Jessy Lanza – All the Time
All the Time is Canadian singer, producer and DJ Jessy Lanza’s third album, her first since 2016. Each has been released on London’s dubstep label Hyperdub and has been a collaboration with Jeremy Greenspan, to the point where she now muses that the project might have been better served by not being attributed solely to her, though it is too late to change it now. Her debut was the understated, classy raunchiness of 2013’s Pull My Hair Back, which garnered universal praise, as did its follow-up, Oh No. All the Time might be her most assured work yet. In an interview, she states that is the product of anger after a move to New York. Standout track Lick in Heaven was inspired by an explosive argument with her partner, she says, although that is in no way discernible. It must be the most delicate rendering of anger and losing control ever recorded.
Lanza’s iridescent soprano is languorous and sensuous. She has said she is influenced by the experimental production of Timbaland and Missy Elliot; her vocals are what Aaliyah might be making now if she were alive. Her aesthetic exists in an adjacent galaxy to FKA Twigs but is more laid back and sonically experimental. Her vocals are almost unbelievably high, drifting off into the ether. The fact that she produces her voice and sound herself means she is in control of her art, and it shows – the sound is both icy and personal.
Badly experiments with rhythm and drum patterns, an off-kilter feel underlying its initially decorative vocals. There is an unsettling urgency bubbling underneath. Ice Creamy is a love song to sleeping pills, which Lanza describes as why “it’s so affected, I can feel myself trying to hide in the song.” Her vocals are distorted to giddy chipmunk proportions. Baby Love is a sparsely backed love song to her baby niece, a sweet, sideways ballad with a bubbly “underwater bass”, as she describes Greenspan’s backing. Face is perhaps the most sonically experimental of the album; Lanza describes it as a “real edit-fest” where she experimented with different techniques and “tweaking things this frantic, disjointed [feel]. There’s a lot of weird blips and burpy, squirty sounds.” Which could describe the whole album, really. Some of the tunes are derivative, but the twisting of expected song structure makes up for it.
Lanza, surprisingly, has a modest following. Her meticulous music and techno-angel vocals deserve a wider listenership, but she says: “I’d rather be lurking around the edges than right in the middle. I don’t know if I’m emotionally equipped for the middle.” Which is fair enough – the fringes are usually where the most interesting stuff is happening anyway.
Photo: Milos Jacimovic
All the Time is released on 24th July 2020. For further information or to order the album visit Jessy Lanza’s website here.
Watch the video for Lick in Heaven here: