Bodywash: I Held the Shape While I Could (Light Organ) - review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Bodywash

I Held the Shape While I Could

Light Organ

Apr 18, 2023 Issue #71 - Weyes Blood and Black Belt Eagle Scout Bookmark and Share


In the nine years since meeting, Rosie Long Decter and Chris Steward have seen their college band Bodywash bloom into a Montreal dream pop outfit, blending subtle shades of hazy indie-rock and lush shoegaze into a four track EP and eventually, a debut album, 2019’s Comforter. Their sophomore album, I Held the Shape While I Could, pushes the wistful, languid approach that typified their sound to the edges of noise rock, offering inkier riffs and piles of fuzzed out squall amidst lyrics of loss and renewal.

While the work as a whole sees the band leaning more heavily on electronic breakbeats and synths that pulsate and hum, it remains tethered to alt-rock swirls of feedback and static. Opener “In As Far” begins the album with a sense of stillness and expectancy, with Decter’s feathery vocals drifting in and out of layers of reverb before dissolving into the diffused dream pop of the following track, “Picture Of.” Much of the record follows a similar pattern—ambient and abstract walls of washed-out sound ebb and flow between gentle, suspended synths and moments of driving grunge and grit.

The tracklist jumps from sunny, floating melodies to murkier, more brooding territory from one song to the next, and it’s this erratic pacing that stops I Held the Shape While I Could from being fully engaging. Songs such as “Sterilizer” and “Massif Central” bring faster tempos and more charged atmospheres to an otherwise unhurried set of songs, but they fall short of elevating the dips in tempo and energy that pepper the album. And rather than construct thematic arcs, the lyrics take the form of abstract sketches and opaque moments, more wandering and vague than meaningful. I Held the Shape While I Could proves that Bodywash has potential, if their sound continues to ripen as it has over the years. (www.bodywashmtl.bandcamp.com)

Author rating: 6.5/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10



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