Bodywash is a dreampop band from Montreal. It started with 2 people: Chris Steward and Rosie Long Decter. They share vocal duties, often harmonizing.
The music on Comforter sparkles and flows in waves of echo and distortion. It is a happy sort of floating, the songs bright and often noisy.
This record was produced by Taylor Smith and Austin Tufts, who you might recognize as two thirds of the band Braids, who make a very similar sort of music. Both bands make music that starts with shoegaze and then throws the result into a computer to modify it, ending up with something hazy and dreamy and pretty.
Fans of Braids and that sort of sound will definitely want to track down a copy of this, as will dreampop fans.
Reverie kicks off the album with a swirling, chiming sound, the music a bright miasma of sound, with two voices buried in the mix. It bounces along for a while, and then there is an amazing instrumental bridge where the guitars pick a happy trill as the drums keep a steady beat and the keyboards soar. It is an auspicious start to the album.
Twins is a little more forceful than its precursor, but similar in nature. On the bridge the song gets very sparse and echoing as Steward and Long Decter channel Shellyan Orphan for a moment. On the verses they sing high in the register, Steward in falsetto, repeating "No sour taste of heartache in my mind" as hand clap percussion keeps the beat. A nice 80s throwback.
Long Decter takes the lead on With Heat, singing as the guitar whirrs into a fuzzy, static blur. Another guitar line picks cleanly, making this song the unlikely halfway point between The Autumns and Xinlinsupreme. That said, it really works.
At this point in the album, Bodywash shift a little bit. The previous three tracks have all been pretty heavily distorted shoegaze songs, which is to say that tracks one to three are a type of guitar rock. But from Sunspots onward, the music is more computerized, more burbling. Bodywash make it work though, so it's not a jarring transition. This song, Sunspots, kind of wanders hazily in a very typical manner for them, only with less overt guitarness to it. In the middle it thins out into something that sounds a lot like Auburn Lull as the two voices sing high-pitched once again, not harmonizing but complementing each other. Really a very beautiful moment.
Eye to Eye is a mellow late 80s kind of synthpop tune, with a great groove and the voices all high-pitched again. They follow this with the under two minute Reprise, which is almost a MBV tune made up from guitar feedbacked to the moon, drums flat and thudding, and the voices distorted. The whole song feels about to explode, to fly apart in chaos.
After that guitar burst, they turn fully electronic for Paradisiac, a burbling, upbeat, electro tune that reminds me of the old Darla Bliss Out series and bands like Technicolor, Color Filter, or Her Space Holiday. It's a blast from the past of ... 10 years ago. And nicely done.
Long Decter takes the vocal lead on Comforter, which has electro beats and a throbbing organ bit, again imparting a very Auburn Lullish feel. And finally Bodywash give in and end the record with Another Plane (Atmosphere), which is an ambient tune. The beat chugs as synths soar and the two voices sing wordlessly. This is amazingly lovely and cool.
I really like what Bodywash are doing. Dreampop fans will want to check this out.