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Jessy Lanza – Pull My Hair Back

The debut release from producer/singer Jessy Lanza is an interesting venture into sensuous minimalistic dance.


Lanza’s flickering sleek synth lines and unimposing breathy vocals create an absorbing hollow aesthetic that constantly slips between gentility and confident swagger. The tracks are directed delicately with a sort of patient elegance, but often subtly builds into energetic jubilant climaxes. Lanza’s vocals are wispy and echoing but hold out as the dominant sound amongst the spongy bedding of reverb and creative effects. The consistently sweet and airy vocals don’t take anything away from the air of apathetic confidence in Lanza’s lyrics, best summed up by her casually drifting “I don’t give a fuck what you do” in the title track ‘Pull My Hair Back’.

Different types of dance music are engaged with across the album, whether it’s the wobbly trap rhythms in ‘5785021’, deep sweeping electro bounce in ‘Fuck Diamond’, or the shrouded modern take on R&B in ‘As If’. Perhaps the standout track for me, ‘Keep Moving’ flickers and resonates before advancing with funky bass-lines into more frequent and steady glimmering synth bursts. Lanza’s forceful vocal hook slowly directs the gradually building bass/synth lines until the song climaxes with a final euphoric collision of sound. Although probably my favourite track, I think any one song on this album could justify itself against it, such is the consistent richness of ‘Pull My Hair Back’.

This album adds to the list of superb releases from Hyperdub in the last few months, with other recent records from DJ Rashad and Ikonika receiving similar high praise.

Pull My Hair Back is a mature, disciplined exploration of different dance styles, making for a really promising and thoroughly enjoyable debut.

/Joe Horsman

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