Among the pattering, sun-dappled rhythm of ‘Ghost’, the debut EP from Bodies on the Beach begins with something like a benediction. “I hope you’re sleeping all right. I hope you finally find a way to quiet your mind. I can’t quiet mine.” As the song barrels forward, it reaches its peak with the cries of the narrator’s unquiet mind, sealing the thesis statement for the record: “Is this real anymore? I don’t feel real anymore, I can’t feel real anymore”
Bodies on the Beach, the latest project from Navid Eliot (Planes on Paper), is a three-piece indie pop venture in which he’s joined by Evan Gackstatter and Andrew Ginn. The gorgeous Ghost EP is a testament to the power of the power trio, filling every inch of sonic space with reverb-drenched sound. While ‘Ghost’ and ‘Dive’ showcase Eliot’s ability to craft pop tunes that can make even northwest crowds bounce and bob their heads, ‘Snake’ taps into a more haunting, darker sound, whereas ‘Diary’ and closer ‘No Face’ stretch a sense of sadness into soaring, heart-rending guitar.
Eliot’s lyrics share an exploration of life in the face of daily struggle and attempts to know oneself and heal. Full of lines like “Nothing’s coming easy, even breathing feels like work,” Ghost is about seeing, and being seen. The words will easily hit home for listeners, and sometimes, on a bad day, you just need to hear someone else say it. There’s a sense of catharsis and hope in that, and as Eliot reminds us, “Every step you take is a fight but still you’re moving.”
Ghost is available on 12/4, and you can catch them live at their release shows 12/5 at The Crocodile in Seattle, or 12/11 at Mississippi Studios in Portland
Review//Sheri Foreman Photos//Melissa Wax