A gorgeous and empowering new single from Host Bodies features Containher and this team up is unstoppable as the song swells and sways in an ethereal and dream like tonality that whisks you away to another place all together and takes on the form of a cinematic soundscape with a massive vastness that leaves you in awe.
"Refuge" is absolutely lush with textures and vibes that all have a way of sinking in and swimming around in your head.
This is the type of song that ends up making you think. It makes memories float around your brain, and it all has such an impactful but laid-back style that it's absolutely perfect in a way.
The music is building and emotionally driven with cello and string sections, a bassline that makes the song work, and vocals that are passionate and that put out melodies that are incredibly memorable.
The release is packed with heart and a wild and beautiful array of instrumentation along with a great message.
We all matter. We are all memories for someone else and that's endlessly important.
The song is intense and has parts that make the hairs on your arms stand up straight.
With the release of such a fantastic single, we wanted to touch base with Host Bodies and Containher to find out where this all came from and what may be next for them.
Here's what happened.
RAG: Okay so let's start with "Refuge". This single has a great cinematic feeling to it and touches on classic tones! Where did this track come from?
I met Host Bodies after performing together on the same lineup in SF. James later reached out to me with a track he'd stowed away for years. The rough instrumental had a really chunky beat and a gossamer sheen at the same time. It felt emotionally deep in a soulful way and immediately spoke to me. Also, James had sent me a short excerpt of a story he had written about an elder wandering the halls of a grand library with only books and memories for company. So that's how I crafted the melody and lyrics. I jumped into that pool of story and feeling and swam the lyrics through the melody into this graceful, bittersweet, song. Also, right along with finding the vocal melody, I heard this cello part that I felt would add to underlining this meaning of life feeling. Nick was woven through the process on the high detailed production and bass guitar end. Working together on details in the premix was so much fun, and we all agreed that we had a special one on our hands..so we then handed over our best to Count (Eldridge) to mix and master the song (he's known for working with legendary trip hop artists DJ Shadow and Thievery Corporation).
Host Bodies: “Refuge Amongst The Books” was one of our favorite demos for many years, sitting on our shared dropbox, waiting for another push of inspiration. We always wanted to do something else with it, and thought its moody chord progression and central melody would compliment vocals really well. The close knit and vibrant electronic music community in San Francisco connected us with April, and we realized our tastes aligned perfectly. We loved the initial instincts and ideas she brought to the track and it evolved naturally from there.
RAG: I'm hearing some great styles on this release. Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
Containher: Instinctively, I knew I was writing a song in the same lineage of Massive Attack. Something about trip hop feels very intimate, very real, a bit raw and elegant too, I carried that attitude into the song. Massive Attack are supreme artists in my book. I also definitely loved the vocalists of that era. So many were so gracefully experimental in their exploration of vocal emotion over execution.
Host Bodies: Bonobo remains at the top of our list of influences because of his consistent ability to craft tasteful music that blends electronic and acoustic elements, as well as dance and downtempo styles. Other early influences include: Daft Punk, Tycho, Gorillas, Radiohead, Four Tet, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Shigeto, Christopher Willits, DJ Koze, Jon Hopkins, Moderat, and Emancipator. RAG: So how did this all begin for you really? When did you fall in love with making music?
Containher: Music has always been there for me, right out of the gate. Music is where I swim and find my answers. It's my greatest joy, my "videogame", and my flow state. I'm one of those non-encouraged, self taught, who then reached out for extra knowledge after finding it naturally. Host Bodies: We grew up together in Boulder, CO and loved to jam in the garage as kids. During high school James was drawn into rap/hip-hop culture and Nick was diving into learning guitar, playing lots of blues and rock. We both taught ourselves to use computer based music software at a young age. As college roommates we continued to experiment and get more serious about composing electronic music, and the exciting magic that comes from blending real instruments with machines. The special overlap of these influences and genres continues to make Host Bodies unique and exciting to us. RAG: What's next for you as a band?
Containher: I'm always down to collaborate with Host Bodies. James and Nick care deeply about music and I feel like we amplify each other's artistry in the sounds and stories we're unveiling. It's always fun and inspiring, and I can't wait til we release another song that we're working on together. I'm also working with other artists these days that are interested in exploring improvisational flow with me. I have a long list of tracks and collaborations I have yet to release that I will wrap up and share soon, always bending genres. Host Bodies: More singles and collaborations coming up in 2022/2023. We are looking for partners for a West Coast Tour. We have a NFT drop in the works. Also a huge number of inspiring demos in the pipeline...both dance music and downtempo tracks. RAG: What inspires you to write a song?
