At long last, we have a Body Games LP: after the release of last year’s terrific Local Love Vol. 1, the Carrboro trio promised that its debut LP, Damager, would arrive soon. Nearly a year has passed, and Body Games will finally issue the album independently March 15. You can stream it below for the next forty-eight hours.
Despite the delay, Damager does not disappoint. Imbued with melancholy and sweetened by the sonorous singing of Kate Thompson and Dax Beaton, these nine songs seem to trace emotional fault lines while somehow sporting a smile. Between the amorous dejection of the drifting “Outdone” and the burning hearts of the overpowering title track, Damager is often perfectly positioned between pleasure and pain.
What’s best about Body Games here, though, may be the way the trio is able to push several music strains into tight spaces without making the results feel claustrophobic or cloying. “Sunny Day,” for instance, makes room for and sense of chopped-and-screwed Ladysmith Black Mambazo samples, spiraling Avey Tare-like melodies, and late-arriving corkscrew bass that pads EDM’s patent aggression. And then there’s Well$, who steps into the back half of “WMN” like a steely-eyed menace. His direct, lascivious verse provides the counterweight for Thompson’s floating voice and spectral hook. The tension between such forces—as with most of Damager, really—is terrific.
We’ll have a full review of Damager and a feature on Body Games in the coming weeks, but, for now, enjoy the album below until Friday, March 11.
[Time’s up, we’e afraid! Damager is out March 15.]