Bodies Of Water: A Certain Feeling
One year after the self-release of the acclaimed "Ears Will Pop & Eyes Will Blink," Bodies of Water have created another full-length offering. "A Certain Feeling," their first record for Secretly Canadian, was written, arranged and recorded in David & Meredith Metcalf's house in the Northeast L.A. neighborhood of Highland Park. The strains that one can hear running through all of Bodies of Water's music are fully exhibited here; instantly familiar melodies, rich harmonic color, expansively deft arrangements, and compositions that ebb, flow, and double back on themselves in cathartic synchronicity. Though no two songs sound entirely similar, it's a cohesive that comes out feeling like the anthemic prog/gospel/psychedelic/kraut-tribal movie score that Ennio Morricone and Phil Spector never got around to collaborating on. The choral hugeness that typified "Ears Will Pop" still rears it's emphatic head, only here it is more often held in reserve while we marinate in each movement before being pulled along into the next passage of the narrative.
"A Certain Feeling" is the sound of a group carving out an ever-evolving, but distinct aesthetic niche for themselves. Steve Reich organ figures meet brutal Sabbath-meets-Wagner riffing. A shape-note choir is dropped into the midst of an Upsetters/ESG jam. Musique concrete meanderings beget Velvet Underground plodding that escalates into a five-time tropicalia workout. In spite of (or because of) the record's breadth, it is easy to see the group's fingerprints all over. The singing, playing, compositions, lyrical themes (obsessive meta-physicality/spiritual surrender/human frailty) are unmistakably theirs. "A Certain Feeling" is a step forward, but assuredly filled with the same beautiful urgency that we have come to expect from them.