I have to admit, I was not the biggest Jessy Lanza fan before this.With the exception of one or two songs, most of her stuff just never clicked for me. Obviously, I was in the minority as her two New York shows were completely sold out.
Apathy aside, I made my way over to the Bowery Ballroom last Friday, with an open mind. I’ve been pleasantly surprised before. I was pleasantly surprised again. Following the awesome DJ Taye and the solid if not slightly mundane Morgan Geist, Jessy quickly set the show’s tone with a song I actually really love, “5785021.” Smart woman. Live, the normally sparse, down tempo melody reverberated hauntingly throughout the room. The fog, the lights, the synthesizer. Damnit, I’m such a sucker for that shit.
Yelping, shimmying, and sampling on stage, Lanza eschewed any banter to roll out song after song. “New Ogi” was a stand out, a soulful, plaintive lullaby of sorts. Cheers erupted from the crowd at the opening notes of “Kathy Lee” and for good reason; this song is a bonafide bop. A moody, Briton-esque slow jam that has officially made it’s way to my playlist.
“Vivica” was another favorite of mine, with it’s lush arrangements and head nod inducing kick drum. “Never Enough” was a playful throwback, leading perfectly into the funky “VV Violence.” “It Means I Love You” paired the singer’s delicate voice with a relentless, rhythmic beat that would make dubsteppers flail. Title track “Oh No” was just plain dope and the straw that ultimately broke the camel’s back. I immediately resolved to give Lanza’s oeuvre another try.
The growth and confidence on this latest album is quite phenomenal: an aesthetic fully realized, strengths played up to 11. I seriously love it when an artist’s performance forces you to reevaluate previous opinions. Kudos to Jessy, she gives good show. Lanza finishes up the last leg of her tour with stops in Massachusetts, Portsmouth and Canada.
Article: Stephanie Moise