Not quite, although Body Language’s Social Studies EP certainly starts off that way—with a thick, top-heavy baseline absolutely hammering your speakers. Ah, but then the synths kick in like laser canons, leading us all down a neon-lit wind tunnel that’s lined with lean loops, galloping grooves, and head-circling hooks. Which begs one simple question: what is this, really?
“The title sums it up perfectly,” explains Grant Wheeler, who sings and swaps instruments alongside his longtime production partner/lead vocalist Matt Young, glockenspiel guru Angelica Bess, and drummer Ian Young. “Depending on the day, we’re producing indie music, DJing house, disco and Detroit techno, or writing pop songs on the piano. So we wrapped our record up like a tidy textbook of genres, or different cultures in a social studies class.”
And like any decent textbook, Body Language have a lot of history behind them, starting with the weekly parties Matt and Grant used to throw at a dive bar in Connecticut. The residency led to their love of dance music and a need for homemade club edits of everything from Billy Ocean to Don Henley. Not only that; the pair also started to tackle their own tracks, with Angelica eventually rounding out their ever-evolving sound and Ian stepping into his rhythm section role on the eve of a Bowery Ballroom show with Passion Pit. That billing wasn’t an isolated incident, either. As it turns out, Body Language lent their programming skills to several tracks on Passion Pit’s breakthrough album. They’ve also worked with such wildly different artists as Theophilus London, Machinedrum, and Fur.
But enough about the magic Body Language have brought to other records. This fall’s Social Studies EP—a tidy collection of four limited 10’’ singles—is a fitting followup to their 2009 debut Speaks, applying a refined pop palette to sample-splitting melodies (the title track), dollops of disco (“Falling Out”), and what can only be described as pure analog bliss (“You Can”).
“I suppose it sounds selfish,” says Grant, “but we wrote what we wanted to write. We get the same joy and satisfaction out of losing our shit behind a pair of turntables as we do singing four-part harmonies.”
Which explains why Green Velvet and Grizzly Bear get equal time on the group’s hi-fi, and with a proper LP already in its planning stages, let’s just say they might actually sound exactly like Billy Ocean by the time it’s done. Who knows. We can only hope, right?
"Social Studies" Single Out July 12th A1) Social Studies (Original) A2) Rio Blanco Remix B1) Plastic Plates Remix
Upcoming Tour Dates
7/1 - Brooklyn, NY - Glasslands w/ Celestial Shore , Aislyn 7/16 - Miami, FL - Electric Pickle 8/17 - San Francisco, CA - Hotel Vitale 8/20 - W Hollywood - High Tide (DJ Set) 8/20 - Pomona, CA - The Glass House
Jolie Holland will be heading out on tour with her band to support Pint of Blood, her new record that came out today.
Jun 28 Bowery Room New York, NY Jul 05 Passim Cambridge, MA Jul 06 Iron Horse Northampton, MA Jul 07 Space Portland, ME Jul 08 Cabaret Montreal, Canada Jul 09 Horseshoe Tavern Toronto, Canada Jul 10 Ottawa Bluesfest Ottawa, Canada Jul 11 The Ark Ann Arbor, MI Jul 12 Lincoln Hall Chicago, IL Jul 14 Cedar Cultural Center Minneapolis, MN Jul 15 Englert Theatre Iowa City, IA Jul 16 Record Bar Kansas City, MO Jul 18 Opolis Norman, OK Jul 20 Kessler Theater Dallas, TX Jul 21 Lamberts Austin, TX Jul 22 Fitzgerald's Houston, TX Jul 23 Tipitina's New Orleans, LA Jul 25 Crowbar Tampa, FL Jul 26 The Social Orlando, FL Jul 29 Grey Eagle Asheville, NC Aug 02 Jammin' Java Vienna, VA Aug 03 World Cafe Live Philadelphia, PA Sep 03 End of the Road Festival Dorset, United Kingdom Sep 04 The Cluny Newcastle, United Kingdom Sep 06 The Ruby Lounge Manchester, United Kingdom Sep 07 Bush Hall London, United Kingdom Sep 08 Howard Assembly Room Leeds, United Kingdom Sep 10 Take Root Festival Groningen, Netherlands