Welcome to The Verge: a column dedicated to music on the edge of a breakthrough. Last week, I profiled an up-and-comer in the DMV hip hop scene. Now it’s time for a Brooklyn buzz band.
Brooklyn is and will continue to be the center of the universe for indie culture. There are probably more musicians, artists and writers in the area between Park Slope and Williamsburg than any where in the United States. So while the Internet has democratized culture to a degree, you can be sure that any band that makes its bones in Brooklyn will soon be on global radars.
Meet Body Language, an electronic pop outfit from the Zoo that specializes in soulful, chill-out jams. The band’s debut EP, Speaks, was released last year on Moodgadget Records. Over just 5 tracks, Body Language finds its own way forward, crafting pop songs that aren’t as precious as Passion Pit’s and aren’t as atmospheric as chill wave.
Speaks kicks off with a stuttering, frenetic sample on “New Day” and doesn’t look back. Male and female vocals duel over an increasingly complex tableau. On tracks like “Work This City,” the band gets a little funky, with syncopated rhythms and soft-serve keys. (Sammy Bananas, the DJ-half of Telephoned, gave the track a disco feel on his remix.)
“At a Glance” starts with a grinding squeal of bass, and it’s the EP’s only minor-key ballad. The EP closes with “Sandwiches,” with it’s once-in-a-career hook: “We’ll make it hot like butter / easy to spread / and we can sandwiches.” I don’t think they’re talking about deli meats on this seductive joint.
Like any electronic band worth it’s weight in PBR, Body Language have contributed their remix skills to similarly-minded acts like Toro y Moi. Their finest effort, however, is the 80s new wave/R&B twist they gave to “Obsessions” by Marina and the Diamonds. These Casio synths and Linn drum samples haven’t sounded as good since the Reagan administration.
Courtesy Neon Gold Records