New Audio: Oakland’s Body Double Releases Their Seething and Angular Debut

Led by founding member multi-instrumentalist Candace Lazarou and currently featuring Noah Adams (bass), Silver Shadows’ Chase Kamp (drums), Jascha Ephraim (lead guitar) and Mel Weikart (keyboard), Oakland-based punk act Body Double can trace its origins to a period of intense grief and transition for its founding member: Lazarou’s previous band, underground noise rock act Mansion went through a acrimonious breakup in 2016, months before the tragic Ghost Ship warehouse fire. Simultaneously, Lazarou began rethinking and then disentangling herself from longtime personal relationships and with drugs.

Lazarou withdrew into her bedroom, creating material about intimacy and consent in the style of a drag mass attended by Brian Eno and Al Jourgensen. After being confined to vocal duties in Mansion, Lazarou desired and savored creative control, indulging in dramatic arrangement and hooks — and then she found a collaborator with Noah Adams, the band’s bassist and cowriter.

Slated for a September 18, 2020 release through Zum Records, the Oakland punk quintet’s produced full-length debut Milk Fed can trace its origins back to sessions with co-producer Jason Kick at Tunnel Vision beginning around 2017. Lazarou played most of the instruments on the album with Silver Shadows‘ Chase Kamp and Mansion’s Jeff Cook sharing drum duties. Last year, the band began playing live shows and expanded to its current lineup.

“The Floating Hand,” Milk Fed’s first single (and coincidentally, the band’s debut) is an angular No Wave-like take on post punk that seethes and bristles with the unease of someone, who has long been a square peg that has never quite fit in anywhere, ever. And while reminding me a bit of The Mallard‘s Finding Meaning in Deference, the track is fueled by lived-in personal experience.

“‘The Floating Hand’ is generally about competition, and your options for reacting to it,” Candace Lazarou explains in press notes. “I grew up in a few different countries because my dad was a Marine, and each move felt interplanetary: the language changed, what was good and bad changed, even the bugs crawling on the ground changed.  I felt at odds with conservative military culture and run-of-the-mill high school viciousness, and fantasized about one day finding a safe haven in punk and underground music.  It turns out that even amongst weirdos you’ll still see people undercut each other, and you might be a maladjusted alien regardless of scenery.  I wrote this song about a musician I thought was particularly nasty, and it ended up being about myself, which is what happens whenever I try to write a dis track.”