My Genes!

Spotlighting the Best of Local Music: Bodies of Water

by Evan George
(Review appeared in the Los Angeles Alternative, June 2, 2006)

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The best time to get into a band is, generally, not when you’re famished on a street corner waiting for a man named José to finish baking the extra large pizza that a dozen stoned college kids have sent you out to fetch for a birthday party. Which may be the reason that the first time I heard Bodies of Water diligently bashing out some earnest four-part harmonies from their garage—which happened to be not a hundred feet away from the pizza parlor that I was sitting in front of—I muttered the kind of things under my breath that only a man intent on eating deep fried eggplant would mutter.

Since that day nearly two years ago, the L.A. transplants that make up this gospel-pop four piece have honed their vocal chops, their hand-wringing melodies and their spunky instrumental acrobatics, but more importantly, I am no longer waiting for José’s pizza. I am ready to receive their message of “Love All.”

According to the band itself, three of the four members had no experience on their chosen instruments at all and all four were acquaintances through various degrees of luck and happenstance. David (guitar/vocals) and Meredith (keyboard/vocals) had been writing songs in the comfort of their own home for a while when they decided they’d like to perform them for an audience bigger than a street corner pizza joint crowd. Meredith knew Kyle (bass) from high school where he played the violin quite competently. And their recent friend Jessie said she’d love to try playing drums… for the first time ever.

Their simple beginnings as a band stay with them today. Bodies of Water prides itself on being as natural in its aesthetic and sound as its name portrays. Songs of joy, songs of pain, but mostly just good old fashioned testimonial songwriting. And if there’s a religiosity to the band’s songs it seems to be more than just the trappings of a bunch of indie rock kids trying to play gospel. When they say that a divine hand moves us in ways we can’t understand, it ain’t ironic. And when they squeal together in upward spiraling melody mountains, it sounds like truth seeking, not posturing.

The Highland Park foursome have released an E.P. to little fanfare but are in the process of recording a full-length that will be released later this year. In the meantime they’re playing more than a few shows that—even if not technically—will land them on a street corner near you.

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