GOSPEL (NOT GOSPEL) Bodies Of Water

They are spirits in the material world.

 

BY LAURA
LEEBOVE

 

An album solely
about the creation of Earth doesn’t seem atypical of a band whose members were
raised in devout Christian households. Though Bodies of Water songwriter David
Metcalf quickly found that idea too limiting, it did spark a couple of the
tracks on the band’s second LP, A Certain
Feeling
(Secretly Canadian).

 

 

The L.A.-based
band’s core members-Metcalf, his wife Meredith, Kyle Gladden and Jessie Conklin-express
their faith in their music, but Metcalf says he doesn’t really have a religious
or political agenda. “I think that good art changes the way that you see
the world,” he says. “Nothing that I think politically has ever been
affected by hearing a song.”

 

 

The songs on
the band’s debut, Ears Will Pop and Eyes
Will Blink
, explored much of the spiritual world, a theme Metcalf says is
less pronounced on the new album. A
Certain Feeling,
he says, “is more about moving through the world and
actually being in the natural world and the manmade world.” The album was
recorded in the Metcalfs’ home, where the band experimented with new percussion
instruments-“various blocks and wooden things and metal objects,” he adds,
laughing.

 

 

It would be too
easy and perhaps even ignorant to write off Bodies of Water as a less cult-like
Polyphonic Spree or the Arcade Fire with fewer musicians. With a sound much
greater than its four members, the group churns out intricate, gospel-inspired
harmonies driven by a host of instruments-keyboards, horns, a clarinet,
guitars. But the heart of the music always comes through in their voices.

 

 

“In that
sort of rock music paradigm, there isn’t a lot of precedent for a lot of people
singing together,” says Metcalf. “We listen to [gospel] and there’s
elements of that in what we do, naturally, just ’cause we do like it … but it’s
not really similar to other gospel music.” 

 

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