Bodywash Announce I Held the Shape While I Could
Bodywash has announced their new album I Held the Shape While I Could, will drop on April 14, 2023 via Light Organ Records. Today, the Montreal duo of Chris Steward and Rosie Long Decter are sharing the lead single/video, “Massif Central.” The track features Steward’s whispered vocals as he recounts an experience of bureaucratic purgatory: a typo in a government letter caused Steward to lose his legal work status in Canada.
“After eight years living in Canada, in the Spring of 2021, a government clerical error caused me to lose my legal status here,” Steward explains. “As a UK national, I lost my right to work. My savings trickled away during months where I could do little but pace the corners of my apartment. I was prepared to pack my bags and leave as the life I’d hoped to construct for myself seemed to vanish into a bureaucratic abyss.”
“”Massif” is the sound of wailing into a cliff and not knowing if you’ll hear an echo,” continued Steward. “The spoken word is inspired by a squirrel that was trapped in the wall behind my bed, clawing its way to salvation. With the help of friends, family, music, and a few immigration lawyers (and the rest of my savings), I’m now a permanent resident here. But this song remains as testament to my experience with an exploitative institution.”
As they prepared to release Comforter, Long Decter and Steward both experienced alienating shifts in their personal lives, leading to a mutual sense of dislocation. They began writing new material that was darker, more experimental, and at the same time more invigorating than the soothing dream pop on Comforter. In 2021 they took these songs into the studio, sharing them with longtime drummer Ryan White and recording/mixing engineer Jace Lasek (Besnard Lakes).
The accompanying video by Jordan Allen is a stunning collage of live footage, distorted visuals, and eerie graphics. “With “Massif Central,” we wanted to encapsulate the panic and urgency that Chris experienced, and have the abstracts portray the anxiety and hopelessness one can feel at the hands of bureaucracy,” Allen adds. “I chose graphics that heavily leaned into feelings of being lost in a maze, with towering structures and horizon lines pulling you into them. The idea was that the camera would be both a CCTV view of the band, but also glitching to reveal the more emotionally internal visual aspects.”
Steward and Long Decter met in college in 2014, but didn’t immediately share a musical language. Chris grew up in London listening to British dream pop and classic shoegaze; Rosie was raised in Toronto on folk and Canadiana. Working toward their own blend of airy vocals, intricate guitar work and atmospheric synths, they released their debut EP as Bodywash in 2016 and their first full-length, Comforter, in 2019.
I Held the Shape While I Could
1. In As Far
2. Picture Of
3. Massif Central
4. Bas Relief
5. Perfect Blue
6. Kind of Light
7. One Day Clear
12. No Repair
Pre-order I Held the Shape While I Could by Bodywash HERE
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