Bodies Of Water
Sub-genres: Indie, Gospel, Folk, Choir
Location: Highland Park, CA
Label: Secretly Canadian
Christian label: No
Category: The Light whats this?
From the beginning of just about any of Bodies Of Water‘s many songs, you know you are in for something different. Maybe it is the Arcade Fire like guitar progression. Maybe it’s the fact that you never know what new instrument will pop up at any time. Or maybe it is the sound of a large group of distinct voices singing on top of each other in some type of off beat harmony for the majority of the songs. Whatever strikes you, there is no denying that Bodies Of Water doesn’t fit into many molds that people put around music. Pulling influences from folk, choir music, indie rock, and adding their own sense of progression to the mix, Bodies Of Water have been making a serious name for themselves ever since the release of their first album, Ears Will Pop & Eyes Will Blink, in 2007. Since that time, they have already released another well received CD, toured, and were even featured on a SXSW Music Conference showcase in 2008. Their strength is in their ability to combine older sounding styles of chamber choir music with more modern elements of progressive rock. The end result allows the band to explore new sounds and avenues of experimental music without becoming too heavy handed. Although only a four piece at its core, the band is known to play shows with as many as five other people on stage, giving their live shows and music an experimental communal quality.
The band formed in 2004 under the name Death Of A Unicorn, but after keyboardist Meredith Metcalf was struck with the symbolism of “any heat is bearable next to a body of water”, she , her husband David, and friends Jessie Conklin and Kyle Gladden decided to change the name of their newly formed group to Bodies Of Water. The name seemed to just work better with their joyous and soulful approach to the indie rock platform. Although they have been compared many times to folk choir The Polyphonic Spree, Bodies Of Water‘s everybody-sing-at-once approach is more steeped in gospel than hippie sing-along music. Leader David has said that he loved quartet gospel groups like Swan Silvertones because of the way that music was able to work seamlessly with the group’s faith. Taking that idea and incorporating some more modern elements have given Bodies Of Water a sound that is unlike any of their peers.
Lyrically, the band tries to deal with matters of faith by talking metaphorically about the body, most often in reference to the body of Christ and the intimacy between God and His children. Hands, eyes,and feet are all images that get visited over and over again in their songs. Other songs deal with the nurturing and sustenance of that body, many times referring to water and food to invoke images of rest and restoration. All in all, Bodies Of Water makes you dig for meaning. Their lyrics are not obvious, in fact they’re a little strange. Bodies Of Water is just not one of those bands who will give what is on the surface, but instead will give you something you won’t forget.
Here is the band preforming the song “If I Were A Bell” in 2008.
I also just had to post their video for the song “Under The Pines”. It is a great little video, a fairytale type story, but be warned that there are some strange images in the video, including a little blood. We are all grown-ups here though, right?
I (Ian) discovered this band almost by accident last year on Emusic. I was impressed immediately by their very unique sound. I had heard bands like them before, but I was really drawn to how happy and creative the music was. A few days later I discovered that they were a band of believers, and I have recommended them ever since. We are always going to present bands to you that we think are doing something different than the rest. Bodies Of Water openly talk about their faith in interviews but somehow have never been defined or shunned by that fact. The indie music scene just loves them to much. I have to agree though, you just cant help but love this band.