Pity Party Display Growth and Versatility on New EP 'Are You Happy Yet?'

Are You Happy Yet? is the third release and second EP from the Bay Area pop punk band, Pity Party. The band consists of voaclist Sarah Levy, Michael Negrete on drums, Dustin Thieu Galecki on guitar and Robrt Wyble on bass. 

 Photo by Bailey Marie

Photo by Bailey Marie

One of the first distinctive elements you notice about Are You Happy Yet? is the versatility Levy has adopted as a singer. Being able to move a song's feeling with that ability is key, she switches from a honeyed style of vocalizing back to her well known raspy voice with ease. Listeners can hear that on other tracks such as, “Dank Sinatra” and “Pop Song 4-Evr." You notice that within moments her voice completely changes a song's attitude. A new development Pity Party has introduced which really shines is their newfound use of backup vocals. The introduction of background vocals adds a new layer of depth to the band's work. Both Dustin and  Michael lend their pipes in the opening track, “Traphouse Xmas”, and their input adds vocal diversity and helps build the song. The hook of this song really grabs onto listeners due to its' tempo and lyrics that move slightly, becoming more spaced out.

The lyrics themselves almost seem to contradict themselves with the way they’re conveyed. “I can’t help but miss you/ Loss has dampened me." Instead of sounding remorseful or sad, Sarah almost sounds disgusted, as if even though she seems to be missing someone she knows she shouldn’t be. She seems to be facing the ugly truth of differentiating what you want from what is best for you. Her voice's tone proves her bigger than the damage she’s singing about.

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 This band has really perfected the art of jam packing a chorus with lyrics yet still having a song flow beautifully and naturally. In “Pop Song 4-Evr”, there’s no room for pauses; which gives a sense of panic and pure energy to every word as they are matched up perfectly with the drum beat being banged out. This track also tends to focus more on the guitar riffs laid out before us. It contains some of the catchiest guitar riffs of the whole EP, and they are done so effortlessly; especially during the bridge when they link with a persistent drumbeat, and a voluminous bass line under it all. Together they grow like thunder. 

The two words that come to mind when I look back on this release are “honesty” and “spark”, which are translated with consistency throughout each song.  Pity Party has come a long way since their first release, In Heaven Everything Is Fine, in 2015. Their sound has evolved from garage style emo to a more  to a more defined and transparent pop punk sound. Through everything that Pity Party has put out into the music scene they are constantly developing and transforming their style and sound which attracts listeners and show-goers from various circles!

-Riley DeSantis

Delaney Motter