This melancholic single, “The Less You Know” by artist Bryan Banks shares the heartbreak and sadness that accompanies a toxic relationship. This intimate, vulnerable single tells a story of a toxic person forewarning others of their negativity. Bryan sings about how he could ruin someone’s world if they try to discover more about him and how they will be better off knowing little about him. Bryan attempts to keep people away from him and the failures that surround his life. This single accurately describes how many people feel about themselves and constantly push others away in an attempt to keep them safe and emotionally intact.
This single was released in light of Bryan’s album released in 2017, The Sudden Sounds of Urgency. Bryan dedicates his music to his long-time influences in the genres of rock, R&B, country, and metal. Bryan writes impassioned lyrics about the different kinds of relationships we encounter throughout our lifetimes and how they can impact and influence us. “The Less You Know” is a stripped down song that digs into raw emotions felt by many that can be relatable within most relationships. Bryan has pursued a music career for many years now and uses raw feelings and experiences to write and produce his music that bodes well with his listeners.
As a person who is experienced in many genres, Bryan’s ability to incorporate different styles so flawlessly is astounding. “The Less You Know” fuses acoustic with elements of country. The instrumentation is focused only on vocals and guitar, with little effects used to strengthen the emotional connection. Bryan’s voice is raw and heavy with soul. To add dimension to this stripped down song, Bryan doubles on vocals during certain segments of the song, which also centers the focus of the song on those particular moments. The lyrics are yearning for people to stay away before getting hurt, which is similar to the dispiriting lyrics common in country blues.
There are some similarities in this single that tie Bryan to some very popular folk rock and country musicians. His choice in guitar melodies and rhythms is closely related to acoustic versions of songs by James Vincent McMorrow. The soft guitar adds a raw element to the already emotional song and allows the voice to power through above all instrumentation. Bryan’s vocal range is a little deeper and lower than James, sounding more like The Lumineers. The band has a folk tune to themselves, which “The Less You Know” includes a similar folk influence. Bryan has shared a feeling of low self-esteem that is commonly found and self-inflicted by many people of our generation. Listening to these lyrics shows how many people actually think and feel about themselves and it is worth listening to better understand how others may experience within a relationship.
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