By Colin Gallant
Jessy Lanza seemingly came out of nowhere with her icy smooth debut Pull My Hair Back in 2013. Based out of Hamilton and coming out of the gate as a Hyperdub-approved artist drew attention from all corners of the globe, including a nod for the 2014 Polaris Prize. Three years later, she’s back in even finer form.
Sonically, similarly crisp drums, wet bass and breathy vocals make up the bulk of the album. Where Lanza most shows growth is in mastery of mood. Opener “new ogi” centers on a visceral synth arpeggio, and leaves the listener wanting more by the end of its short two minutes. It’s a strategic holding pattern: at the moment of the song’s sudden conclusion, “vv violence” begins with a hop-scotch lyrical taunt from Lanza. “Got to say it your face but it doesn’t mean a thing.”
It’s an ultra taught track that makes for an early highlight while foreshadowing some of the pacing tricks to come. After club-centric “never enough” comes the blurry, opioid yearning of “i talk BB,” a removed yet fed-up plea to a lover to shut up and listen. Compared to Pull My Hair Back’s somewhat vague slow jams, the slow pace of Oh No’s downer numbers feels much more confident. To no surprise, the highest point comes with lead single “it means i love you.” It’s a brilliantly balanced track, walking the line between 2 a.m. club fare and private dances in unlit bedrooms. It’s at this intersection that Lanza sits on a throne, unchallenged in her rule of electro-pop’s ability to be personal and communal.Jessy Lanza, Oh No