By Clare Martin
Even with the end of restrictions imminent here in Ireland, the daily drudgery of staying at home and combing streaming sites for something new to watch can take it out of you. Despite these depressing circumstances, wallowing tends to be the exact opposite of what I need, especially when it comes to a seemingly inescapable global disaster. I might be crying, but I want to dance it out and get lost in music that makes me feel like I’m a part of something bigger than myself.
Irish glam pop artist Jack Rua and American hyperpop producer Saint Taint innately understand this desire. Over the course of their collaborative EP I Don’t Party Enough Anymore, the duo find a sense of much-needed catharsis.
Sure, Jack Rua may be singing, “Yeah I just want some kind of contact,” on the opening track “Contact,” but the drop on the chorus keeps you from becoming completely mired in sadness. It’s the same effect as Robyn’s “Dancing On My Own,” except instead of crying in the club you’re crying at home, throwing shapes as you’re lit up by the glitter ball you bought during lockdown.
The lyrics, which swing from touching to tongue-in-cheek, are complemented by Saint Taint’s hyperpop sensibilities. After a year of social deprivation, the overwhelming surge of beats and synths provide a much-needed rush of euphoria. “I Don’t Party Enough Anymore” pulsates with zippy, neon synth and thwacks of drum machine before Jack Rua channels some Carly Rae Jepsen-esque pop goodness on the chorus. “Now my world is getting smaller and it’s suffocating to be stuck inside my bedroom every night of the week,” he laments later on. Distortion preempts a triumphant drop, a crashing wave of sound that would wash you out to a sweaty dance floor if it could.
“Lovemelikeiloveyou” still gets your hips moving, but it’s comparatively sunny. High, distorted voices and a clanging beat are joined by other elements until the song becomes an oversaturated, bright groove moving within you. Listening to the track is like the aural version of eating an extremely sugary, sour sweet that leaves your mouth tingling for hours afterwards.
Even the most down-tempo song of the EP, “Bike Ride,” has a sense of humour about it. Jack Rua laments his TERF-y roommate and how he “can’t even sit here and enjoy doing nothing,” before inviting listeners to join his Animal Crossing island (“We have apples,” he promises).
On I Don’t Party Enough Anymore, Jack Rua and Saint Taint hit the sweet spot of escapism and emotional release. These four songs are bursting with so much feeling and fun that they’ll be great company even well after you’ve had your second jab.