Jessy Lanza has a remarkably calming and coolly evocative voice, but her best asset might be versatility. Her excellent debut album, Pull My Hair Back, showcased her range to a certain extent, matching bubbly synth pop against spacious R&B slow burners with aplomb. Collaborations with Caribou and Morgan Geist’s The Galleria project capitalized on that show-stealing confidence, and proved how well she can work on someone else’s turf. Now, alongside production from Teklife affiliates DJ Spinn and Taso, Lanza’s streak continues onto her latest Hyperdub record, You Never Show Your Love.
The four-song EP centers around its title track, which is surprisingly restrained for two Teklife producers. For Lanza, however, the slippery rhythm, incandescent synths and steamy atmosphere sound like a natural continuation of Pull My Hair Back. DJ Spinn & Taso’s beat slides between standard hip-hop bounce and an elastic half-time that wouldn’t be out of place backing FKA twigs, but the vocals remain in a heartbroken trance. Though you couldn’t call her demeanor “chilly,” Lanza certainly isn’t warm when cooing lyrics like “love can be so cruel.” Resolution only arrives at the end, closing the slo-mo ballad with soulful guitar notes and a smoldering G-funk synth lead. It all floats by in a blink, which can make “You Never Show Your Love” feel somewhat slight even if the ride is utterly smooth.