Fresh off the success of last year’s Social Studies LP—which earned the approval of everyone from NPR to The New York Times to The Guardian, who compared the breakout release to early Madonna, the indie disco of Prelude Records and “CSS doing an impression of Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band”—Body Language have returned with a new album; Grammar, due out through OM’s Lavish Habits imprint on September 10th. Grammar streamlines the Brooklyn quartet’s restless pop experiments with a future-shocked blend of soul and R&B.
Or as multi-instrumentalist/producer Grant Wheeler puts it, “Our world still exists in an indie-disco bubble; we’re just pushing the limits of every genre to a point where the bubble’s about to pop.”
That’s certainly the case with “Lose My Head”—a floor-filler that’s driven by late ‘70s funk licks and diamond-encrusted keys—and the rest of Grammar for that matter, from the soaring harmonies and glitter ball grooves of “The First” to the wobbly synth lines and Motown-schooled choruses of “I’m a Mess.” The latter is a perfect example of Body Language’s creative process, which often starts in the home studio Grant shares with singer/fellow producer Matt Young, only to be fleshed out even further with drummer Ian Young and singer/glockenspiel player Angelica Bess.
“Everyone has their part,” insists Matt. “In fact, certain people come to our shows to see different performers. I kinda like to think of it as a circus.”
Body Language’s outside projects make that circus even more interesting, from Ian’s live drumming for Matthew Dear and Angelica’s vocals on Sepalcure’s “Outside the Lines”, which was featured in the critically acclaimed film 'Black Swan' to Grant and Matt’s co-production/writing credits for such rising artists as Passion Pit, Machinedrum and Vacationer; a recurring collaborator Matt Young describes as “like Body Language if you stripped the R&B and soul parts out, took it down 30 BPM, and gave it a Mai Tai on the beach.”
And if that isn’t enough evidence of just how versatile the group’s sound is, consider this: their genre-jumping tour mates (Janelle Monae, Matt & Kim, Sia), and a run of blog-bait remixes that includes such diverse artists as Toro Y Moi, Nikki and the Dove, and Savoir Adore...
“Depending on the day, we’re either producing indie music, DJing house, disco and Detroit techno, or writing pop songs on the piano,” explains Grant. “We get the same joy and satisfaction out of losing our shit behind a pair of turntables as we do singing four-part harmonies.”
SUMif is the electro-pop moniker of Steph Wells, who traded in her acoustic guitars for midi controllers on a mission to share her all time favorite experience with others - dancing her face off with friends at shows.
After graduating from NYU with a degree in Music Business, Steph moved to Nashville, TN to chase the songwriter's dream in Music City. Though after a year in Nashville and hundreds of songs later, the LA native realized neither the South nor country music were her thing, so she ventured back out West, settling in San Francisco, where she currently resides.
In 2016, SUMif released 6 singles, best known for her track, "Lay Down," which made its way to #1 on the Hype Machine charts in July 2016. Steph is joined onstage by Rahi Kumar on synth and guitars.
Mothlight is a dream pop outfit from Los Angeles. Featuring shimmering harmonies and sweeping synth and guitar lines, the 3 piece writes pop music filtered through a technicolor haze. Initially a solo bedroom project, Matt Billings released 3 EPs under the Mothlight moniker between 2008 - 2012. Longtime friend and keyboardist / synthesist, Grant Stevens, formally joined and they released the Calico LP in 2014. After a year of writing new material, the duo found and wooed the prolific drummer, Andrew Smith, into official membership, and introduced percussion pulled from an array of musical styles. Mothlight will be releasing new material in the spring of 2016.