LISTEN: Body Breaks – ‘Between the Heart and the Mind’

An off-kilter guitar tune exploring the battle between logic and emotion when it comes to forgiving infidelity, Canadian art-punk duo Body Breaks have shared their debut single ‘Between the Heart and the Mind’. Taken from their upcoming album Bad Trouble (We Are Time), which is set for release on 18th June, the pair blend candid guitar twangs and straight-forward vocals on the track to help navigate their way towards acceptance and forgiveness.

Formed of Matt LeGroulx and Julie Reich, Body Breaks create sounds that are inspired by the likes of Pavement, Velvet Underground and Sonic Youth. Fuelled by a strong DIY ethos, LeGroulx experimented with Balinese gamelan guitar scales to form his distinctive riffs and Reich mined her own personal history in order to write the lyrics for their new album, with their debut single being a cathartic blend of both these elements.

“I wrote ‘Between the Heart and the Mind’ after I caught someone cheating on me and eventually came to forgiveness,” Reich explains. “When you’re trying to make sense of something hard, you’ve got your feelings and your rationale. You need to use both, and somewhere in the middle you find peace.” Amidst disorientating riffs and hazy vocals, Reich appears to find this middle ground.

Listen to ‘Between the Heart and the Mind’ below.

Follow Body Breaks on bandcamp, Twitter & Instagram

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: Mentrix – ’99 Names Of God’

A soft, altruistic re-working of a traditional Muslim chant, Iranian born, Berlin-based vocalist & composer Mentrix has shared her latest single ’99 Names Of God’. Working alongside DJ, producer & activist Nesa Azadikhah (founder of Deep House Tehran), Mentrix’s version of the song – which is usually sung by men and associated with Ramadan – centres and celebrates freedom of expression via her distinctive vocals and Sufi-inspired beats.

“’99 Names Of God’ are the many words which describe God in the Quran,” Mentrix aka Samar Rad explains about the chant. “These words are principals and qualities that manifest the divine. In Sufism, the teachings invite one to contemplate on these names: which one of these words are you? This chant, composed of three vocal octaves in the style of Tavashi, has been sung by many around the world. My version is here to honour the very essence of Islam, an invitation for every individual, beyond gender and any social construct, to cognise the divine within.”

The track is accompanied by a hypnotic video which Mentrix made in collaboration with Tobia Gremmler (Bjork), reflecting the fluid nature of gender and beauty with fluctuating shapes and symmetrical images. With her 2020 debut album My Enemy, My Love, released via her own female-led label House of Strength, Mentrix sought to shift perspectives on femininity and challenge patriarchal norms with her music. On ’99 Names Of God’, she continues this journey and delivers a beguiling, empathetic soundscape in the process.

Watch the video for ’99 Names Of God’ below.

Follow Mentrix on bandcamp, Spotify, Instagram & Facebook

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

LISTEN: SPELLLING – ‘Little Deer’

A majestic new soundscape inspired by Frida Kahlo’s 1946 painting The Wounded Deer, Bay Area-based artist SPELLLING has shared her latest single ‘Little Deer’. Taken from her upcoming album The Turning Wheel, which is set for release on 25th June via Sacred Bones, the track is a dazzling new offering that showcases her talent for blending electronic & acoustic instruments with her lush vocals to create hazy, uplifting sounds.

“‘Little Deer’ is definitely a thesis track,” explains SPELLLING aka Chrystia Cabral. “I feel that way because it not only showcases the greatest range of instrumentation that is featured on the album, but also because it accomplishes this strong impression of theatre that I was striving for with the album as a whole.” The track features 17 different acoustic instruments, as well as a lilting, warped synthesizer. SPELLLING’s new record is split into two halves – “Above” and “Below” – with ‘Little Deer’ marking the beginning of the dreamy, shimmering “Above” section, which contrasts with the darker, more gothic tones of “Below”.

“I’m especially proud of the lyrics on ‘Little Deer’,” SPELLLING continues. “The challenge with the lyric writing was being able to speak to really large concepts like karma, reincarnation and the cycle of life without making the song sound burdened. I wanted the lyrics to match the grandeur of the instrumentation but still be easy to sing along to. I figured out a way to build the lyrics using a lot of abstract language that is still sing-able but odd in a way that I hope makes it memorable.” SPELLING’s attention to lyrical detail and intricate musical arrangements on ‘Little Deer’ certainly mark her out as a distinctive and compelling talent.

Listen to the track below.

Follow SPELLLING on bandcamp, Spotify, Instagram & Facebook

Photo credit: Adora Wilson

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: Smoothboi Ezra – ‘Stuck’

A tender, lo-fi offering that explores the struggle of feeling emotionally stunted or unable to communicate in an unsteady relationship, Irish multi-instrumentalist & producer Smoothboi Ezra has shared their latest single ‘Stuck’. Taken from their upcoming EP of the same name, which is set for release on 11th June, the track is a poignant meditation on the reluctance we encounter when facing the end of our romantic involvement with someone.

“‘Stuck’ is a song about being in a relationship with someone you care a lot about but you know it’s not going to work out,” Ezra explains “It’s an unsaid mutual agreement that you can feel the relationship ending but you’re both waiting on the other person to end it.” Ezra balances these emotional tensions via soft vocals, raw lyricism and gently plucked guitar strings.

As a gender non-conforming artist who is also on the autism spectrum, Ezra offers a different perspective on heartbreak and emotional intelligence, creating captivating, bittersweet soundscapes to contemplate the struggles of everyday life to. At the age of just 19, their talent for writing charming songs about personal growth is humbling and highly impressive.

Watch the video for ‘Stuck’ below.

Follow Smoothboi Ezra on bandcamp, Spotify, Twitter, Instagram & Facebook

Photo Credit: Leon McCulloughl

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut