Published Aug 21, 2019BC dance-punk warriors You Say Party are no stranger to tragedy. Drummer Devon Clifford's tragic death nearly a decade ago distorted and transformed the reality of the band's Becky Ninkovic. Her debut solo record is a cathartic exploration of this emotional journey that aches both lyrically and melodically with heart-wrenching vulnerability. Woe swims powerfully — at times even danceably — through trauma, self-discovery and recovery.
Opening track "In the Beginning" sets Woe's tone as bold, shameless and viciously reflective. The record gradually and gracefully unravels into despair, reaching its most desolate depths in closing track "The Mountain." If anything, it is in narrative structure that the album lacks — its movement through ups and downs does not feel deliberate so much as purely intuitive. Although such attention would lend the record a more balanced quality, it might fail to honour the honest trajectory of grief.
After all, closing lines "I'm alright, I'm alright" and "whatever, whatever" honour that there is pain that cannot heal and closure that cannot be attained. Woe inhabits the emotionally dense and creatively charged reality of limbo: the space that glows between desperation and acceptance, inquiry and understanding, mourning and light, morning and night. (Paper Bag)