(I think I promised David that my first post would be a close reading of Usher’s “Confessions pt. II”, maybe subjoined to an exegesis of Akon’s “Birthmark,” but that’s going to have to wait).
Given this blog’s voracious appetite for all things Lynchian, I’m surprised that nobody has had anything to say about the Vancouver band You Say Party! We Say Die!, whose 2009 release, XXXX, was headlined by a single called “Laura Palmer’s Prom.” Sadly, the lyrics don’t name-drop Audrey Horne or Leo Johnson or Nadine, or do anything quite so satisfyingly specific within the Twin Peaks theme. But really, they don’t need to. The fabulously moody, synth-swollen atmosphere captures everything dark and steamy and desperate in Lynch-world, and ties it up with a thumping, irresistibly catchy bow.
Pitchfork seems to want to compare singer Becky Ninkovic and the band to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, or Siouxie and the Banshees, but really, I think they sound more like peak-era New Order (think “Temptation”, “Age of Consent”, etc) than any male-voiced contemporary band that I can recall. Maybe to you that makes them derivative, but to me it makes them divine.
The tragic postscript here — more gruesomely Lynchian than ever — is that just this April, the band’s drummer, Devon Clifford, collapsed onstage at a show in Vancouver, and died two days later of a brain hemorrhage. The band is soldiering on, minus another member who quit, under the shortened name ‘You Say Party.’ From what I’ve heard of them — just “Laura Palmer’s Prom” and a few other similarly synthy tunes on their Myspace page, I hope they stay together, not just because it’s the only decent thing to hope for, but because they’re making some pretty terrific music.
You can buy XXXX here, in digital, CD, or LP format.
You Say Party! We Say Die!, “Laura Palmer’s Prom”