Body Mass is a collaborative project created and curated by musician Ben Hassell. He recently released a four-song self-titled EP Body Mass. Ben Hassell explains: “Body Mass EP shares Ben's experiences over the years of unemployment & worthlessness, employment and boredom, resentment and anger, adulthood, ageing and death.” After reading that I was expecting a very dark musical experience. Truth be told it’s not as dismal sounding as I thought it would be.
“Howl W” starts with an electronic beat, warm acoustic guitar picking, bass and some vocals. The mood felt melancholy but also inviting and serene. I loved the organ that comes on the second verse and the vocals are pretty catchy. The vocals are also soothing when he literally seems to be howling at the moon.
“Penny Sweets” is more dynamic. There are vibrant guitars and a good amount of percussive elements in this song. The vocals are great and sound really full. I was reminded of the band Local Natives and Grizzly Bear as the song gets to impressive heights.
“First Kill” is a little more dark and pensive. He talks about yearning on this song and that was the kind of vibe he was getting with the previous songs as well. The vocals felt different here but still great in a different way. There’s some interesting things happening with the arrangement. The song is synth heavy with darker shades and I thought the sound design was top notch here.
“Bingo Halls” was definitely the most somber song. It sounded somewhere between Father John Misty and Radiohead. At the center of the song is steady strummed guitar and vocals. The other elements which come in and out are very well done.
This was a great EP from beginning to end. There’s just enough variety to keep you guessing and the songwriting and production was well done. Recommended.
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