There are many places like home. On I Held the Shape While I Could, the sophomore record from Montreal duo Bodywash, home is a mutable thing; a location that is fixed until it isn’t. Over the album’s twelve tracks, Chris Steward and Rosie Long Decter reflect on their separate and shared experiences of losing a sense of place, the way something once solid can slip between your fingers, and their attempts to build something new from the fallout.

Steward and Long Decter met in college in 2014, but didn’t immediately share a musical language. Working toward their own blend of airy vocals, intricate guitar work and atmospheric synths, Steward’s abstract guitars and Long Decter’s cascading vocals act as the album’s ambient throughlines: blurring the digital and organic, gesturing toward something intangible, just out of reach. Long Decter began developing her layered vocal approach in the summer of 2018, after reading a profile of Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith and smoking some weed in her bed. She recorded a chorus of loops and emailed them to Steward, who sent back a WeTransfer link with a simple message:

sitting in a cafe in berlin with a big smile on my face because i know transatlantic collaboration is real
pls listen with headphones

The attached file became I Held the Shape’s enigmatic opener “In As Far” and marked the beginning of a new era for Bodywash, defined by a shared exploration of experimental textures and an intentional effort to fuse each other’s strengths into a new whole.




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