Forget glowing up! Jacob Banks is here to remind us to "Slow Up."

Everyone seems in such a hurry to get where they're going. Like, we're all meant to be hyper-stylish, super-influential Instagram influencers and boss babes, all while maintaining healthy relationships, flourishing in our careers, as well as keeping tabs on the latest news, music, political frameworks, and philosophical evolutions.

It's too much to bear for the best of us. Even people with decades of experience at adulting are failing to meet the impossibly-high standards. It's easy to understand why young adults are shutting down due to confusion and contradictory messaging.

On his latest single, English soul singer/alt r&b ingenieux Jacob Banks sings "“Slow up homie / Don’t you grown up on me / Keep it OG sip it slowly / Don’t you grow up on me / Slow up homie / Don’t you show off on me."

Musically, "Slow Up" matches the glacial pace and suspended animation with weightless, emotive r&b. The track is built around a meditative, elegiac organ riff and Banks' tender vocals. "Slow Up" coasts along, glowing and ethereal like the Northern Lights, only for a simply epic machine drum beat to erupt like a meteor shower ⅔ of the way through. It's one of the least-bombastic but most-effective choruses We Are: The Guard have heard all year. It's simply hair-raising and goosebump-inducing, without ever resorting to manipulation or typical heartstring-tugging arrangements.



"Slow Up" was written with producer Malay who's previously worked with arthouse r&b legends like Frank Ocean or Sam Smith. You can hear Malay's genetics in "Slow Up"'s neo-Gothic classicism, like a hip-hop dance party in some abandoned cathedral. "Slow Up" comes hot on the heels of "Be Good To Me," Banks' last single, co-written with  xSDTRK (Usher, J.Lo) and  Laleh Pourkarim (Ellie Goulding). Both singles come from Jacob Banks' new LP, Villages, due out in early November.

Between these two simple, spectacular singles, Banks is working with three of underground r&b/hip-hop's most cutting-edge, forward-thinking producers and songwriters. Based solely on these two singles alone, Villages is going to be something to hear!

We Are: The Guard predict we have a hot new rising voice in r&b. Get hip to Jacob Banks now and get in on the ground floor, before he becomes uber-rich and famous! Those living in North America will have a chance to observe Banks' talents in person, as he's just announced tour dates to accompany his upcoming album release. Keep an eye out for Jacob Banks coming to your town!


J. Simpson occupies the intersection between criticism, creativity, and academia. Based out of Portland, Or., he is the author of Forestpunk, an online journal/brand studying the traces of horror, supernatural, and the occult through music, fashion and culture. He plays in the dreamfolk band Meta-Pinnacle with his partner Lily H. Valentine, with whom he also co-founded Bitstar Productions, a visual arts collective focused on elevating Pop Culture to High Art.