After years of deadlines, gruelling tours and then, tragically, the death of their drummer Devon Clifford, You Say Party announced in 2011 that they were taking a break. The hiatus was spent recovering, growing and reconnecting with each other and music.
On their return self-titled LP, You Say Party are not the band they were. The "dance-punk" sounds and youthful urgency that characterized their first three records are noticeably absent and have been replaced with synths, electronic drums and, above all, a sense of peace that comes from going through a very tough period and coming out the other side.
The un-rushed eight tracks of You Say Party embody the regeneration and newfound sonic ease of the band. Becky Ninkovic's voice is tucked away in the long shadows of synths and electronics, becoming one with the rest of the music instead of standing front and centre. On "Underside," she begins in an intense whisper before drifting into the surrounding textured dreamscape, while the captivating, nearly eight-minute closer "Heading in the Direction of the Rising Sun" finds the band waxing epiphanic as one, moving from frightened to lucid over the journey. On "Ignorance," the album's shortest track, You Say Party reflect on youth and, on their most upbeat number, celebrate the maturation that helped this album come to be.
An appropriately self-titled release, You Say Party is a haunting record about rediscovery that grieves, honours and soothes. (Paper Bag)