Montreal-based dream pop act Bodywash, comprised of founding members Chris Steward (vocals, guitar) and Rosie Long Decter (vocals, synths) with Ryan Adamian (guitar), Tom Gould (bass) and Ryan White (drums) can trace their origins back to when its founding duo met and bonded over a shared love of shoegaze and dream pop. When they began jamming in a basement rehearsal room at McGill University, Steward and Decter found an immediate musical and creative simpatico. “There is an excitement that comes from having people of diverse backgrounds and personalities in one room, trying to make something beautiful together,” the band’s Steward says in press notes. Tom Gould joined soon after, and as a trio they recorded an EP in 2016.
Comforter, the band’s full-length debut was release through Luminelle Records this week and the album’s latest single “With Heat” is a slow-burning and hazy bit of dream pop centered around atmospheric synths, shimmering synths, Decter’s plaintive and ethereal vocals and trip hop-like beats — and while bearing an uncanny resemblance to JOVM mainstays Beach House, the song manages to posses an equal amount of halcyon-tinged nostalgia and longing.
“‘With Heat’ began as something entirely different — a 90s alt rock instrumental that Chris wrote in 2016 for a contest,” the band’s Rosie Long Decter explains in press notes. “We pretty much decided not to include it on the album but in October 2017, while Chris was upstairs recording guitars for some of our other songs, I holed myself up in an empty room beneath the studio to break the track down to its bones. I changed the key, altered the chord progression and overhauled the sound, aiming for something fuzzy and warm and wistful. The idea of reworking it had been floating around my head for moths, but the whole thing actually happened in three days — I tracked the synths and vocals and then Chris did the guitars at 2am on our last night there.
“The song comes from a feeling of being trapped — of returning to something you know is bad for you, whether that thing is a relationship or a place or a feeling (for me, it was all three). It gets at the tension between giving into a toxic situation and trying to forgive yourself for it, while still hoping for a way out. With the video we wanted to convey that tension — to create a sense of claustrophobia, of being enveloped and haunted by something that you can’t quite articulate.” The video begins at a typical suburban home, where we see a woman going through the home, looking through her home for something that she may never find — but she continues to keep looking.
“‘With Heat’ explore longing, instability and acceptance through a surreal house experiencing opposing elemental effects,” the video’s director Max Taeuschel adds. “Using copious smoke, coloured lights, and shooting a CRT TV through water, the video evokes a dreamy fantasy within the suburban mundane.”