Combine the indie twang of X Ambassadors with the huge, arena filling sound of Imagine Dragons, and sprinkle some Coldplay in there, and you have the new BANNERS EP. Chocked full of feel good anthems and a few slower ballads, this EP will be blasting in everyone’s car stereo soon enough.
Every song on this EP has massive pop appeal. Every song has massive playability and huge live potential. You can just imagine every song, with their grandiose sound, getting crowds jumping and the lights going crazy. The Imagine Dragons influence is evident throughout most of the album, especially in “Shine A Light” and “Gold Dust”. “Shine A Light” could be dropped into Dragons’ Night Visions and there’d be little confusion. The syncopated beat accompanying the acoustic guitar and the reverberated guitar gives it that huge feeling, and the massive chorus will get you bobbing your head to it. “Gold Dust” does much the same, though this song features a giant bridge that reprises into one final quiet chorus that explodes into one riot of a conclusion. The last two tracks on the album, “Ghosts” and “Back When We Had Nothing” end the album on a somber note. The first of the two is the quietest track on the album, featuring primarily piano and Mike Nelson’s vocals, evolving into a piano ballad backed by a drum beat and a sweet string section. “Back When We Had Nothing” concludes the album on a happier note, reminiscing over a relationship, starting quietly but building up into a synth rock banger.
BANNERS’ debut EP is a huge one, featuring giant tracks with massive presence and Nelson’s stellar songwriting abilities. Bursting into the new year full of energy, this album will be on many listeners’ playlists for months to come. It’s the perfect collection of songs to get up and dance to, or take a drive with. The appeal of Imagine Dragons and Coldplay with his own folk twang builds into a familiar but lovable sound that will resonate with anyone. While it does, at times, feel too heavily influenced (to the point where songs could fit on another artist’s album and be indistinguishable), it still holds together on its own and stands as a bright step into the future for BANNERS.