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Song Premiere: Banks, 'Goddess'

At SXSW this year, I found myself wondering whether Banks was even a real person: Every time I tried to catch one of her shows, the venue was filled to capacity, with no hope of ingress. My curiosity had been piqued by a string of intriguing singles and remixes, each of which showcased a nifty juxtaposition of coolly expressive vocals and forbidding but beautiful electronics. But I left empty-handed, forced to file her name away for later exploration.

On Sept. 9, Banks will finally release her full-length debut album, Goddess — and if that feels like an interminable wait, at least we're premiering its title track here. Produced by Lil Silva, the song functions as a perfect way to announce an album's existence: It's all woozy mystery, enshrouding its treat-her-right admonishments in an arrangement that often obscures her intentions. "Goddess" sounds like fodder for a thousand varyingly ominous remixes, making it an ideal introduction to an artist whose 2014 has been spent revealing herself slowly and deliberately. Now's as good a time as any to start getting to know her.

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Stephen Thompson is a writer, editor and reviewer for NPR Music, where he speaks into any microphone that will have him and appears as a frequent panelist on All Songs Considered. Since 2010, Thompson has been a fixture on the NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created and developed with NPR correspondent Linda Holmes. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the NPR Music video series Tiny Desk Concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen's desk. (To be more specific, Thompson had the idea, which took seconds, while Boilen created the series, which took years. Thompson will insist upon equal billing until the day he dies.)