When you see the word “party,” what comes to mind? Loud, booming music. Bodies commingling on the dancefloor. Drinks being passed around. All in all, a good time.
Well, Ava Heatley sees things differently in her newest release, titled “Party.”
Heatley is described as a New York City-based singer-songwriter “who gets sad and plays the piano.” The description is simple but to the point and gives listeners a sense of her music’s tone before they even press play.
“Party” is not what you would expect when you see the song’s name. This is not a song to dance to nor is it a song that brings any particular joy. You might not smile when you hear “Party,” but chances are you will relate to Heatley’s words.
While other songs glorify parties, Heatley’s newest single gives a real glimpse into the inner thoughts of introverts, people who suffer from social anxiety, or just an unsatisfied partygoer. “I don’t think I want to be at this party anymore,” she sings, but her feelings are more than just a vapid complaint. In the song, Heatley laments over the room being too hot, having a lukewarm beer, being underdressed, and being “nervous, tired, and fucking hungry.”
Towards the end of the song comes a chorus of voices, but they aren’t singing. Instead, they replicate the chatter of a large gathering. Though the conversations are muffled, individual words unintelligible, the voices begin to drown out Heatley’s vocals. Their use is effective: it’s almost as if you’re really at a party, unable to hear your own thoughts or the words of those around you due to the inescapable prattle of tens, twenties, perhaps hundreds, of people around you.
Much like Heatley’s other tracks, “Party” is stripped down. The simplicity of the music lends itself well to making listeners feel what Heatley is trying to convey. You have no choice but to focus on her words, which are so blunt, so straightforward, you can’t help but feel what she must feel.
“Party” hits close to home for the singer, which makes it even easier to relate to. Heatley said, “Party is about my struggle with anxiety. Lyrically, it describes feeling uncomfortable in your own skin, but I also wanted this song to sound like a panic attack feels by using airy guitars, monotonous piano and a doubled vocal that surrounds the listener. I asked a bunch of friends to record themselves talking for this track and laid it as a bottom layer at the end of the track to help add to the overwhelming chaos the song erupts into.”
When Born Music Online described Heatley’s music as “raw, authentic, and beautifully self-aware,” they couldn’t have been more right, and “Party” is the perfect example of that. “Party” is candid and clear. There are no winding metaphors to figure out, no complex feelings to unravel: it’s simple, a breath of fresh air in this complicated world.
With songs like “Party,” Ava Heatley is sure to find an audience looking authenticity in what can be a very fake industry.