You Say Party feels like the proverbial morning after; the morning after the party the night before – a party spanning almost ten years and three albums of thunderous musical anarchy. It pinpoints a large musical shift from dance punk darlings You Say Party! We Say Die! to electronic pioneers and experimental tastemakers You Say Party. Though distinctly quieter than their bratty dance debut, Hit the Floor and sophomore album, Lose all Time, You Say Party have created sounds that are big — abandoning their signature danceable beats, for more expansive, cool and sophisticated melodies.
This record has a strong prog rock vibe about it — the band opting for extended arrangements over the vim and vigor of previous releases. In this case, less is definitely more, and lead singer Becky Ninkovic skillfully works both wafer thin vocal nuances and powerful, voluminous choruses to break up the album’s instrumental bias. This can be seen in opening track, “112” where her ghostly vocals become more and more prominent with the rising swell of Synthesizers and Guitars.
Whilst “112” hooks the listener with its bassy intro, key tracks “Ignorance”, “Sleepyhead” and “Heading in the Direction of the Rising Sun” parallel the dreamy synth-pop stylizations of bands like Desire and The Chromatics (as featured in cult films, Drive & Lost River), mirroring their melancholic ambience and romanticism in carefully layered delay and reverb.
You Say Party’s use of synthetic drums on this album is most noticeable on “Friend” with all other instrumentation in this song, sitting lower in the mix. The song grows from it’s quiet intro – the Keys echoing bright and solitary like sonar – and rises with the crestfallen vocal refrain, “I can’t see my friend no more / He’s gone for good / He’s gone for sure,” climaxing around 2:47, before gently receding again. The emotion felt behind “Friend” can be left to individual interpretation. It feels as if the collective subtleties within the lyrics and instrumentation serve as tribute toward the late Devon Clifford, You Say Party’s former drummer.
This album is an endearing and somewhat magical creation. Though it closely aligns the band to musical contemporaries, Låpsley and Daughter, it maintains a semblance of originality and flair and separates itself from being labeled amateur or a derivative of its peers.