The Canadian producer takes a wicked turn in her deliciously offbeat third album
Should you ever find yourself pondering what sort of music ghosts play in the wine bars of the underworld, fret not, for Canadian producer Jessy Lanza has been answering your question since 2013. Her first two albums, Pull My Hair Back and 2016’s Oh No, perfected a witching-hours R&B haunted by a rich range of past styles, otherworldly alt-R&B rubbing up against lean club music and Lanza’s playful, gossamer falsetto in spare but compulsive spectral slow jams.
Her third album stays close to the formula, though with a slightly darker, starker turn: opener Anyone Around brings together a tight, crisp beat with dubby reverb, hazy, squidgy vintage keys and the sort of cheesy come-on line Lanza does so well: “I never behave when I’m around so close to you.” Face has the nervy tempo of footwork or garage, its seesawing vocal refrain giving it an unnerving bite, while Badly nails a uncanny pirate radio 4am feel, its slinky spareness blossoming into something deliciously just a little off-kilter. None of this is particularly radical in a post-everything musical landscape, but Lanza and her production and writing partner, Jeremy Greenspan of the underrated Junior Boys, do it particularly well, bringing a little of the afterlife’s rewards to the everyday.