Bodywash: 'I hope the title gestures towards the multiple implications of comfort – is it necessarily a good thing to be comforting?'
credit: Sarah O' Driscoll
Montreal newcomers discuss the varying influences and evolving sound of their debut LP, Comforter
'Oddly enough I think all of my best ideas come on the cusp of dreaming,' says Chris Steward of Montreal band Bodywash. 'That's the point where you're really able to access what's been percolating in your subconscious for the last while.' Following lead single 'Reverie' – a musical response to the 'physical and psychological discomfort' of an actual fever dream Steward had – the band's debut LP Comforter is due to be released at the end of August.
The road to releasing this first full-length album has been anything but dreamy for the four-piece, instead being described by Steward as 'pretty long and arduous'. It has been three years since the release of their inaugural EP, and even longer since Steward first started jamming with fellow McGill student Rosie Long Decter in a university practice room, where they bonded over a mutual love for the music of dream-pop pioneers such as Beach House and Cocteau Twins.
Considering this prolonged inception, it is unsurprising that the thematic threads that weave Comforter's warm, enveloping soundscapes sprawl further than the four corners of a fuzzy blanket, into exploring the contradictions and dualities of the concept of comfort. 'The title definitely plays off the idea of dream pop and shoegaze being genres of music that are known for their soothing qualities,' says Decter. 'But I also hope the title sort of gestures towards the multiple implications of comfort – is it necessarily a good thing to be comforting? Where is the line between being comforting and being numbing? And what does it mean to be someone's comforter – to be providing support without really fixing or changing a problematic dynamic?'
Comforter's sonic threads also sprawl beyond the pop song structures and heavy reverb of their influences. 'I find myself exposed to a really broad array of music just through living in Montreal and that really seeps into the music I'm making' explains Steward, 'you can hear all sorts of nods to various different musical movements throughout Comforter. The 90s breakbeat influence was definitely something that crept in towards the end and will probably become more integral to our sound for our next release.' Decter has also started thinking about the next record already: 'we've both definitely been listening to more electronic and experimental music since we wrote Comforter, and I think that will be evident on the next record, but we also still love a pop banger.'
Comforter is out Fri 30 Aug on Luminelle.