Under Review: Bodies Of Water – Twist Again

For whatever reason, I’ve really latched on to Bodies Of Water, the dramatic pop group from Highland Park. Based around the core duo (and married couple) of David and Meredith Metcalf, Bodies Of Water have been making vintage-styled performance pieces since the mid-‘00s. On their first album, Ears Will Pop And Eyes Will Blink, they played to the then burgeoning indie-folk world with a set of acoustic-based tunes with unconventional arrangements. They followed that album up with the stellar A Certain Feeling, and incorporated more diverse (and surprising) influences. Jazz, prog and girl-group styles collided in a fierce and alluring manner. About a year ago, the band posted demos of some new tracks on their website. Those tracks have ended up on Twist Again, the band’s latest masterpiece. The torchy “Rise Up, Careful” was one of those original tracks, and it appears here with a sultry horn section break. The mostly instrumental “Open Rhythms” provides a kind of mantra for the album: the grooves are quite abundant, but they come and go with such fluidity that Twist Again ambles along briskly.

David stakes a much stronger vocal presence on Twist Again than he had on previous efforts. His melodious voice guides the Percy Faith-esque “Ever With Us,” and he duets with Meredith on the playful “Like A Stranger.” The Metcalfs remain ambiguous but utterly romantic in their lyrics. Invoking lots of references to nature and the impossibility of relating to others, David and Meredith often paint themselves as being so close yet so alone. The bouncy arrangements help to balance these ominous scenes, and Twist Again features some of Bodies Of Water’s most intriguing instrumental passages to date. The otherwise sparse “Lights Out Forever” features a mournful interlude that recalls a New Orleans funeral procession. The brief “In Your Thrall Again” is a rocking reprise of “Open Rhythms” with a bright farfisa accompaniment. Released on the band’s own label, Twist Again is a showcase of most of Bodies Of Water’s greatest strengths. They don’t let themselves get too out of control this time around, but the focus only adds to their already mysterious charm.

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~ by E. on June 22, 2011.

One Response to “Under Review: Bodies Of Water – Twist Again”

  1. Nice! I’ll have to check ’em out…

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