Party (Aldous Harding album)

Party is the second studio album by New Zealand folk singer-songwriter Aldous Harding, released on 19 May 2017 by 4AD.[1] The album was recorded in Bristol with John Parish, who produced the album, and features contributions from Parish, Fenne Lily, and Mike Hadreas.

Aldous Harding – Party.png
Studio album by
Released19 May 2017
StudioJ & J Studio, Bristol
ProducerJohn Parish
Aldous Harding chronology
Aldous Harding
Singles from Party
  1. "Horizon"
    Released: 10 February 2017
  2. "Imagining My Man"
    Released: 29 March 2017

The album was nominated for Album of the Year at the 2017 New Zealand Music Awards.[2] It was also nominated for IMPALA's European Album of the Year Award.[3]


"I'm So Sorry" was premiered through The 405 on 17 March 2016.[4]

"Horizon" was released as a single on 10 February 2017 with an accompanying music video directed by Charlotte Evans.[5] The album was detailed the same day.[6]

"Imagining My Man" was released as a single on 29 March 2017 with an accompanying music video, also directed by Charlotte Evans.[7]

A music video for "Blend" was released on 12 June 2017, also directed by Charlotte Evans.[8]

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic     [11]
The A.V. ClubB[12]
DIY     [13]
The Guardian     [15]
The New Zealand Herald     [16]
The Observer     [17]
Q     [18]
Record Collector     [19]

At Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the album received an average score of 83, based on 11 reviews.[10]

Kitty Empire of The Observer gave Party a positive review, commenting, "Harding is her own woman, an arresting vocalist whose mannered deliveries – from chanteuse to jazzy – and intense themes defy obvious influence."[17] Rob Mesure of musicOMH praised the album, saying, "Shifting moods and voices effortlessly, Harding is an often technically astonishing performer, and Party is a work of quiet power. An inviting, captivating darkness."[21] Haydon Spenceley of Drowned in Sound gave the album a favourable review, saying, "There is something both abstract and individual and yet universal about the way that Harding writes and presents her trials and triumphs of the heart."[22] James Christopher Monger of AllMusic said, "Party finds the sweet spot between raw and refined, and in doing so, feels very real."[11]

Jon Pareles of The New York Times said "her exposed voice is riveting, changing character from song to song. It’s piping and childlike in "Party," while it's low and poised in "Imagining My Man" except for sudden, vehement interruptions: "I do not have the answer," she cries with cutting dissonance."[23]

Kelsey J. Waite of The A.V. Club described the album as evidence of Harding's "command of her craft" but lamented that "the fantastic background experimentation, bleating wind instruments, and appearances by Mike Hadreas (Perfume Genius) are ultimately too slight to lend the record much in the way of dynamics."[12]

Track listingEdit

All tracks are written by Aldous Harding.

2."Imagining My Man"5:51
3."Living the Classics"2:44
5."I'm So Sorry"3:48
7."What If Birds Aren't Singing They're Screaming"3:04
8."The World Is Looking for You"5:08
9."Swell Does the Skull"5:48
Total length:38:44


Credits adapted from liner notes.[24]


Chart (2017) Peak
French Albums (SNEP)[25] 149
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[26] 6


  1. ^ Flanagan, Andrew (19 May 2017). "The Story Of Aldous Harding's 'Party,' Track By Track". NPR. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  2. ^ "ALBUM OF THE YEAR 2017". Radio NZ. Radio NZ. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  3. ^ "22 acts in the running for best European independent album". 6 March 2018. Archived from the original on 9 March 2018. Retrieved 6 March 2018.
  4. ^ Pepperell, Martyn (17 March 2016). "Aldous Harding shares new song 'I'm So Sorry' [405 Premiere]". The 405. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  5. ^ Boilen, Bob (10 February 2017). "First Watch: Aldous Harding's Elegant Video For The Haunting 'Horizon'". NPR. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  6. ^ Day, Laurence (29 March 2017). "Aldous Harding details second LP Party, shares Perfume Genius-featuring track "Imagining My Man"". The Line of Best Fit. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  7. ^ Stoneback, Stephanie (29 March 2017). "New Zealand Folkie Aldous Harding Is On The Cusp Of A Breakout With 'Imagining My Man'". UPROXX. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  8. ^ O'Connor, Samantha (12 June 2017). "Aldous Harding reveals war film-inspired 'Blend' video". The 405. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  9. ^ "Party by Aldous Harding reviews". AnyDecentMusic?. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  10. ^ a b "Reviews and Tracks for Party by Aldous Harding". Metacritic. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  11. ^ a b Monger, James Christopher. "Party – Aldous Harding". AllMusic. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  12. ^ a b Waite, Kelsey J. (19 May 2017). "Aldous Harding's beautiful but stark Party is one worth attending". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  13. ^ Johnson, Eugenie (19 May 2017). "Aldous Harding – Party". DIY. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  14. ^ Yuyitung, Matt (21 May 2017). "Aldous Harding: Party". Exclaim!. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  15. ^ Beaumont-Thomas, Ben (18 May 2017). "Aldous Harding: Party review – an eerie carnival of passion and paranoia". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  16. ^ Fenwick, George (25 May 2017). "Album review: Aldous Harding, 'Party'". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 30 August 2019.
  17. ^ a b Empire, Kitty (21 May 2017). "Aldous Harding: Party review – New Zealander's hypnotic second album". The Observer. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  18. ^ Segal, Victoria (July 2017). "Aldous Harding: Party". Q. No. 373. p. 108.
  19. ^ McGuinness, Paul (July 2017). "Aldous Harding – Party". Record Collector. No. 468. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  20. ^ O'Connell, Sharon (June 2017). "Aldous Harding: Party". Uncut. No. 241. p. 30.
  21. ^ Mesure, Rob (21 May 2017). "Aldous Harding – Party". musicOMH. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  22. ^ Spenceley, Haydon (30 May 2017). "Album Review: Aldous Harding – Party". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  23. ^ Pareles, Jon (17 May 2017). "Aldous Harding's Songs Won't Be Pinned Down. Nor Will Her Voice". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  24. ^ Party (Liner notes). Aldous Harding. Flying Nun Records. 2017. FN575LP.CS1 maint: others (link)
  25. ^ " – Aldous Harding – Party". Hung Medien. Retrieved 31 May 2019.
  26. ^ " – Aldous Harding – Party". Hung Medien. Retrieved 31 May 2019.