Bitter Reflection, the fourth album by brothers Alex and Andrew Jarson aka Body Of Light, further hones their smoldering strain of tempestuous synth-pop into a transformative suite of anthems, reveries, and reckonings.
A trio of intriguing instrumentals deepens the album’s scope, echoing Body Of Light‘s early experimental era as part of the influential Ascetic House collective. Some tracks drift in a prismatic gauze of whispered synths and oblique minutia, in the spirit of Boards of Canada at their most hushed and haunted. Elsewhere the record spins through a gallery of the band’s ongoing fascinations: brooding dance floor epiphanies, smooth Thomas Dolby city skyline melancholias, lovesick looking glass ballads and Depeche-esque declarations of dread and excess (“This Conversation”). The latter premieres today ahead of Bitter Reflection‘s release date.
Written in the wake of 2019’s neo-EBM classic Time To Kill, Body Of Light sifted inspiration from hidden moments within their own arcana– childhood tapes, home movies, abandoned demos– asking themselves the question: “How can we make this grow?” Sampled snippets of voice, noise, synth, and field recordings flicker in the periphery of Bitter Reflection‘s 11 tracks, murmuring like nostalgias half-forgotten, or displaced memories. This is music pulled between twin flames of truth and desire, romanticization and reality, catharsis and control, born of a bond sealed by years, dreams, and blood.
Working with Telefon Tel Aviv co-founder Josh Eustis in Los Angeles, Body Of Light incorporated an expanded array of live instrumentation – piano, bass, saxophone, acoustic guitar – in addition to vintage Akai samplers, Moogs, and archaic hardware to Bitter Reflection, giving the albm an eclectic, unpredictable palette.
A new age demands new waves, and Body Of Light belongs at the forefront of a resurgent generation fusing modern methods with the sounds of futures past. Singer Alex Jarson sees their muse clearly, at the axis of anguished transition, temporal collapse, and, just possibly, the brink of hope: “Time is dysphoric. The dream breaks down. Everyone’s beginning to panic, but in the end something will come from it.”
Bitter Reflection is out on June 30, 2023 via Dais Records. Pre-orders are available here and the band will be playing select shows leading up to release date.
Body Of Light, on tour:
5/21 – Phoenix @ The Van Buren for Near Dark Festival
6/13 – El Paso, TX @ The Reagan
6/15 – Fort Worth @ Tulips w/ Choir Boy
6/16 – San Antonio @ Vice Versa w/ Choir Boy, SRSQ
6/17 – Austin – Oblivion Access @ Empire Control Room w/ Drab Majesty, Choir Boy etc.
6/18 – Houston – Warehouse Live w/ Choir Boy, SRSQ