Song of the Day: Jessy Lanza - It Means I Love You

Song of the Day
03/24/2016
Gerrit Feenstra
photo by Hollie Pocsal

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJ’s think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is "It Means I Love You" by Jessy Lanza from her upcoming album, Oh No, due May 13th on Hyperdub.

Jessy Lanza - It Means I Love You (MP3)

Hyperdub is one of those labels like XL or 4AD where much of the mystery hails back to a core set of artists or sonic frontiers that really helped define and drive the label forward to where it is today. But as the label enters their second proper decade, they have their heart set on expansion. Back in 2013, Canadian singer and electronic guru Jessy Lanza was one such artist to push this frontier. Her Hyperdub debut Pull My Hair Back got shortlisted for the 2014 Polaris Prize, and won her exactly the sort of acclaim that she deserved. The record was a brilliant mixture of electronic landscapes and forward-thinking R&B. Where Pull My Hair Back was a poignant and striking debut, Lanza is looking forward to her second record on the label with a broader scope. Last year's "You Never Show Your Love" single showed off a fresh mixture of style and subtlety. There's no doubt that with Oh No, Lanza's increasingly more adventurous work will get the attention it deserves.

Our first hint at Oh No is a spectacle. "It Means I Love You" showcases Lanza's strengths in every arena, without flinching once. The song is a slow burn at speedy tempo, starting only with a drum and building into an explosive high tension frenzy. Hot off of the "You Never Show Your Love" collaboration, Lanza's taste of Teklife's footwork style shows up here in her own unique shade. The skittering high hats never take full precedent - rather, they add to the sensual push and pull that leads you forward effortlessly over five minutes. Lanza chooses not to show her vocals off in full sway - rather, the melody is as subtle as it is infectious. There's no doubt that elsewhere on Oh No, we'll see them take to soaring heights. Jessy Lanza is ready to explode into new arenas, and this is a tune that let's you know it without showing all the cards yet. But for now, "It Means I Love You" is a taster that you could put on repeat for hours.

Jessy Lanza was just in town supporting Junior Boys and is still on the road with them on the East Coast for the next two weeks. It's possible she'll go out on her own after Oh No is released on May 13th. If she does, you'll be able to find out, and find more music, on her website and Facebook page. For now, here's the official video for today's featured song:

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