Photo: Hollie Pocsai
Photo: Hollie Pocsai

Hamilton’s Jessy Lanza Creating International Waves

Talk about perfect timing. A day before the international release of her second album, Jessy Lanza received a rave review in UK newspaper The Guardian, recognized as one of the most important papers in the world.

It read in part: “When Canada’s Jessy Lanza debuted with 2013’s Pull My Hair Back, she was pigeonholed as one of the “future R&B” artists mixing up 90s sounds with new electronics. Understandably, she and co-producer/husband Jeremy Greenspan have made a run for it on second album Oh No and a wider – and weirder – range of influences, from Yellow Magic Orchestra and J-pop to Chicago footwork and New Orleans bounce, shine through their wonky pop prism.”

The critic then praised “Lanza’s smoky sensuality” and “distinct, vapour-light voice,” concluding “there could be a bona fide pop star in Jessy Lanza yet.”

Still choosing to base herself in Hamilton (as is Greenspan, of Junior Boys fame), Lanza has remained rather under the radar of the Canadian music industry mainstream, perhaps in part due to her signing with UK label Hyperdub. Critics here have recognized her potential though, placing Pull My Hair Back on the Polaris Prize shortlist. An impressive video for one of its tracks, "Kathy Lee," also made the Prism Prize shortlist and has grabbed an impressive 500k YouTube viewings.

There is enough of a buzz about her Stateside to justify an extensive club tour there, starting June 15. It runs a full month, taking in 18 cities, plus Vancouver (June 21), Montreal (July 14), and Toronto, where the tour concludes with a show at Lee’s Palace.






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