Just a few brief words for my good friends from Vancouver, YOU SAY PARTY.
Recent years have seen the four remaining members (Becky Ninkovic, Stephen O’Shea, Krista Loewen and Derek Adam) experience the poles of emotion. In 2010, drummer Devon Clifford died suddenly whilst on stage, and although the band undertook a UK tour some time after, with Al Boyle on drums, the loss of their dear friend proved too much and the band entered a period of of hiatus.
Now though, six years after Devon’s passing and a time span that has also seen Derek getting married and the birth of Becky and Stephen’s daughter, the band are back with a new, eponymous album.
My limited edition white vinyl copy arrived today – release day. And I must say, I’m well chuffed, both with my purchase and the fact that the band have returned so strongly from a turbulent period in their musical career.
The album sees the band take a totally different direction. Whereas their earlier work was often described as ‘spiky,’ this album is more like a warm, cosy, comfort blanket.
I’ve only played the album a couple of times, but to me it sounds like a sort of dreamgaze / drone / krautrock hybrid. Perhaps that has something to do with the band remaining a four-piece and deploying a drum machine rather than employing a drummer; perhaps it’s a feeling of melancholy at missing their friend ( I believe the side one track ‘Friend’ is a tribute / homage) or perhaps it’s simply a band that has been together for twelve years, and friends long before that, maturing in age, experience and sound.
Whatever, YOU SAY PARTY can do now wrong for me. Becky’s haunting vocals soar and mingle with the backing and the harmonies with Krista work wonderfully. My intial favourite tracks would have to be ‘Sleepyhead,’ which I understand was inspired by band members overhearing Becky singing her daughter to sleep, and the closing track, ‘Heading In The Direction Of The Rising Sun.’ This is one heck of an epic and atmospheric track.
Sure, there will probably be some of their old fans that won’t take to this change in direction. But equally, I’m sure they find a whole new raft of fans.
It’s just a shame that, at the moment at least, the band has no plans to return to touring. So – get a hold of your copy of this album, crack open a beer, sit back and play loud. And often.