Breaking Artist: Bodies of Water

January 2, 2008 6:01 PM ET

Who: Bodies of Water, a Los Angeles quartet comprised of two men and two women who, after successful tours with The Go! Team and Breaking alum Holy Fuck, are looking to recruit you into their choir.

Sounds Like: The Arcade Fire as composed by Ennio Morricone. The band funnels roots rock, soaring gospel, the Mamas & the Papas-style harmonies and Spaghetti Western themes into an uplifting, California-baked package. Despite their foursome status, the band pack a Polyphonic Spree-sized wallop on their debut album Ears Will Pop & Eyes Will Blink, as singer-songwriter David Metcalf (along with his wife, Meredith) lead a battalion of blaring horns and strings.

Vital Stats:

• "When we first started, we were called Unicorn of Death," David Metcalf says, "It was funny for a little while, but any kind of funny band name gets tired really fast." Just ask the Test Icicles. "It took me a while to get out of the funny-band-names thing. I was in a band in high school called Hitler's Gay Son," Metcalf says. The band ultimately got its name after a weather broadcast during a heat wave recommended people gather near "bodies of water."

• Metcalf has a long history of odd day jobs, from working at a Boston Market ("I wasn't cutting meat fast enough, so they moved me to dishwasher. Dishwashing was awesome") to writing analogies for SAT tests to fact-checking Harry Potter trivia games ("I may be the world's only expert on Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets who did not actually read this book," Metcalf says in his detailed résumé on the band's Web site.)

• The band quickly learned about the perks of stardom when they accidentally were treated to Death Cab for Cutie's backstage rider during a San Francisco concert. "Usually, our rider is just a six-pack of Coors," Metcalf says, "but in San Francisco, it was amazing. There were fifty beers, a bottle of Maker's Mark, a fruit basket, a candy basket, a case of bottled water, towels, hummus and pita bread. We brought our friends from San Francisco backstage and they were all suitably impressed."

Hear It Now: Bodies of Water's Ears Will Pop & Eyes Will Blink is out now in stores and on iTunes. Above, check out the band performing their Morricone-tinged "Doves Circled the Sky" live.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

More Song Stories entries »