As a native of one of Ontario’s grittier cities, it’s not uncommon to come across a derisive face or two when that city is revealed to be Hamilton, Ont. But once you get passed the sabulous downtown streets, characters on scooters and the sweet scent of industrialism, many of Hamilton’s hidden gems come to light. Enter Jessy Lanza: a hard electro songstress whose debut LP, Pull My Hair Back, manages to do much more than expected.
After studying music performance at Montreal’s Concordia University, Lanza made her debut through a guest appearance on the track, ‘Beach Mode (Keep it Simple)’ by U.K. Hyperdub Records affiliate, Ikonika, earlier this year. And, following her acclimations with the Hamilton music scene, Lanza linked with electro duo, Junior Boys, where her love for R&B and synthesized equipment began to expand.
Written and produced by both Lanza and fellow Hamiltonian, Jeremy Greenspan of Junior Boys, Pull My Hair Back is one of those albums you didn’t expect to exist. Lanza’s vocals, while laced with sufficient effects, rings with layers of purity. The abundance of electro instrumentation manages to sound clean with few imperfections, all the while refusing to try too hard to please the listener. The quick patterned rhythms and bass lines reminiscent of early ’80s electro pop and ’90s R&B slow jams almost immediately catch your attention. The album does well to introduce the artistry of Lanza, with an immaculate and memorable sound that makes her identifiable as a complicated electro-producer.
Standout tracks include the groove and intense slow jam ‘5785021’ which features Lanza’s soprano vocals at an all time high. The juicy and musically intelligent ‘Fuck Diamond’ adds a bit of flare to the album, highlighting Lanza’s control over the synth.
The falsetto-like croons return on the sexy R&B infused ‘Pull My Hair Back’. The minimalistic approach to the song make it one of the few that allow Lanza’s vocals room to take over with a showier sound.
The highlight track and first single, ‘Kathy Lee’ is one of those tracks you don’t realize how far you’ve gotten into until the moment it ends and your forced to hit replay. This hot and bumpy track will draw you in with the hard synths and percussions paired perfectly with Lanza’s sultry vocals. Did I mention the video was shot in various Hamilton locations featuring the happy feet of Jed the Dancing Man?
Jessy Lanza’s Pull My Hair Back is currently available on iTunes.
Check out her Twitter for current updates and touring info!