Jessy Lanza - Pull My Hair Back (2013)

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^ video for "Kathy Lee"

The album comes out in September on Hyperdub and it's co-written and produced by Jeremy Greenspan of Junior Boys. There's another track from the album called "Keep Moving" that's embedded in a thing about her at The Guardian:

I've been listening to "Keep Moving" all day. C'mon September!

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Saturday, 6 July 2013 05:39 (seven years ago) link

i like this album a fair amount. it sounds EXACTLY what you think an r&b album co-written and produced by the dude from junior boys would sound like.

lex is right in that it's very vibey and not necessarily tuneful but i dig it. the title track is nice.

J0rdan S., Saturday, 6 July 2013 07:30 (seven years ago) link

it sounds EXACTLY what you think an r&b album co-written and produced by the dude from junior boys would sound like.

Oh good.

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Saturday, 6 July 2013 07:31 (seven years ago) link

well, it sounds exactly what you think an album sung by a vaguely ~soulful~ vocalist and co-written and produced by latter-day junior boys sounds like, ie pretty fucking boring. really not very remarkable and extremely unmemorable. nothing as good as lanza's collab with ikonika:

and certainly nothing as good as any of these

lex pretend, Saturday, 6 July 2013 08:20 (seven years ago) link

I like all those songs, lex, but I also like the two of her own tracks I've heard so far as well. There's room for everything.

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Saturday, 6 July 2013 08:43 (seven years ago) link

Shut up Lex Pretend you tedious cunt.

Touch of Death, Saturday, 6 July 2013 18:55 (seven years ago) link


J0rdan S., Saturday, 6 July 2013 18:58 (seven years ago) link

i can't believe we're gonna go thru this again

people into jessy lanza aren't going to be swayed by fantasia, i don't think

J0rdan S., Saturday, 6 July 2013 18:58 (seven years ago) link

lock this thread and put it in a time capsule, it's perfect

The Reverend, Saturday, 6 July 2013 19:30 (seven years ago) link

I don't really have an opinion on Jessy Lanza at this point other than that she seems more comparable to Kathy Diamond than actual r&b. As usual the press release and the marketing strategy are amusing as lex-trolling but otherwise don't support framing this as a choice between Jessy Lanza and Fantasia.

I suppose if real r&b was having a better time commercially this wouldn't occur to us: no one complained about the Sneaker Pimps in these terms IIRC.

Tim F, Saturday, 6 July 2013 22:38 (seven years ago) link

As usual the press release and the marketing strategy are amusing

to be clear, amusing in an eye-rolly look at this fool kind of way.

Tim F, Saturday, 6 July 2013 23:30 (seven years ago) link

I seriously cannot understand how "Kathy Lee" and "110%" "If You're Never Gonna Move" could be seen as drastically different - there's this eerie tension lurking in the ~vibes~ and the songcraft is so subtle in both.

boxedjoy, Monday, 8 July 2013 22:29 (seven years ago) link

I like this album. But given that I am rockist and unrepentant that probably counts as a black mark against it.

If you tolerate Bis, then Kenickie will be next (ithappens), Tuesday, 9 July 2013 15:37 (seven years ago) link

How many people in this thread are writers with review copies? Because to the best of my knowledge it hasn't leaked yet.

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Tuesday, 9 July 2013 16:22 (seven years ago) link

I wish I was, Google isn't helping on this matter.

boxedjoy, Tuesday, 9 July 2013 18:48 (seven years ago) link

the vocal on kathy lee is weak and the track is boring except for the pop sound

i don't even have an internet (Hurting 2), Tuesday, 9 July 2013 18:57 (seven years ago) link


crüt, Tuesday, 9 July 2013 18:59 (seven years ago) link

I am finding "Kathy Lee" to be almost exactly as interesting as "Video Games", ie "not even the slightest bit"

If the singing was slightly off in the Sneaker Pimps vein, it would at least be a distinguishing characteristic for the song; as it stands, it's just all bland pretty smoothness (aside from the aforementioned synth snare hit in the beat, and when all of the personality of your song is tied into a snare hit on beat 3, that's a problem)

big black nemesis, Puya chilensis (DJP), Tuesday, 9 July 2013 19:08 (seven years ago) link

one month passes...

kathy lee was a grower, but its one of the weaker links imo and a surprising choice for single/video. on the whole i find this really special and suspect it will be a hit with anyone fond of the JBs.

production-wise it sits somewhere between Last Exit and the more "accomplished" sounding So This is Goodbye. it's impossibly lush in places and quite spacey, but with lots of little rough edges and arrangements that on first pass may seem half-baked.

there's that familiar polyrhythm wrought by skittery percussion and arpeggios and tremolos and oddly-timed delays and gently modulated synth drone. oh and there's some fucking stellar chord work throughout.

