- Go to an 80’s themed dance party
- Drive around in the rain
- Shop for some really upscale, nice clothes
- Make out and/or make love
- Buy it on vinyl (it sounds great)
- Play the title track, “VV Violence,” and “Never Enough” over and over and over again
- Immediately listen to the thing again and see why it’s a brilliant synth-pop record
For a year that was so cruel to many of us on a societal and personal level, 2016 garnered a lot of ridiculously great records. I’ll be damned if I were to say the music gods were not kind to us throughout this train wreck of a year; with great material coming from all sides. Longtime favorites and new comers alike. When i think retrospectively of the year that just wrapped up and my favorite tunes to come from it my mind always drifts to “Oh No” by Jessy Lanza. For those unfamiliar with Lanza she is a electronic/dance singer-songwriter from Canada who has amassed a pretty noteworthy career over the last seven years. Not only in solo material – this and 2013’s Pull My Hair Back – but also working prominently with a lot of key figures in Canada’s electronic circle; artists such as Caribou and Grimes to name a few. If there’s any anecdote that should put her on your radar though, it’s not a collaboration, it’s how amazing her solo work is; this album is undeniable proof of that.
So what makes ‘Oh No’ so great? If I had to describe this album in one word it’d be infectious. This thing is hook after hook of tranquil but dance floor-ready electro pop; downtempo if you will, but lively too. Right from the very start the record boasts a keen sense for dance floor ready perfection: “VV Violence” and “Never Enough” are two sexy, slinking tracks that are all beats and rhythms and will no doubt immediately make anyone bob their head. The majority of the album though doesn’t play off as a full-out dance record though. After this one-two punch of an opener “Oh No” starts to head in a more introspective, almost R&B style. This is perfectly executed on album highlights “It Means I Love You” and “Vivica”, two of the album’s most intimate and subdued tracks that leave a hell of an impression and show a large amount of range in Lanza’s songwriting wheelhouse.
But synth lines and propulsive beats are not the only thing Lanza showcases to full effect on this album. If anything, the biggest highlight comes in the form of her voice. Presenting a voice that is as soulful as it is innocent, it’s the perfect undercurrent to the music on the album. Lanza’s voice delivers hooks and melodies as memorable as the songs themselves. “Oh No” is an underrated, underground gem from the newly deceased year, and one that I will spin for years to come.
As always, if you dig it, please buy it!
I tag Lisa!
Writer, blogger, record collector/music fanatic, comic book junkie, jerkstore/all around nice dude from the south suburbs of Chicago