As another decade comes to a close, we are left with nothing other than the lingering particles of broken off memories. These particles comprise all of the individual experiences that have shaped us into who we are today, and if we’re going to continue with this particle analogy, then we can continue to say that these also take shape into battle scars that marked our skins.
That was an obnoxious way to say that we all have a story to tell, but it is only a selected few that wear these emotional accolades more visibly, to tell their story to an audience. While some choose to cover them, the creative individuals that choose to be more open, use these experiences to create art that will not only tell their tale but also act as a guide for those that may not know how to continue trekking forward. This, my friends, is exactly why the art of music is so important, especially for electro-pop duo, Body Salt.
Now, you’re probably wondering who exactly is Body Salt. Why are they called that? At least, that was my initial reaction to the group’s name.
To begin, Jonathon Bruhin is the brains behind their captivating electronic instrumentals, and Ezekiel Morphis is the talented writer behind the emotional lyrics, although it does appear to be a shared process of stories. Then, there is the name of the band. To which, Jonathon and Ezekiel explained to me that the name, although it originates from an older song of theirs, it is used as a representation for the essential direction of their music. Being human. The body salt is what flows out of our human pores, it’s what happens when we’re excited, scared, hot, happy, etc. It encompasses the very nature of being human, just like what the band wants to represent with their music.
So, a few weeks ago, when Jonathon and Ezekiel of Body Salt reached out to me with their tale of their musical excursion to prove to the world that EDM and pop music are not limited to parties, and well, party drugs… I was hesitant, but more importantly, interested, to work with them. The hesitance stemmed from the fear I felt when they told me it was “electronic pop” music that they make. I was fearful that my lack of knowledge of the EDM world would limit my ability to critique their music as objectively as possible. Luckily, the fear was superseded by the excitement I felt after a few more discussions with Ezekial. He shared his and Jonathon‘s overwhelming passion for three of my most favourite things: music, life and creating. Therefore, I shook off the fear and opened my mind to a whole new world of music, and I hope you all can do the same too.
The greater goal of Jonathon and Ezekiel music journey is to create pieces of work that people, of all spectrums, can resonate with beyond the superficial level that most pop bands share. The two also want to bring music back to it’s all intended purpose of being a form of self-expression, all the while using the tools that current modern technology provides them with.
In the two years they’ve been working together, Body Salt has released two albums, Sex Tape (2017) and Dark Seed Bright Bloom (2019), and recently dropped a new song called “Sheets and Wind” . Every single one of these pieces of work are a strong example of this brilliant dichotomy of catchy beats and strikingly real lyrics that Body Salt shares that they aim for when creating music.
In their latest track, “Sheets and Wind”, for example, you’re immediately thrown into this pool of emotion with the lyrics, “Your joy is your sorrow unmasked, and now you’ve been put to the task of love” and “but you’ve only read about such notions; held in chemical oceans”. While your heart is sinking with the lyrics, your body is, somehow, grooving to this hypnotic, yet upbeat electric beat.
(Definitely a new experience for me)
It only took a couple of listens to the band’s (current) discography for me to understand what it is Ezekiel meant when he said, “The pink bubble gum house is down the street from us in the Pophood, we live in the derelict onyx trailer in the Alley. Our music is the best way we know how to tell stories and tales from life.”
Don’t be fooled by the club banger impression you may get at first. The songs are easy to move along to, but the lyrics are some real hearted narratives that can set you off into a wave of thought.
With that being said, 2019 has very much been the year for this new-wave of dark pop music. From the explosion of Billie Eilish to humble chartings of Missio, people are embracing this fusion of groovy electronic beats and raw emotive lyrics.
When I asked the band about why they think this may be Ezekiel responds with “Pop music has gotten darker and more honest because at the end of the day it’s about human experiences, peoples common grounds for hopes and desires” and artists like Body Salt are using any tools they have access to get these messages out there. Jonathon shares that he thinks pop music is “better now than ever before” because people are now well educated in, not only the genre but as well as the fabrication of it, “people have more access to the tools they need to make good music”.
So in short, this new decade we’re entering is very much going to be the continuation of this wave because technology is a very prominent feature in time. We cannot escape it, so why not just embrace it in our personal music element?
Despite this very overwhelming presence of technology in the current time, there are still people, like me, that live under a rock where EDM, nor pop, is an accessible type of music. This is why I asked Jonathon and Ezekiel to explain to me why they think the world of dark-EDM music should/would/can pool into other genres of music.
Now I’m very aware that’s a heavy thing to ask, because how can anyone explain why humans follow a trend (maybe due to convenience, but that’s a whole other discussion) or why people listen to specific kinds of music. However, like the smart men I assumed they were, they are Jonathon and Ezekiel answered this rather ambitious questions with ease and boiled down the answer to a simple concept: Music is music.
The two brilliantly argued that at the end of the day, even with music from the brutal black metal world, “the creation of music all comes down to the same starting point“. Before digitizing, before the tuning with software, adding the blast beats and the growls. The way authentic music is made, for literally any genre, is typically through the organic process of human(s) sharing their life stories and turning it into an audible experience for others to bond over. That’s exactly what Body Salt is. Forget genres for a second, and just simply listen to music. If the lyrics resonate with you, or the beat makes your muscles tingle, that’s what it’s about. Not if you prefer growling to clean vocals, or if the drum beats are faster than your blinking habits, it’s about the honesty of being a living-breathing-individual trying to survive the hardships of life.
There may not be ripping guitars and guttural bass lines, but I can attest that Body Salt‘s music proves that at the end of the day, we as humans, all experience the whiplash of emotions. These emotions can be embodied in any genre, and even if it’s not one we’re used to, we will still have the capability to not only understand the sentiments delivered, but also relate to it.
It is for the reasons I am on board with Ezekiel and Jonathon‘s cries of “GIVE ELECTRONIC MUSIC A CHANCE”. I did what they said, not knowing what to expect, but I can now say I am glad I gave it a chance. I have newfound admiration for not only a genre but as well as two individuals that are extremely hard workers and make real authentic music.
Until next time Interwebs! 🕸
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