In three minutes, Lauren Duski made me cry and re-evaluate my true motives. Her newest single, “Costume Party”, is that relatable.
“Costume Party” defines the war inside myself and our culture today. Like me, billions of people in this world worry too much about what others think of them. From our actions to our political and religious views, everything feels like it’s under a scrutinizing microscope. We fear rejection if just one tiny piece of ourselves fails to align with everyone else’s standards. Duski’s single finally cracked the scope’s glass.
Supported by a grand piano and violins, Duski sings about the false personalities she has worn to conform to someone she isn’t. The music and her vocals begin very quietly as she questions what life would be like if she would only be herself: “What if I let you see who I am / Why’s it so damn hard not to give a damn / What if I could show my flaws and not be sorry / ’Cause I’m over this whole costume party.”
Not only do I occasionally fear being completely vulnerable with people, but others do as well. Sometimes we have troubles sharing personal information with people. Other times we fear the wrath of 2018’s social media power. Duski certainly wanted to be her own artist and find her own sound, uncontrolled by producers who had their vision for her music. What Duski’s first chorus conveys is that if we stay bottled up and conceal our true selves from the world, we’ll never be the person we desire to embody. Again, relatable.
As the second verse comes around, drums and electric guitars increase tempo and help Duski release her inner frustrations. The more she detaches from others’ standards, the further her costume closet depletes. Duski was so overwhelmed with ensuring that her mask fit. Now, she is ready to leave the mask at home.
The second chorus was more inspiring and powerful than the first. Male background vocals harmonize with her beautifully and add extensive meaning to the lyrics. Duski and the singer have a pure country/soul sound that tears the costumes to shreds. The following interlude felt a tad too long but the arrangement was flawless. Together, the drums and guitar stripped away the evident tension — leaving Duski to emerge as herself in the final chorus.
Aside from an overly drawn-out drum and guitar solo, the only aspect I would tweak would be the closing chorus. Previous releases of Duski’s prove she is completely capable of going higher on the vocal scale. I would loved to have heard some higher notes in the last chorus. It would have added another layer of emotion and a surge of power to break the chain of conformity.
Yet, relatable is still the perfect word to describe this piece. Duski’s message to bypass critics and unsuitable standards is something everyone needs to hear. Similar to Jordan Smith’s “Stand in the Light”, Duski tells her fans that she is her own artist. No masquerades. No costumes. Only Lauren Duski.
Country/Pop I Bottoms Up Records