really impressive debut

anza808, Friday, 23 August 2013 04:32 (seven years ago) link

i think its a great album, even if it is basically kind of a 'what if junior boys produced aaliyah' kind of project. im not that fussed about her getting more attention over say, fantasia, just because they are so different. but last time i checked, its not like beyonce or rihanna were being booted out the charts by the likes of solange or weeknd (or more appropriately, how king midas sound and how to dress well were beating katy b or disclosure on itunes). so im not sure where this 'alt R&B' vs 'real R&B' war starts and ends. im more interested in how in the uk, it seems like most of the biggest R&B voices are white, but thats probably too many worm cans to be opened at once (and it might be a specious one, im not sure). but anyway, i think the album is great. hyperdub's aaliyah to laurel halo's bjork.

StillAdvance, Friday, 23 August 2013 09:47 (seven years ago) link

has this actually leaked or are you two what passes for professional these days

r|t|c, Friday, 23 August 2013 11:33 (seven years ago) link

hahaha damn

J0rdan S., Tuesday, 27 August 2013 21:40 (seven years ago) link


Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Tuesday, 27 August 2013 21:42 (seven years ago) link

Love this album. Not normally my area, but it sounds so great – 80s pop R&B melodies, modern production …

If you tolerate Bis, then Kenickie will be next (ithappens), Wednesday, 28 August 2013 10:41 (seven years ago) link

Finally heard this album and I like it but not as much as I hoped/expected. Lanza's phrasing is so obviously indebted to Greenspan's own style of singing that a less careful listener could think it was a demo guide track. Her voice is not the interesting thing about this but I'm not sure what else it is that she brings to it, and over the length of an album the constant use of her upper register starts to grate. It's not bad but it sounds EXACTLY what you think an r&b album co-written and produced by the dude from junior boys would sound like, just not explored to that idea's full potential.

boxedjoy, Monday, 2 September 2013 22:43 (seven years ago) link

two weeks pass...

Christ this is a dull album. The first song has its moments but the overall effect is so soporific, like the world was not exactly crying out for a Hyperdub-friendly Grimes.

Matt DC, Thursday, 19 September 2013 13:17 (seven years ago) link

Totally disagree with you sad hyperdub haters as usual. Such a lush album, grows with listens. I love it.

Josephine, Thursday, 19 September 2013 14:50 (seven years ago) link

Didn't care for the last couple Junior Boys albums and thought the Lanza track on the Ikonika album was a weak spot, so I wasn't expecting to like it one bit. Would've dismissed it after the first listen, but the job doesn't allow that. It won me over. Can definitely see why the feathery melisma would grate. (Major plus: Gushing about Kashif, Melba Moore, and Evelyn King but not attempting to replicate any of the stuff.)

Andy K, Thursday, 19 September 2013 15:06 (seven years ago) link

r|t|c, Thursday, 19 September 2013 16:07 (seven years ago) link

i always imagine that rtc calls in his forums posts like this

Josephine, Thursday, 19 September 2013 16:25 (seven years ago) link

three weeks pass...

really into this. while quite understanding that grimes-gone-boogie may be an ermmmm divisive sound on ilm.

opie dead eyed piece of shit (Merdeyeux), Wednesday, 16 October 2013 00:33 (seven years ago) link

I like this album fine but I've only really put it on as background music and hey it works well enough as that.

old homophobic boom bap rap traditionalist (The Reverend), Wednesday, 16 October 2013 02:03 (seven years ago) link

This album may click with me someday, but right now it seems like it's behind glass.

Johnny Fever, Wednesday, 16 October 2013 04:17 (seven years ago) link

Listen to it a lot while at work, and really like it, but suspect it will be ones of those albums I forget about in 12 months time

ornamental cabbage (James Morrison), Wednesday, 16 October 2013 05:31 (seven years ago) link

fuck diamfuck diamond

socki (s1ocki), Wednesday, 16 October 2013 13:54 (seven years ago) link

one year passes...

This isn't going to win over anyone not already on board, but still:

boxedjoy, Monday, 15 June 2015 20:16 (five years ago) link

seven months pass...

New single!

daavid, Wednesday, 27 January 2016 18:57 (four years ago) link

Also, new album coming soon.

daavid, Wednesday, 27 January 2016 18:57 (four years ago) link

not sure what to make of that but excited regardless

btw pull my hair back is an unbelievably lovely album

HYPERLINK TO RAP GENIUS (BradNelson), Wednesday, 27 January 2016 19:01 (four years ago) link

new song is such a wonderful little earworm, can't wait for the full album

j. winters (josh), Wednesday, 27 January 2016 21:46 (four years ago) link

this is now my most anticpated album of the year, "You Never Show Your Love" was so underrated.

boxedjoy, Wednesday, 27 January 2016 22:41 (four years ago) link

i really loved the first 3-4 songs of the first album (the rest just didnt match up for me), so am cautiously excited to hear the new one.

