O U I / / P A R T Y is the work of Toronto based musician Sean Andernacht, whose (self-proclaimed) influences range from Dinosaur Jr. to Cursive. Releases thus far include an EP titled Wax, Post-Wax [Demos], and two collections of Christmas singles—all ‘name your price’ over at their bandcamp page, and all sonically wonderful.
Wax opens with the catchy “Education,” but things really pick up with the second track, “We Don’t Talk About It Anymore.” Andernacht alternates the tempo of the song, spitting out the song’s title like it’s a tongue twister, and then ending the song with those same six words stretched out, slow and melodic. With attention drawn to the fast/slow shifts, it’s easy to miss the cosmic-dreamy images in the track’s more subtly-sung lyrics. My favourite is, “Put on our costumes and our heads do the rest / The moon paints the ground with our silhouettes.” It’s poetic and pretty, demonstrating a high level of lyricism that’s maintained throughout the EP.
The EP closes with “Spinners,” the type of song you could listen to on loop during long, nighttime drives. Andernacht replaces the pop-infused tunes with something more nostalgic and sad—from the “Catch me I am spider food” to the “There’s just no love” and all of the na-na-na’s in between. And when bands can spin images of spiders into something soothing, you know they’re doing something special.
As great as their EP is though, the three-song long Post-Wax [Demos] is the band’s real showcase of talent.
The Demos open with “Bad Names;” the aching of Andernacht’s voice comes across particularly strong in the “to” and “you” of the lines “No we don’t want to / No we don’t need you.” It’s angrier than anything on Wax, though the style is similar. The second and third tracks of the demo (“Alva Criminal” and “Post Wax 8”), however, signal a marked shift into the experimental.
With “Alva Criminal” (my favourite track and currently, my favourite song) Andernacht’s voice transgresses into the distorted and fuzzy, reminiscent of the atmosphere in Broken Social Scene’s You Forgot it in People (2002). There’s eight seconds of slightly unnerving bell-like sounds, before a carnival-esque beat jumps in. That backing track makes it easy enough to let the lyrics stay fuzzed out. But when you do take a good listen to the five lines that Andernacht sings on loop (“I wanna be alone / Am I a criminal? / I will miss Alva / I wish you could’a known / I’m feeling minimal”), it’s bliss-bursting. It’s a challenge to listen well and not just get lost in the pretty waves of sound.
“Post Wax 8” employs the same kind of tension between instrumentals in glitched-out glory, juxtaposed with lyrics that reveal something darker, like, “lick your lips they’re bleeding red.” The glory becomes gory, revealing the complexity with which the band has composed their songs.
From the more traditional Wax to the experimental Post Wax [Demos], O U I // P A R T Y has put out an amazing little package of sound, and you should listen (right now!) to “Alva Criminal.”
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