Jessy Lanza: All the Time review – Uplifting glitches and squiggles

Fri, Jul 24, 2020, 05:00

   
 

Album:
All The Time

Artist:
Jessy Lanza

Label:
Hyperdub

Genre:
Electronic

There must be something in the water in Jessy Lanza’s hometown of Hamilton, Ontario, a terrain that has given us Junior Boys, one half of which, Jeremy Greenspan, has co-produced all three of her records.

Using equipment like Mother 32, DFAM and Sirin to interesting effect, the glitches and squelching squiggles on something like the 808-heavy Anyone Around and Like Fire become their own language, bouncing off Lanza’s sensuous vocal.

Those compositions were drawn from improvisation, which yields a pleasing suppleness to the album. You can hear it in Face, with Lanza whisper-singing against a sonic fresco that stutters and disrupts, or on Badly with its grand, sweeping beats.

Lanza says the record is partly “taking aim” at what “the culture expects from women”, and something like Lick in Heaven is an interesting exploration – as she sings how she “can’t stop spinning”, myriad divergent sounds compete for attention.

Baby Love sounds submerged in water, and Ice Creamy manipulates her vocal, repitching it to illustrate her possibilities – she can elevate drum’n’bass influences, or slow down a track to reach 1990s R&B perfection.

The record is a soundtrack for the summer (or the year) we won’t have, but it is powerful in its hopeful nature, its cradling of intimacy, and the things that matter. As Lanza puts it, “trying to control what I’m able to and leave the rest”.