When it comes to songs dominating the summer charts, the general litmus test just doesn’t work these days. Nobody’s getting their music from radio airtime, and VH1/MTV music video blocks are about as archaic as vinyl records and cassette tapes used to feel; no, to truly see what will dominate the airwaves and Billboard charts these days, you have to take to the unruly streets of TikTok to get a taste for what’s next on the viral chopping block. Artists such as Doja Cat, Lil Nas X, Jack Harlow, and Bella Poarch have all been massively successful after using the app as a springboard, so there’s no wondering why modern indie artists such as Rex Orange County and Oliver Tree are among countless others looking for ways to use the app as their way of tapping into the fans.
Some pop music just isn’t meant to be ground up and spit out by an algorithm, though, and that’s the kind of music that will have legs in the decades to come. One key artist that seems suited for things far superior to TikTok is the genre-defying, multi-hyphenate Brenda Carsey, whose new single “Party’s Over” isn’t concerned with making the cut in regards to your mash-up, thirty-second montage-fest.
“Party’s Over” is almost a send-up against the entire concept of TikTok and these immediate gratification apps — with lyrics based around the idea of a fleeting party coming to a close, and finding yourself empty-handed with nothing but faded memories of former flings, there’s a nearly perceptible commentary on the way that people seem to prioritize getting their kicks for the fast and cheap over investing in something as arduous and well-earned as a career in music.
“Where will you be when the party’s over? When the lights get switched back on, where will you be when the party’s over? When the girlies are all gone, when you’ve rolled your last spliff babe, and your coolness fades away, yeah; where will you be when the party’s over? You’ll be dreaming about me.” There’s the read that the song is undoubtedly about a relationship turned sour over a guy who couldn’t keep his focus on the girl right in front of him, sure, but there’s no fun in being literal.
Brenda Carsey is a brilliant voice in the modern pop scene that feels as necessary now as she has across her years of releases. The fact that she has been studying music since the age of five is evident, and her hard work shows up in the track’s production with its meticulous hyper-theatricality. The melodic instrumentation and time signature variations give “Party’s Over” a brilliant leg to stand on, even if you briefly ignore Carsey’s involvement, but as a whole the single meshes together into one brilliant symphonic pop extravaganza you just don’t get these days. Thankfully, Brenda Carsey’s latest single is here to change the pace and put some pep in the step of the music industry’s current tempo, it would seem, and though the “Party’s Over,” it feels like she’s just getting started.