Room to Grow
Hailing from Hamilton, Ontario, Jessy Lanza is the proprietor of an extremely unique sound. Her latest album, Oh No, is nothing less than a masterful assortment of uniquely mixed synth effects covered layered with entrancing beats and catchy lyrics.
Lanza’s sound is undoubtedly a distinctive one- at times, it comes off as a re-imagining of the counterculture music that filled dance halls during the 70s and 80s. The opening song of the album, “New Ogi”, ushers in a light and buoyant sound. Effects such including an arpeggiator and deep chords make the track a stimulating one for the listeners, and sets the tone for the rest of the album. On tracks like “Never Enough”, the songster shows off her impressive control over a wide vocal range. Effects such as echoes and distortions serve to make her tantalizing voice all the more profound.
Though the 10-track album does assume a very upbeat and forward momentum, the track “I Talk BB” serves to add variation to the collection. In this piece in particular, she slows down the pace considerably, and presents somewhat of a dark ballad. “Come away with me/times like this make it so hard,” she sings.
In comparison with some of her older songs such as “You Never Show Your Love”, Lanza seems to be an artist who has done some growing. Though her sound is still familiar, she seems to have grown into herself; an artist who craftily blends a unique assortment of effects and programmed sounds to create tracks that inspire movement in listeners.
Though the album is undoubtedly a cohesive collection, it is a bit frustrating that for the most part that each song on the track sounds strikingly similar. Each of the 10 songs on the album possesses almost identical arrangements; an intricately woven percussion track layered by vacillating and wavering chords and effects, all brought together by shallow, romantic lyrics. One of the key traits of an extremely talented artist is that they can move between several types of styles, while still maintaining a sense of originality and texture. This is where Lanza seems to be struggling- a run through of the album does not offer much variation. Hopefully this is a skill that Lanza will develop as she begins to develop more as an artist, and looks to release her 3rd and maybe 4th albums.