P.T. Banks is the dreamy soul pop project from songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Paul Banks, with bassist/multi-instrumentalist Christopher Cox and percussionist Matthew Shepherd (both of Dana Falconberry, Feverbones). Banks and his band toured and recorded from 2007 to 2013 under the name Paul Banks & The Carousels and were selected as an official showcasing artist at SXSW 2013. For a stint, the band was known as SUPERMOON. Banks' project is now officially called P.T. Banks, from here until eternity. The debut P.T. Banks full-length album, Moonlight Is Sunlight, will be released in February of 2016, with an accompanying national tour. Moonlight Is Sunlight is Banks' third full-length album and first under moniker P.T. Banks. Moonlight Is Sunlight is an album of melodic and soulful indie pop about reflection, hope, and finding light in the darkest of places, running a wide field of writing styles and influences. As melancholy as it can be, the album is also not afraid to be playful. Harry Nilsson comes to mind, even before one reaches the last track of the album and sole cover song, a ruckus and rollicking interpretation of Nilsson's "Think About Your Troubles."
Album details: Moonlight Is Sunlight was mixed by Danny Reisch (White Denim, Shearwater, Bright Light Social Hour). It was recorded at Church House Studios, a spooky old church-turned-studio in East Austin, by Fat Fuse Music: a production team led by bandmate Christopher Cox (Dana Falconberry, Feverbones) and engineer Grant Johnson. It features Cox's string arrangements performed by Tosca String Quartet (David Byrne) and a plethora of appearances from other Austin guests, including members of Okkervil River, Hard Proof Afrobeat, The Eastern Sea, and Abram Shook, as well as a duet with David Ramirez and an additional duet with Dana Falconberry (to be released separately from the album). Simon Page (David Ramirez, Mission Dorado)'s lap steel glitters several tracks. Jonathan Nesvadba (Moby) and his twin brother, Joel, both Carousels from Banks' old band, flew in from Los Angeles to create intricate backing vocals.
Praise for Banks' work:
"Banks' melodies are beautifully mesmerizing."
-The Austin Chronicle
"Songwriter Paul Banks is another Austin force to be reckoned with . . . His favorite songwriter is Paul Simon, but Banks' voice has supreme range. He can go from sounding like a folk-singer Strokes frontman to a gorgeous Roy Orbison to stripped down Muse. There is an epic sweep to Banks' songs . . ."
-San Antonio Express News
"Banks, whose backup vocals can be heard on the latest album by fellow Austinites ...And You Will know Us by the Trail of Dead, says he enjoys incorporating a pretty/gritty duality in his songwriting. [He] fuses a Freddie Mercury vocal delivery and a Paul Simon songwriting approach with surprisingly pleasing results."
-Austin Monthly Magazine
"The first time I heard Paul Banks sing, I told him I wanted to marry his voice."
-Laurie Gallardo, Texas Music Matters (syndicated NPR)
"Banks is an extraordinary talent. He has a deep connection with many styles of melody, whether pop- or rock-based, or sometimes even classic sounds harkening back to those larger-than-life performances of big band jazz. It's that huge. Because of this, Banks pushes his vocals to an entirely differently level, without reserve, thoughtfully capturing moments in time."
"The perfect swell . . . songsmith Paul Banks and his . . . quartet build mesmerizing pop wrought with vocals that split the difference between Rufus Wainwright and Jeff Buckley."
-The Austin Chronicle, show recommendation
#3 Best Album of 2010 [Yelling at the Sun, by Paul Banks & The Carousels]
-Texas Music Magazine Critic's list
". . . haunting, inspiring, and pensive without ever crossing the line into self-indulgence."