StillAdvance, Monday, 1 February 2016 12:27 (four years ago) link

New one is growing on me...though at first I wanted it to have more vocals.

Still super jazzed for the new record; co-sign on Pull My Hair Back being unbelievably lovely.

dronestreet, Monday, 1 February 2016 15:22 (four years ago) link

yeah i listened to it the other day and man that was a great record, that was

carly rae jetson (thomp), Monday, 1 February 2016 15:26 (four years ago) link

one month passes...

new track "VV Violence" from the upcoming album has an infectious midnite boogie sheen to it

j. winters (josh), Thursday, 24 March 2016 16:34 (four years ago) link


dronestreet, Thursday, 24 March 2016 17:55 (four years ago) link

not sure if it got ilm attention elsewhere but i thought this mix she did last year was fantastic

IDK, I find her vocals totally uncompelling, and that bass synth sounds like something the aliens from Explorers would play

human life won't become a cat (man alive), Friday, 25 March 2016 03:49 (four years ago) link

Goddamn, the new album is great.

self-clowning oven (Murgatroid), Wednesday, 6 April 2016 05:21 (four years ago) link


j. winters (josh), Wednesday, 6 April 2016 19:50 (four years ago) link

did it leak?

J. Sam, Wednesday, 6 April 2016 22:36 (four years ago) link

it did and i really like it

ufo, Thursday, 7 April 2016 00:27 (four years ago) link

"going somewhere" is *heart eyes emoji x100*

j. winters (josh), Wednesday, 13 April 2016 02:33 (four years ago) link

one month passes...

new album OH NO out today

j. winters (josh), Friday, 13 May 2016 20:10 (four years ago) link

Have to say i'm not so keen on this one. Does what album 1 did but not as well, plus a couple of really annoying vocal bits :(

I like it more than the debut, it feels a little hookier and more energetic

ufo, Saturday, 14 May 2016 02:30 (four years ago) link

It's the exact opposite of that to me

Number None, Saturday, 14 May 2016 08:34 (four years ago) link

Just listened to this for the first time and it completely passed me by. It did take me a while to really get into her first album so I will persist but my first impressions aren't good. Didn't really notice any hooks at all.

Kitchen Person, Sunday, 15 May 2016 13:44 (four years ago) link

i want to like this and i do like "it means i love you", but i haven't got there yet. i'm trying though!

art baengels (monotony), Monday, 16 May 2016 05:21 (four years ago) link

I wouldn't say I like it more; but it does a different thing (a little more open space, a little more pop, a little more 80s, a little more vocal variation / direct-ness / 'energy') that I'm loving in a different way. Early favorites are slow jam "I Talk BB", "VV Violence", and "Never Enough".

dronestreet, Monday, 16 May 2016 18:31 (four years ago) link

She had passed me by until the other day when someone recommended this LP to me. Enjoying it a lot.

Chewshabadoo, Wednesday, 18 May 2016 10:31 (four years ago) link

Listened to it 2x in the shop yesterday...and yeah, I think every track here is a keeper. It's different enough from the debut while retaining enough vocal & production characteristics that it's not a complete sea change. Pretty much loving this record right now.

dronestreet, Sunday, 22 May 2016 17:02 (four years ago) link

i maintain that the back stretch of this, starting with Vivica, really really opens up after a few listens.

anza808, Sunday, 22 May 2016 17:32 (four years ago) link

This is a huge leap forward to me. So much more inventive and adventurous in its sounds and her performance, and the songwriting is much stronger too

boxedjoy, Monday, 23 May 2016 13:49 (four years ago) link

two months pass...

ufo, Thursday, 4 August 2016 03:16 (four years ago) link

great song, great video

j. winters (josh), Thursday, 4 August 2016 05:35 (four years ago) link

Tried to get into Oh No a few times, just find it very undercooked sounding.

chap, Thursday, 4 August 2016 11:44 (four years ago) link

four months pass...

holy cow

the late great, Tuesday, 20 December 2016 07:14 (four years ago) link

I love 'pull my hair back' but I don't really like the new one and I feel frustrated at how many people like it based on the EOY lists. Same producer, same sort of sound but it just doesn't connect with me. Am I the only one who doesn't feel like it wasn't an improvement? It feels like the same thing but with lesser songs to me.

dance cum rituals (Moka), Tuesday, 20 December 2016 08:51 (four years ago) link

I agree with moka, am sad to say

I hear from this arsehole again, he's going in the river (James Morrison), Tuesday, 20 December 2016 09:45 (four years ago) link

I completely agree Moka. EOY placements feel like a result of a raised profile more than anything

Number None, Tuesday, 20 December 2016 13:18 (four years ago) link

I thought it was way better than the first one, more vivid three-dimensional sound and better songwriting

Dan S, Tuesday, 20 December 2016 19:33 (four years ago) link

The new one's great and she kills it live, but the first one has "Fuck Diamond" which is all-time.

