Only a year after self-releasing their debut Ears Will Pop and Eyes Will Blink, L.A. quartet Bodies of Water returns with A Certain Feeling, this time on red hot indie label Secretly Canadian (the sister label of Jagjaguwar and Dead Oceans).
Created entirely in husband and wife David and Meredith Metcalf's home, Feeling sounds like a madrigal troupe under the influence of Mama Cass and Ozzie Osbourne performing the musical Hair. Four-part vocal harmonies and epic spiraling guitar and bass tumble against each other alongside fuzzy organ to create fugue-like patterns. The urgency never ceases; each song plays out as an anthem.
Perhaps the best example of this is "Under the Pines," which begins with an intricate organ and prog rock guitar duel, accompanied a minute in by a harmony of frantic "Ah-ah-ahs." David and Meredith don't start the verses until two minutes in. Each delivering same notes, Meredith an octave higher, the urgency builds to an overflowing full throttle chorus that ebbs back into the husband and wife verse, which in turn builds back to one epic finish.
There are slower, boozier moments, as in "The Mud Gapes Open," where the vocal harmonies take center stage for a tiny ballad to close the album, and the Wurlitzer and horns driven "Keep Me On."
A Certain Feeling is a mighty force. Here Bodies of Water has skillfully, yet passionately, crafted an indelible statement. This album is sure to keep them on their upward trajectory. • Katy Henriksen