Containher: For me, music is sonic emotion and melody is the most important part of a song, a message that gets under the skin and beyond the words, so that always takes priority. I feel like music speaks more than words can and is a natural expression in humanity, so we should let the music speak first and craft the words to support what music wants to say, and in some cases leave words out entirely. So what inspires a song? - Tuning in to the inner feeling and taking it from there. Melody arrives and words are crafted to support. It can start with a theme or the theme is found later, but that's the process for me. Host Bodies: For us it always starts by having fun with sound, trying to chase a feeling or color that we haven’t painted with before. But more deeply we feel that music can be a vehicle to travel somewhere you want to go. It can be a source of celebration and healing. The important part is showing up and honing the craft so that the universe can speak through us. RAG: What are you all doing when you're NOT working on music?
Containher: I'm figuring out how I can help the planet using my creativity, and also getting deep into a lucid dreaming practice, growing and glowing with good friends, getting healthier, and carving the time to learn more, practice more, and do more in a sustainable way. Host Bodies: Nick Hess is a graphic and motion designer. James (Swoop) is an ecological designer/builder and writer. 2022 has been full of travel for both of us: trips to Europe, the Utah desert, the Sierras. RAG: Who are you all listening to right now?
Containher: I have an incredibly long playlist because I like to mix it up across eras and genres. The best concert I've been to recently was Beach House playing their new album "Once Twice Melody" at the Greek in Berkeley, and the best recent intimate show was Kenneth Whalum at the Black Cat in SF. Some of my favorites the past few years include: Susanne Sundfor, Moullinex, Blood Orange, Duke Dumont, Stevie Wonder, and a small obsession with the 1989 live performances of Bobby Brown. Host Bodies: The Smile, Andrew Rothschild, Bicep, Robert Glasper, Lutrell. Tor. The new Kendrick album. The new Bonobo album. Great music coming out of Australia right now like Parcels and Pond. RAG: Are you doing live performances?
Containher: Yes, I love performing live and I like to mix up. Next up, an ecstatic dance(August), and later in the year I'll be playing a grand piano set with my friend QJin on her acoustic Guzheng, and that will be purely improvisational flow in our new duo Erth Angel. Follow my instagram to know where I'll be.@containhermusic Host Bodies: Abso-fucking-lutely! We are open to play shows anywhere anytime. Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for booking. RAG: This single seems like a big undertaking. What kind of advice might you have for other up and coming bands out there?
Containher: Inspiration is motivating and will give you the fire you need to take on big undertakings. Creatives need it right along with food...and if you want to follow through in making good music, follow the inspiration. One tip is don't dismiss music from the past or from other cultures, there are lots of treasures to be found there that will inspire you to take your music forward in more dynamic ways that are true to your inner voice. Forget about the algorithms, make real music. The digital age seems like a crowded place, but it's interesting to ponder what will make it beyond your lifetime. Who is a Van Gogh right now? It may be you. Just do your best to make your best, and share, and don't be so precious because your song might really be the one that makes a difference! I need to take that advice myself. Host Bodies: To be perfectly honest, in today’s industry, it’s everything outside of the music itself that can be most challenging. Learning how to build a great brand and visual aesthetic is very important. The marketing and promotional side to getting your music heard is crucial as well, especially when algorithms are deciding what hits eardrums these days. Setting realistic expectations and deciding what success means to you. At the end of the day, if it makes you feel good and you get to share that with other people who connect with it, that’s a great place to be. RAG: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of the music?
Containher: A single song can sometimes really move a person, or really help a person, or give a whole generation a new perspective, and knowing that is super powerful. So I'm thankful for the fans that have reached out about how my musical offerings really mattered to them. I'd like to say thank you to my listeners and supporters. They are rare and wonderful, and they mean the world to me. Host Bodies: We've been blown away by the support we've received from our communities in the Bay Area and Colorado. Host Bodies was never an attempt at a particular sound; it has always been an experiment, an ongoing discovery of new emotions, new energy, and new ways of expressing the beauty we find in cities and the wild. We hope this music finds its place in people's lives both at the venues and in daily life: bike rides, hikes, focused work, exercise, art, straight chillin :)
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