I would never have characterized You Say Party as a good-time band, but their dance-punk aesthetic and former go-for-broke celebratory moniker always had a sense of reckless abandon to it, packaged with an “anything can happen” vibe that was exciting and energizing.
As You Say Party approaches the sixth anniversary of drummer Devon Clifford’s sudden death and passes the six-year mark since their last full length release, 2009’s XXXX, it’s clear time, tragedy, and trajectories has changed their temperament, if not their style completely. On their new self-titled LP, You Say Party are still using synths and electronic drums to build their jams, and the icy cool detachment found of some of XXXX still hasn’t completely thawed, but their frantic energy and quick-pulsed intensity has settled into a moody, introspective meditation.
Previously released “Friend”, an ode to Clifford, sets the template for much of You Say Party, taking vocalist Becky Ninkovic’s ethereal voice and blending it into the shimmering curtain of synths. Still, signs of the old You Say Party peek through, in particular on the mesmerizing “Underside”, a beat driven mid-point that starts the healing process for the quartet.
The album’s eight songs mark a long, and one would imagine incredibly emotional, journey of re-discovery and self-discovery. As much as it looks back on the past six years, You Say Party the record also firmly fixes its gaze on You Say Party the band’s future. The past six years has definitely proven that anything can happen, often when you least expect it to. You Say Party are now ready for what comes next.
You Say Party, You Say Party
Paper Bag Records, February 12, 2016