Jessy Lanza
Love Hallucination
Los Angeles, California
RIYL: Aaliyah; Cocteau Twins; Yellow Magic Orchestra

Love Hallucination is a fitting title for Hamilton-born, LA-based singer-songwriter Jessy Lanza’s fourth album. Relationships are Lanza’s thematic focal point here (along with all the uncertainty inherent to them), and the music is hooky to the level of being hypnotic.

Lanza continues with her Japanese synth-pop-inspired, electro-soul style, but this album is less playful or impish than her previous three releases. With song titles like “Don’t Leave Me Now,” “Don’t Cry on My Pillow,” and “I Hate Myself,”  this is no happily-ever-after love story.

While most pop music can feel driven by vocals, that is not the case here. Lanza’s haunting, wispy soprano vocals trail along the music. This production choice gives the sense of a vehicle with no driver— allowing the music to drive itself, giving meaning beyond words.

“Midnight Ontario” is music to dance to with moments of pause, with Lanza singing about tears in the rain, and how “nothing is for sure.” In keeping with the rest of the album, the song wanders along an off-kilter blues scale used by everyone from Drake to Raffi. The tonal beats against trance-like music on the track “Drive” evoking strobes of traffic lights shining in the dark, encapsulating the overall feel of the album. 

As the sound of Love Hallucination would work well in a nightclub, a cafe, or a bedroom (either alone and trying to sleep, or with someone) the album plays like a joker card, it could be whatever you need it to be.

– Sarah Chodos