Band of the Day

2011.11.11

Body Language

Smooth and sexy electro slow jams with massive pop hooks
You play my only tune, like you always do, it keeps my feet upon the ground.
lyrics from You Can

After throwing a series of successful electro parties around 2009, Brooklyn, New York-based DJs Matthew Young and Grant Wheeler decided to create their own project, Body Language, to remix popular party tracks and write original music. Taking on synthesizer duties, the duo sought out Angelica Bess, known for her soulful vocals, and later added Ian Chang on drums. After playing a string of popular DIY basement gigs around New York in 2009, the group released the Speaks EP on New York/Michigan-based label Moodgadget Records. Om Records, based out of San Francisco, California, released the Body Language's sophomore album, entitled Social Studies, in late 2011. Since their early days playing basement parties in New York, Body Language has since toured the US, playing alongside the likes of La Roux and Passion Pit.

The world of electronic music is a dizzying maze of a place. Producers release a whirlwind of one-off singles, constantly remix each other, produce pop artists behind the scenes…and then often adopt new pseudonyms to frustrate you more. Well here's one life raft to hold on to: whatever you do, don't ignore Body Language. While the Brooklyn-based four piece keep themselves busy with remixes and production work for groups like Passion Pit, they've found time to release Social Studies, a full album of some of the smoothest, sexiest dance music in recent memory (or distant memory, really). With their warm synthesizers and R&B-tinged house grooves, they sound like a cuddlier version of Junior Boys, or America's answer to Miike Snow. Body Language tracks tend to begin slow with bits of glistening keyboards and pieces of percussion, then expand into energetic grooves. “Falling Out” is the band's homage to 80s electro slow jams, kind of like a stereotypical porn jam, but incredibly smooth, and without a whiff of cheesiness. It begins with gentle claps and a bumping 80s-style electro-funk bass line before lead singer Matt Young launches into his silky smooth, half-hushed vocal line. Female vocalist Angelica Bess darts in, adding ethereal vocals while cowbells round it all off. “You Can,” a simple R&B based beauty may be the album's highlight. With its single, long repeating synth line and basic beat, it's almost like a Daft Punk breakdown stretched into a full song. Body Language seem to be reveling in textures here, Young and Bess let their male/female vocals flow into each other gorgeously, playing a human counterfoil to the shimmering, unwinding metallic synthesizer. “Social Studies” is straight pop, its joyful beat and bouncing synths provide the base for Bess' monstrous vocal hook, just as catchy as anything in the Top 40. With production like this, it makes perfect sense that Passion Pit roped them in to help behind the scenes. Body Language have taken many of the best elements of the current 80s electro revival and R&B fixation, as well as bits and pieces of other genres, and formed them into some of the sexiest, most interesting pop around.