Bodies of Water
A Certain Feeling
July 22, 2008
The night began with Peasant captivating a fairly populated crowd at New York City’s Mercury Lounge. As Frederick Foxtrott has mentioned numerous times, Damien DeRose has an incredible ability to command attention without begging for it. He is not desperate, even as he discusses even the most vulnerable of topics. The audience talks amongst themselves, waiting through their typical opening band annoyance, when something happens across the crowd; the conversations become muted; peoples’ eyes no longer look for an answer on the floor, or from their friend’s quips and shrugs. Applause reforms from obligatory to laudatory. Peasant plays and people listen. While the contrast with the night’s headlining act was sharp, I wanted to give the band I actually came to see a little credit for inadvertently tipping me off to Bodies of Water, whose recently released record A Certain Feeling is entirely worth listening to.
While Bodies of Water seem to focus on vocalist Meredith Metcalf in their live performance, A Certain Feeling has a much more choral arrangement. At Mercury, Metcalf was the center piece, and a mighty fine one at that. Her voice is strong and refined. She has an indie operatic melody maker that emanates impassioned words well beyond her thin frame. On the record, the band has a much more pronounced presence, supporting Metcalf, whose voice is embedded in the slightly vintage, entirely eccentric instrumental textures. Bodies of Water, from LA, are highly talented. At times they give me the impression that an ever so small, yet appropriate amount of the musical Pippen lays at the foundation of their music- an amalgamation of nascent-prog rock, psychedelia, and musical theater.
The awkward melodies generated by the prowling organ and commanding guitar are deliberate and precise. They accomplish what the Fiery Furnaces are rarely able to. Minute doses of discombobulating riffs blend with an epic sense of song craft. The vast space that the band seeks to fill with its projected strength is impressive. What is even more so, is their ability to never leave the listener hanging, left and abandoned as one movement yields to the next. While Bodies of Water have an air of something enigmatic, they make sense. While this could be a detrimental observation to some bands hoping to produce music that is new and different, Bodies of Water excel at knowing what is worth obscuring.
Bodies of Water EP- 2005
Ears Will Pop and Eyes Will Blink- 2007