“Do you believe in karma? Do ya? Do ya?”
The first words we heard from Body Type were accusatory, playful, coy. They dared you to look them in the eye. To pay attention.
The song those words came from, ‘Ludlow’, seemed too good to be true. It made a racket while staying astonishingly controlled; the vocals sounded more like a sample from fifties cinema than anything recorded in this century, so deliberate and devastating in their delivery. Follow-up single ‘264’ exists in a completely different realm to ‘Ludlow’, but it’s equally as astonishing, just as clever and wry and beautiful as its predecessor.
Live, Body Type exceed the expectations set by their singles. All four members – Sophie & Annabel on vocals and guitar, Cecil on drums, Georgia on vocals & bass – are vital. They are, on a musical and emotional level, inexorably linked, each member’s importance going beyond musical skill or personality.
It makes sense that the four members have this almost elemental connection – the story of the band’s inception gives the sense that there was something cosmic involved. It goes like this: Sophie, after a period living in New York, found herself in Sydney with a handful of Garageband demos needing a beat. Enter Cecil – drummer, old friend and fellow Perth native – who had also decamped to Sydney. They met Annabel soon after, and were completed when Georgia, another Perth survivor, joined on bass. The quartet played their first show in late-2016; less than a year later, they’ve played main support for cult heroes Japandroids, opened for luminaries like Frankie Cosmos, Big Thief and The Coathangers, and played Gizzfest and Sydney Festival and the inaugural Electric Lady Festival, curated by Jack River. Later this year, they’ll play main support for psych heavyweights POND on their national album tour.
‘Silver’, the band’s latest single, goes for a hat trick; a third killer in the bag for the ascendant four-piece. It’s more wistful than what we’ve heard from the band so far. “Everyone you know is turning silver,” sings Sophie. It’s about ageing, and change, but ‘Silver’ isn’t a sad song – it’s pretty and complex and filled with joy.
“The song comes from a very specific moment when I first noticed some of my friends starting to get grey hairs,” says Sophie about the inspiration behind the song. “That’s where the idea of turning ‘silver’ comes from – witnessing your own passage of time through the changes in people around you. Accepting that people will drift in and out of your life, or maybe run away and then pop back in for a little while, or maybe always be around, but never quite the same.”
Fittingly, ‘Silver’ also marks a change in the way Body Type saw themselves as a band. “For me, this song in the space/time continuum signifies a turning point for the band – a point where we realised Body Type was a real unit, greater than the sum of its parts,” says Sophie. “I took some scrappy demo to rehearsal and suddenly it was a whole song. It’s a very nice feeling finding people you can do that with.”
Despite being a song about the passage of time, ‘Silver’ proves that Body Type still have a lot left in them, cementing their status as one of Australia’s most promising young bands. You won’t be watching them disappear any time soon.