Bodywash Present A Deep-Dive Into Their Shoegaze Inspirations

Bodywash Present A Deep-Dive Into Their Shoegaze Inspirations

The Montréal group's debut album 'Comforter' is out now...

Montréal duo Bodywash alternate between dreamy ethereal melodies and all-out noise.

A shoegaze group with their own identity, the pair tap into that classic dream pop sound while adding something immaculately fresh.

A band with a potent awareness of their influences, Bodywash feel able to transform this into something new, deftly picking apart the classics to locate new space for exploration.

Debut album 'Comforter' is out now, and it finds the pair - Rosie Long-Decter (vocals, synths) and Chris Steward (vocals, guitars) - constructing their own vivid universe.

That said, they remain indebted to those who came before them - here's Bodywash on their shoegaze influences...

- - -

Slowdive - 'Souvlaki Space Station'

I remember reading an old interview about the recording and mixing process of this track and just thinking it was the most amazing thing.

I think Neil Halstead was describing how they got all those crazy, overlapping delay trails at the end that make the song seem like a space station collapsing in on itself. Turns out the entire band were manually riding the faders on the mixing board for the outro! How they pull this off so perfectly live is honestly beyond me.

- Chris Steward (CS)

- - -

Ride - 'Leave Them All Behind' 

How does a band follow up on one of the best shoegaze albums ever made? With an eight-minute anthem.

I’d actually argue that 'Going Blank Again' is even better than 'Nowhere', and 'Leave Them All Behind' - along with 'OX4' - is the peak for me: an instantly iconic bass line, a wall of wailing guitars, a noisy-as-hell outro.

What a ridiculous and perfect way to open an album.

- Rosie Long Decter (RLD)

- - -

Bowery Electric - 'Fear Of Flying'

Bowery Electric might well be one of the most criminally underrated bands of the 90s. I think that the way they used early digital samplers to warp shoegaze guitars and chop up breaks was way ahead of its time. 'Fear Of Flying' is as euphoric as it is vertiginous, its layers of noise crashing over an almost dubby bassline.

- CS

- - -

Asobi Seksu - 'Thursday'

I feel like Asobi Seksu were the first proof - or at least, the biggest proof - that shoegaze could make sense after the 90s. This song is like the ideal mix of shoegaze and indie rock - the verses are so clear and catchy and then they build to these ripping choruses.

Somehow they keep the momentum building through the whole track, right up to that huge ending.

- RLD

- - -

Blonde Redhead - '23'

Definitely the most effortlessly propulsive track on this list. Kazu’s celestial vocals meander over a bedrock of roaring guitars and a crunchy breakbeat. On the rare occasion that I decide to go running I normally just put this track on loop for five to 15 minutes and it stops me from thinking I’m having a seizure.

- CS

- - -

No Joy - 'Lunar Phobia'

Montreal’s best shoegaze band. They have songs that go harder - 'Still', off their first album, is one of my favourites - but this is the song that made me fall in love with them.

It’s on the softer, dreamier side of the shoegaze spectrum - the vocals are more up front but still unintelligible, a sweet and simple melody that drifts through the hazy atmospherics.

- RLD

- - -

My Bloody Valentine - 'To Here Knows When'

'MBV' isn’t on Spotify so that ruled out a few of our favourite My Bloody Valentine tracks, but this one is a worthy addition to the list. It will forever be my plane take-off song.

I’m not a superstitious person when it comes to flying, nor a creature of habit, but I always make sure I’m listening to this song during take-off. Perhaps it’s the soothing nature of those fluttery synth noises. Or maybe it’s just that Kevin Shields’ guitar tone is virtually indistinguishable from the roar of an airplane engine.

Either way it sure beats 'Fear Of Flying' for in-flight entertainment.

- CS

- - -

BONUS: Curve - 'Horror Head'

I remember hearing this while soundchecking and immediately thinking “what a banger.” That combination of massive guitars and industrial, programmed breakbeats is definitely something we aspire to.

- CS

- - -

- - -

'Comforter' is out now - purchase LINK.

Photo Credit: Sijia Ye

Join us on the ad-free creative social network Vero, as we get under the skin of global cultural happenings. Follow Clash Magazine as we skip merrily between clubs, concerts, interviews and photo shoots. Get backstage sneak peeks, exclusive content and access to Clash Live events and a true view into our world as the fun and games unfold.
 

Follow Clash

Buy Clash Magazine