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Jessy Lanza : Pull My Hair Back

Did you ever have a crush on one of your teachers? Well get ready to remember how that felt, because if you have as much as a passing interest in either R&B or contemporary electronica you’re likely to fall hard for Jessy Lanza‘s Pull My Hair Back, out September 17 via Hyperdub. A music tutor by day, Hamilton, Ontario native Lanza’s extracurricular activities have produced one of the year’s best debuts: recorded in collaboration with Jeremy Greenspan of Canadian electro-soul duo Junior Boys (whose proto-dubstep classic Last Exit is an obvious antecedent), Pull My Hair Back is a sparse, seductive album that offers vocal skills and sonic thrills in equal measure. If her primary influences – Aaliyah, Mariah, MTVBase circa 1999 -aren’t exactly uncommon these days, Lanza certainly does a better job than most of conveying R&B’s innate hot ‘n’ heavy sexuality: with her breathy moans, excitable wordless ad-libs and saucy lyrics (I’m fairly sure she isn’t asking for assistance in styling her hair in the title track), these tracks are sure to raise eyebrows and temperatures among her students – and their dads – should they get to hear them. A great singer only accounts for half of a great song, though, and Greenspan proves the perfect creative foil, scattering the backdrop with soft focus synth washes, gently percolating electronics, bouncing basslines and shapeshifting beats inspired by UK bass music in all its varied guises. With icy slow-jams mutating into spaced out approximations of footwork (“5785021”), funky house (“Fuck Diamond”), Italo-disco (“Keep Moving“) and more, it’s an album of contrasts, leading you to bed with one hand and dragging you reluctantly onto the dancefloor with the other. Check out “Kathy Lee” below, and stream the album in full via Pitchfork Advance.


About foamhands

My name is Michael Dix; I'm a decade or so past being down with the kids, but to me new music never gets old. Apparently I like music that sounds like faulty kitchen appliances and ritual slaughter; really I just like what I like, whether that happens to be indie, pop, punk, hip hop, metal, electronica, Afrobeat or jazz. Follow me on Twitter @FoamHandsBlog to receive notifications of new posts and the occasional random brain-fart, and please share links wherever you can. Enjoy!

One response to “Jessy Lanza : Pull My Hair Back

  1. howellb1

    Love this video. Didn’t get the sample at first, but it grew on me. Her voice! Wow. Thanks for posting.

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