, May 10th, 2018

Banx & Ranx + Ella Eyre ft. Yxng Bane – Answerphone

Electronic Caribbean Music duo from Canada sure could have fooled us.


Scott Mildenhall: Banx & Ranx are from Canada and the world is a lie — this sounds so much like British-rooted pop in 2018 that the idea of geographically delineated scenes begins to pale into illusion (a bit). Seeing that Blonde and Shakka have writing credits (yet none for the writers of “Let Me Love You”) makes things intriguing, but however it was arrived at, “Answerphone” sounds like the creative product of irrepressible ferment. Skipping one minute and pinballing the next, it’s a vibrant pot of ideas guided by the vital nous to keep them all on a level.

Nortey Dowuona: Ella Eyre kicks the doors down as she strolls in over the clicking, restless drums and cutesy synths, then vaults over the burning, crushing synth wave to land perfectly on top of a grooving guitar slid over it all while Yxng Bane backflips over the wave to dive into the mix.

Alfred Soto: Ella Eyre’s gravelly keenness pins down the confusion kicked up by this post-trop house track, and a “na na” suffix is a solid hook.

Julian Axelrod: So many things about this are delightfully off, from the dated references to the awkward phrasing to the clipped guitar riff. It sounds like a computer simulation of trop-house beamed in from another dimension. But since the rest of the song is so expertly executed, these quirks are charming rather than distracting. Banx & Ranx provide a fluid, nimble backdrop that rewards repeat listens, and Ella Eyre further establishes herself as one of the best dance vocalists working today. She breathes pride and despair and desperation into every line, a bleeding heart at the center of this wonky machine.

Will Adams: Ella Eyre is the type to slip an “oh-na-na” retread by you without you noticing, because her performance is just that inviting, template UK-pop notwithstanding. After enduring the cynical faux-sass of the Anne-Marie album, I’m wondering who should be the one to be currently crossing over to the States.

Edward Okulicz: Perfectly mimics a distinctly British strain of pop, right down to the fact that “Banx & Ranx” even sounds like some upstart duo from London whose real names you never learn, nor care to. The whole thing’s fast-paced fun, and like the beats, Eyre’s performance blends stridence with sweetness.

Iain Mew: Call it the Ella Eyre Test — you know a UK sound has gone properly mainstream when you’ve got her providing a competent hook over it. Canadians starting to make it is probably also a clue. 

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