Party at the NSA

"Party at the NSA"

The logo was designed by New York-based illustrator Tim Lahan.[1]
Single by Yacht
Released August 15, 2013 United States
Genre Alternative rock, dance-punk, electropop, protest song, synthpop
Length 3:30
Writer(s) Jona Bechtolt
Claire L. Evans
Producer(s) Jona Bechtolt
Claire L. Evans
Music video
"Party at the NSA" on YouTube

"Party at the NSA" is a protest song[2][3][4] and charity single originally recorded by electropop music group Yacht released in August 15, 2013. It was written, recorded, and produced by Jona Bechtolt and Claire L. Evans. Inspired by the 2013 global surveillance disclosures, proceeds from the single benefit the international non-profit digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation.[5][6]

Stand-up comedian and podcast host Marc Maron contributed a guitar solo to the song.[2][7][4]


"Party at the NSA" was released in August 15, 2013 as a direct download link on with a pay what you want option and the statement:

"We live much of our lives online; we should be outraged by the extent of the NSA's domestic spying programs. Instead, we are sinking into a dangerous indifference. Insidious forces are at work. Help us reverse the entropy. The Electronic Frontier Foundation is a donation-supported nonprofit that fights back against the government to protect our digital rights; 100% of your donation to download "Party at the NSA" will go straight to fund their important work."[2][8][9]

The website made for the song uses a special font designed by a former National Security Agency contractor that is supposedly unreadable by optical character recognition software.[10]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Rolling Stone [11]

"Party at the NSA" received positive reviews. Internet forum Big Think's Nicholas Clairmont found it a "fun yet serious protest song" that "features an upbeat tone and bitter lyrics criticizing the widespread domestic surveillance being done by the NSA's PRISM program, among others."[2] Music blog BrooklynVegan reviewed it as in "early B-52s-style new wave format."[7] Media company CMJ's Brooke Segarra reviewed the song as "a high-gear dance number that has caffeine in its bass drum and a vendetta against government spying. The quirky urgency, oscillating synth, and forewarnings about the U.S. surveillance state makes the track sound like a musical rendition of some estranged cyberpunk novel."[3] IFC's Melissa Locker noted that Marc Maron plays a "mean guitar."[4]

Brian Merchant of Vice's Motherboard reviewed "Party at the NSA" as a "fantastically goofball paranoid dance jam" as well as "a catchy, new wavy dance tune with, you know, satirically topical lyrics."[8] Rolling Stone's Christian Hoard called it a "lefty satire you can dance to: a deadpan-catchy shot at the surveillance state, complete with references to PRISM, whistle-blowing and the NSA data-gathering center in Utah."[11] Spin's Chris Martins reviewed the song as "[a] punk-addled dance-ripper [that] takes aim at the U.S. government’s controversial information gathering techniques."[12] Stereogum's Tom Breihan said it was "a lightweight new-wave jam about the surveillance state, which puts it firmly in the '99 Luftballoons' tradition of lightweight new-wave jams about heavy issues."[13] The Stranger's Dave Segal said it "sounds like Devo and the B-52s taking liberties with Elvis Costello’s 'Pump It Up.' In other words, it’s an infeasibly upbeat, new-wave dance jam for such a dark subject."[14]


Additional musicians

See also


  1. Dugan, John (16 August 2013). "Interview: YACHT - "Party at the NSA" / Features / Nothing Major". Nothing Major. Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2015-08-30.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Clairmont, Nicholas. "Listen To "Party At The NSA", A Fun New Song Protesting Surveillance". Big Think. Big Think, Inc. Retrieved 2015-08-30.
  3. 1 2 Segarra, Brooke (15 August 2013). "Listen To YACHT "Party At the NSA" (Feat. Marc Maron)". CMJ. Retrieved 2015-08-30.
  4. 1 2 3 Locker, Melissa (16 August 2013). "Marc Maron and Yacht Have a "Party at the NSA"". IFC. IFC TV LLC. Retrieved 2015-08-30.
  5. "Party at the NSA by YACHT". Yacht. Soundcloud. 15 August 2013. Retrieved 2015-08-30.
  6. Power, Max (16 October 2013). "YACHT - "Party At The NSA" ft. Marc Maron". Tiny Mix Tapes. Retrieved 2015-08-30.
  7. 1 2 Segal, Dave (15 August 2013). "YACHT released an NSA protest "party anthem" with Marc Maron on guitar (stream it)". BrooklynVegan. Retrieved 2015-08-30.
  8. 1 2 Merchant, Brian (16 August 2013). ""Party at the NSA": YACHT's Got Your Paranoid End-of-the-Summer Jam". Vice. Vice Media. Retrieved 2015-08-30.
  9. Hilleary, Mike (15 August 2013). "YACHT Releases NSA Protest Song Featuring Marc Maron". Under the Radar. Retrieved 2015-08-30.
  10. George, Evan (15 August 2013). "YACHT releases anti-surveillance manifesto 'Party at the NSA'". KCRW. WordPress. Retrieved 2015-08-30.
  11. 1 2 Hoard, Christian (21 August 2013). "Yacht feat. Marc Maron "Party at the NSA" Song Review". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media LLC. Retrieved 2015-08-30.
  12. Martins, Chris (15 August 2013). "Hear Marc Maron Shred on YACHT's Disco Ripper 'Party at the NSA'". Spin. SpinMedia. Retrieved 2015-08-30.
  13. Breihan, Tom (15 August 2013). "YACHT – "Party At The NSA" (Feat. Marc Maron) - Stereogum". Stereogum. SpinMedia. Retrieved 2015-08-30.
  14. Segal, Dave (20 August 2013). "Watch Out! YACHT's "Party at the NSA"". The Stranger. Index Newspapers, LLC. Retrieved 2015-08-30.
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