Jessy Lanza – All The Time

Heart-on-sleeve pop music that's never rigid and never restrained.
Label:
Released: 24th July 2020
Rating: ★★★★

Jessy Lanza isn’t playing around with her third album, ‘All The Time’. There’s no woozy intro, no stumbling blocks, and no pretence whatsoever – just a record full of luscious electro-pop. This is the sound of an artist comfortably hitting her prime, and it’s honestly glorious to hear.

Jessy rushes headfirst into one of the bolshiest electro-pop songs of the year, killer album opener, ‘Anyone Around’. The propulsive 808s sound suitably round, the production is complex but primed with forward momentum, and Jessy herself sounds like an angel soaring above it all, tightly pitched and totally in control.

That’s made all the more remarkable by the story of cross-state songwriting between Jessy and long time collaborator Jeremy Greenspan (Junior Boys). Leaving the comfort of her hometown Hamilton for New York while Greenspan remained behind to build a studio, what should sound stitched together instead feels totally unified. The fact that ‘All The Time’ always feels organic says a lot about their shared creative tissue.

These odd edges are what’s always made Jessy such a compelling pop figure—the moments of natural growth and distortion that make a song zig even when it should zag. Tracks rarely run in one direction, and whether it’s the delicate breakdown at the centre of ‘Alexander’ or the barely comprehensible vocal distortions of ‘Ice Creamy’, Jessy and Jeremy rarely sit still.

Perhaps the only frustration is that ‘All The Time’ is frontloaded with the biggest bops, gradually winding into an increasingly introspective series of spacious songs. Still, Jessy’s voice shines through it all, as she effectively targets heartache and moments of self-reflection with simple, open-handed consideration. It’s refreshing to hear heart-on-sleeve pop music that’s never rigid and never restrained.

Blaise Radley

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