Yoon Rachel Nam

Like stepping into a John Hughes film, Bodywash’s most recent single conjures a kind of charming naivete, confidently sauntering into the first day of class with all insecurity perfectly contained and hidden. However, the latest from the Montreal-based five-piece is far from shallow; introspective and carefully constructed, “Follow” sees Bodywash maturing into a sound that is confessional, nostalgic, and nuanced.

The band acknowledges that “Follow” is a little different from some of their previous work. Looking back, “Follow” is unlike the dreamy, rich shoegaze sound heard on their debut, Comforter. Where Comforter was an assertion, “Follow” is a reflection. Written during a Montreal winter, this pensive track evokes moments of contemplation one only finds during a cold walk home. The processing of a relationship that was maybe never quite right is laid bare; with nothing but a simple beat and accompanying synth line, Rosie Long Decter’s vocals walk carefully between vulnerable and casual. “You seem to be good/You seem to be better”, she suggests, while we are left to consider an entire history behind the ever evasive “seem”.

Although Bodywash’s sound is certainly still guitar-driven, “Follow” demonstrates that they can do more than just create the reverb-soaked waves of sound we love them for. At times, it is as if the guitar is personified, commenting on the vocals and occasionally even singing alongside them. This back and forth is almost quaint, which makes the moment the distortion kicks in all the more satisfying. Simultaneously concentrated and non-confrontational, “Follow” illustrates the restlessness of wondering if things could’ve been different.

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