It can be suspicious when a band has a certain dreamlike quality to their music. There is always the risk that you will be snoring before the first song even finishes. This is not the case when discussing Montreal-based indie band Bodywash, who are more comfortable and captivating than yawn-inducing. Their soon-to-be-released, four-song showcase simply titled Bodywash EP, is largely the equivalent of a cozy blanket on a particularly brutal winter day.
The swirling synths, ringing guitars, and inviting melodies are reminiscent of countless indie bands like The War on Drugs and Tame Impala, yet are of the band’s own creation. While most of these bands keep their distance, these lovely musicians seem to make it their mission to be as approachable as they can. A lot of it is the atmosphere they create, which I can only describe as a much needed day in bed.
The secret weapon of the whole operation is bassist Tom Gould. His laid-back yet groovy basslines practically pop out of the mix, all while keeping everyone locked-in with the help of drummer Austin Pine. His small bass solo on “This Cruel” is jolting, but never flashy enough to wake us from the blissful haze. Rosie Long Decter and Chris Steward should also be commended for their gorgeous vocals. They have commendable voices apart, but together this crucial element is a big part of the band’s spell.
What I really like about Bodywash EP is that they don’t always rely on the magical pixie dust they’ve sprinkled all over the production. The opener “Nothing at All” does such an incredible job of introducing us to Bodywash and their sound that they could have simply made three more songs just like it. Thankfully they don’t. “This Cruel,” which is easily my favourite song on the EP, boasts an extremely catchy hook that’ll make you want to dance and sing while you’re under the blankets. “Some Place You Leave” is a nice change in tempo that might even get you out of bed and running.
The only real dud for me is the fourth and final song “Clothes.” I won’t say that the song completely deserves to be thrown in the hamper and rewashed, because that isn’t fair. The harmonies still rule, and Adam Macpherson’s guitar work is particularly virtuosic, but compared to the other songs it’s a tad boring. Whenever I put this EP on, “Clothes” is the only song that is in danger of putting me straight to sleep. Not a gradual, happy sleep, mind you, but something akin to a jumbo carton of warm milk and one too many Tylenol PM’s. Don’t get me wrong, some people may enjoy that; but I guess I prefer a sleep well earned.
That being said, this up-and-coming band has self-released an effective EP. It definitely won’t spark a revolution, unless you plan to start one in the same vein as John Lennon and Yoko Ono, but it is a great introduction nonetheless. It makes me curious as to what they will do next, which is really all anyone can expect from a good EP. After having some fantastically lazy listening sessions, I can safely say that these talented musicians have got the goods. They have the ability to create some pretty memorable dreamscapes, and I can only hope they will be remembered beyond the next morning.
Written by Shawn Thicke
*edited by Kate Erickson