Jessy Lanza - 5785021 | Track Review | By Volume

What is this life, why do we strive? Fast on a wheel, too fast to feel. One day, my love, this life will slow. Sam Brookes - One Day

Jessy Lanza


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Author: on August 22, 2013

In the 2010s, forward-thinking R’n’B tunes with throwback influences exist in abundance. You’d think all bases were pretty much covered between The Weeknd and Frank Ocean, How To Dress Well and the releases on Tri Angle. So what does Jessy Lanza have to contribute to this hazy, ethereal atmosphere of sultry vocals and bassy frequencies?

Well, the main thing she has going for her is her palpable musicality and honesty. The reason I’m a fan of the album snippets released so far – we covered “Kathy Lee” here – is that the music she creates not only grows in an organic way, but in interesting directions. “5785021” carries the deepest of frequencies, hip-hop-like snare and hi-hat work, throbbing knocks and a vocal sample into a sensual, seductive jam buoyed with cloudy chords that dances to Lanza’s lead. Her singing hits a decent range and comes across as very down-to-earth, despite the dreamy sound-scape. The genuine feel turns the song away from a form of escape into something you can lose yourself in within everyday life. Amidst the croons of “call me”, Lanza even goes so far as to sing directly to listeners, with the smallest – and perhaps best – moment in which she challenges: “you know my address.”

Lanza’s work is distinctive, if not totally unique – the only other artist striking this sort of balance this year is the more retro-oriented producer/vocalist Natasha Kmeto. The song’s natural aesthetic, in the same vein as other material teased from her forthcoming LP, stems from the chemistry she shares with co-producer Jeremy Greenspan, from the Junior Boys. While far from minimalistic, their technique avoids over-populating the sound space, making sure every percussion shake or melodic sample they loop in feels vital to the piece. “5785021” proves to be another delectable taste of Lanza’s EP, Pull My Hair Back, arriving on the increasingly bold Hyperdub imprint on September 9.


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