Jessy Lanza on How Marlon Brando and the QEW Inspired 'Love Hallucination'

Exclaim! Scrapbook

"For most of my teenage years and early 20s there was nothing to do around Hamilton but drive around"

BY Kaelen BellPublished Aug 22, 2023

Kinetic, unpredictable and shot through with the florid acidity of her new home base of Los Angeles, Jessy Lanza's Love Hallucination is the Hamilton, ON-born songwriter and producer's most mercurial work yet. The record's breakneck drum machines, pitch-shifting coos and deep-end-of-the-pool bass feel always on the verge of collapse, but Lanza's engaging songwriting and fluttering voice keep things grounded on the hot pavement.

Exploring broken hearts and self-hatred, fear of death and erotic obsession, Love Hallucination is a restless creature, and its inspirations are as varied as its glittering genre splices. From a stretch of hometown highway to an elusive collection of Japanese pop songs and a piece of government documentation, read on to find out the various experiences, artworks and ephemera that made the record what it is.

This is Jessy Lanza's Love Hallucination scrapbook. 

Los Angeles, CA

I moved to L.A. a year and a half ago, and being in a city built on fantasy and confidence has had a big effect on my songwriting. I'm a shy person, so it's been fun to channel a bigger version of myself on Love Hallucination

Green Card

I was waiting to get my green card when I wrote a lot of the songs on Love Hallucination. I couldn't leave the US to see my family in Canada, and getting my green card became symbolic of patience, longing and frustration in my life. It was a difficult time for me. I channeled those feelings into the songs, most notably on my latest single "Limbo."

Roland JX-8P

I love this keyboard and I've had it for years, but I used it the most on Love Hallucination. The presets sound amazing without having to do much to the sound. 

QEW Niagara Corridor 

Love Hallucination is a reflection on past relationships, and a lot of those memories were made driving between Hamilton and Niagara Falls. For most of my teenage years and early 20s, there was nothing to do around Hamilton but drive around, so the car and the highway became significant places for me. 

Listen to Me Marlon

I love documentaries, and this is one that has stayed with me and that I keep coming back to. I watched and rewatched it many times while I was making Love Hallucination. What it means to be vulnerable is a theme on Love Hallucination, and Listen to Me Marlon explores that question through Marlon Brando's personal audio diaries. I highly recommend that you watch it!

The Golden Pavilion of Dreams: from Japan 1981 - 1995

This is a nice collection of pop music from Japan. I found out about so many artists through this compilation, and I listened to it constantly while I was writing the songs on Love Hallucination

Charlie Wilson's "Can't Live Without You"

This song motivated me during times when I was slouching a bit on the last legs of finishing my new record. Listening to this song energizes me because the song itself is well-written, and Charlie Wilson's vocals are powerful and sincere. 

Latest Coverage