I discovered Banta through meeting Sharaya Mikael – the frontwoman and songwriter for the band, who, after a few days in the Joshua Tree desert and plenty of shared meals has become a good friend of mine. I remember getting to watch her perform for the first time at Pappy and Harriets after being peer pressured into playing a few songs. She had this ability to illuminate the room, and everyone felt it. It was one of those moments where you felt like you were watching someone who was about to break, like we’d all be looking back on that moment after she’d made it big (whatever that means these days). She’s easily one of the strongest vocalists I’ve ever come across, she sings seemingly without effort or strain – her voice can carry across a room and dance acrobatically across a melody. It gives me the chills. If you want to hear more of her stuff, go here.
Banta are set to play the coveted School Night curated by KCRW’s Chris Douridas on November 3rd, you can find out more info here.
Watch the video below filmed by my friend Kenny Laubbacher, set in the Bronson Caves – the site of the original Bat Cave. It features fiery-haired Banta bandmate – Kristin Hardin. I like how the video plays with shadows, gives a sort of mysterious witchy vibe (or maybe I am just getting a Stevie Nicks vibe in general, that’s probably more accurate).