Everything Moves Towards The Sun (Ross), Tuesday, 20 December 2016 19:45 (four years ago) link

love both, although PMHB has more sentimental value to me

josh, Wednesday, 21 December 2016 01:00 (four years ago) link

three years pass...

she's back at last and sounding great

ufo, Thursday, 20 February 2020 20:07 (ten months ago) link

yeah, this rules – hope a record follows!

dronestreet, Thursday, 20 February 2020 20:32 (ten months ago) link

She’s been teasing a record to be released this year! This’ll likely be a part of it

winters (josh), Thursday, 20 February 2020 21:35 (ten months ago) link

two months pass...

ufo, Tuesday, 28 April 2020 00:09 (eight months ago) link

I know that couch!

maffew12, Tuesday, 28 April 2020 03:15 (eight months ago) link

that was fun

maffew12, Tuesday, 28 April 2020 03:23 (eight months ago) link

Hilarious--out to the Ontario blue-bin recycling program

call mr zbow that's my name that name again is mr zbow (Craig D.), Tuesday, 28 April 2020 16:33 (eight months ago) link

two months pass...

ufo, Thursday, 9 July 2020 22:47 (six months ago) link

wherewasyou, Tuesday, 14 July 2020 03:23 (six months ago) link

this Boiler Room set has made really excited about the new record

winters (josh), Tuesday, 14 July 2020 04:13 (six months ago) link

album is fine but doesn't seem as hook-y as the last one on first listen?

ufo, Friday, 24 July 2020 00:43 (five months ago) link

well this is completely delightful on contact!

k*r*n koltrane (Simon H.), Friday, 24 July 2020 14:22 (five months ago) link

texturally wonderful as always and I can sense actual songs in there as well

k*r*n koltrane (Simon H.), Friday, 24 July 2020 14:44 (five months ago) link

i really like "over and over" and "alexander"

ufo, Saturday, 25 July 2020 07:53 (five months ago) link

I've not been motivated to engage with her music for years but the new one is great, so much hookier and full of ideas than her older work. How long has she been making stuff like this?

Matt DC, Saturday, 25 July 2020 12:24 (five months ago) link

it's not a significant shift from oh no which i'd say was slightly better than this new one

ufo, Saturday, 25 July 2020 12:33 (five months ago) link

new record is greatness

Papa Triste (Thee Macallan 18 Year), Tuesday, 28 July 2020 15:33 (five months ago) link

i tried with "lick in heaven" and it's not my thing

Give me a Chad Smith-type feel (map), Tuesday, 28 July 2020 15:39 (five months ago) link

i want to like it but the production goes the wrong way for me, flat and fart-y. quirky freestyle shouldn't sound like beat happening. guaranteed if you play it on a dance floor the energy goes to zero. i know that's a weirdly arbitrary thing to level against a pop track because pop can be successful so many different ways but that's just where my head is at rn. is there another "single" from this i should give a chance? i guess i sound like i've already made up my mind but it changes all the time and i'm weird so idk maybe i'll come around.

Give me a Chad Smith-type feel (map), Tuesday, 28 July 2020 15:45 (five months ago) link

Still love her first album; nothing since has really clicked for me.

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Friday, 31 July 2020 06:36 (five months ago) link

been loving this. Badly has remained a favorite -- makes me curious if jeremy writes any vocals. her delivery of the main verses is so junior boys! very easy to imagine him singing that.

anza808, Sunday, 2 August 2020 19:19 (five months ago) link

Rules. Flat and farty is just what I needed today.

maf you one two (maffew12), Sunday, 2 August 2020 21:31 (five months ago) link

one month passes...

Enjoying the new record quite a bit – I think it digests Oh No's influences into a more pop-friendly record that still has quite a bit of "weird" detail & sound design hidden inside a minimal electronic/R&B shell. "Anyone Around", "Face", "Ice Creamy", "Over and Over" are highlights for me. Also sounds v. good played v. loud on my tower speakers where you can appreciate the mix.

dronestreet, Saturday, 12 September 2020 04:51 (four months ago) link

this is a little thin but if I approach it looking for its textural richness rather than its songwriting I appreciate it a lot more

boxedjoy, Saturday, 12 September 2020 07:16 (four months ago) link

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