Like many bands today, Body Language doesn’t worry about sticking to rigidly defined musical genres when they sit down to write a song. They blend disco, soul, futuristic pop, electronic samples and live instrumentation into feel-good tunes that are as intriguing as they are dance-worthy.
“Music is limitless. You can make anything as long as you love what you’re making,” said Angela Bess, vocalist, keyboardist and resident glockenspiel player for the Brooklyn-based band.
She and the rest of the group, which consists of vocalist and keyboardist Matthew Young, keyboardist Grant Wheeler and drummer and vocalist Ian Chang, will bring their sunny, mysterious, soulful synth sound to the Spanish Moon in Baton Rouge Friday, March 8.
As one might expect from a band that’s not afraid to mix and match from their favorite genres, the members of Body Language draw inspiration from across the musical spectrum.
“We listen to all sorts of music that might not necessarily sound like our music. But Matt gets his influences from early soul and Motown and also has this very deep electronic and house influence, and I personally like punk and indie alternative,” Bess said.
Bess met Young and Wheeler in college, but it wasn’t until they were drawn to Brooklyn’s vibrant music scene that they met their drummer and became the current incarnation of Body Language. Bess said Brooklyn is both a competitive and collaborative environment for musicians.
“It’s a little bit of both. It depends on who you’re working with, but sometimes it is a competition because there are just so many bands and only so many venues,” she said. “You play together and try to get shows together, but eventually you have to fend for yourself. But we’re not really a competitive band at all.”
While competitive may not be the best word to label Body Language, explorative very well could be. The band allowed itself free range to explore a variety of sounds before settling on one direction.
“Back when we first started we didn’t really have much of a direction. We’d write a really cool tropical song, and then we’d write a slow jam or a disco track like ‘Falling Out.’ Then when we were playing live shows and playing a lot of our dancier hits, we realized that writing dance music really speaks to us. We love the energy and the soul. So we definitely had to pick a side, and that’s what we’ve chosen,” Bess said.
Finding a focus doesn’t mean settling down, however. Bess made it clear that the band will continue to explore the outer edges of their style.
“The stuff that we’re writing now is completely different and super dark. It’s Body Language, but it’s definitely evolved. We’re not stopping with just dance music. We’re getting really experimental,” she said.
Bess thinks that the band’s exploratory nature comes across in their live shows, which always strive to keep things fresh for both new and returning audience members.
“You know, being an electronic band, you don’t really see music being manipulated that much in live shows. But we definitely try to have a lot of live elements like extended tracks. We definitely don’t limit it to just our studio productions,” she said.
Bess revealed that part of her passion for putting on a killer live show stems from the disappointment she felt when she saw bands that failed to sound as good live as they did on their albums.
“When you love an album so much and you pay money to see them live, you want a show. You want a performance. You want to be surprised and impressed, and that’s something that Body Language strives to do,” Bess said. “You definitely have to build your creativity when you’re playing live shows, even if it’s electronic or even if it’s a sample. Make that sample the best thing anyone’s ever heard.”
Bess promised that anyone seeing Body Language live is in for a night of great music and wild dancing.
“It’s definitely going to be like the rowdiest thing you’ve ever seen. It’s going to blow your mind,” she said.
Body Language recently released a new remix EP, “Lose My Head.” The band is looking forward to the release of their first full-length album later this year. The show begins at the Spanish Moon in Baton Rouge on March 8 at 8 p.m. More information about the band is available at http://www.bodylanguagemusic.com/. Information about the venue can be found at http://thespanishmoon.com/