Montreal dream-pop/shoegaze duo Bodywash — aka Chris Steward and Rosie Long Decter — are announcing their new album, I Held the Shape While I Could, which follows their 2019 debut LP Comforter. Since Comforter, Bodywash have shared singles like 2020’s “Follow” and last year’s “Kind Of Light,” the latter of which will show up on I Held The Shape While I Could. Today, they’re also sharing the ultra-gauzy lead single “Massif Central,” which is a reflection on Steward falling into Canadian bureaucratic purgatory, no thanks to a typo in a government letter that caused him to lose his legal work status.
“After eight years living in Canada, in the Spring of 2021, a government clerical error caused me to lose my legal status here,” Steward explains. “As a UK national, I lost my right to work. My savings trickled away during months where I could do little but pace the corners of my apartment. I was prepared to pack my bags and leave as the life I’d hoped to construct for myself seemed to vanish into a bureaucratic abyss.”
Steward continues: “‘Massif’ is the sound of wailing into a cliff and not knowing if you’ll hear an echo. The spoken word is inspired by a squirrel that was trapped in the wall behind my bed, clawing its way to salvation. With the help of friends, family, music, and a few immigration lawyers (and the rest of my savings), I’m now a permanent resident here. But this song remains as testament to my experience with an exploitative institution.”
“Massif Central” comes with a video directed by Jordan Allen, who adds: “With ‘Massif Central,’ we wanted to encapsulate the panic and urgency that Chris experienced, and have the abstracts portray the anxiety and hopelessness one can feel at the hands of bureaucracy. I chose graphics that heavily leaned into feelings of being lost in a maze, with towering structures and horizon lines pulling you into them. The idea was that the camera would be both a CCTV view of the band, but also glitching to reveal the more emotionally internal visual aspects.”
Listen and watch below.
01 “In As Far”
02 “Picture Of”
03 “Massif Central”
04 “Bas Relief”
05 “Perfect Blue”
06 “Kind Of Light”
07 “One Day Clear”
12 “No Repair”
I Held The Shape While I Could is out 4/14 on Light Organ Records. Pre-order it here.