Reviews

Basement Revolver


BASEMENT REVOLVER
SOPHOMORE ALBUM
EMBODY

Being brutally honest through lyrics is often what feels the safest to me.

 Ironically, it exposes all of my shit to the world.

Embody, my band Basement Revolver’s new sophomore album, is about my journey towards healing. It is about reconnecting this fleshy vessel that I occupy with my mind and my identity. It is about learning how to love this part of myself that I have zero control over.

Stream Embody, an album of friendship, of working out identity together, and making deeply personal art, wherever you get your music:

https://basement-revolver.fanlink.to/embody

Embody includes “Dissolve,” which was written about creating a life together with my husband, through the beautiful and the bitter.

It is about looking into my partner’s eyes and feeling fully known, falling more and more in love each and every day, even though it feels impossible to love someone more.

Growing up in the church and in purity culture caused many parts of myself to shut down, or to escape from my body.

While working on this album, I was dealing with an active eating disorder, trying to work through some pretty significant trauma, and grappling with how to come out to my community and family.

My hope is that Embody can be a companion for those going through similar experiences.

Thank you for taking the time to listen,

Chrisy Hurn-Morrison of Basement Revolver

Hamilton, ON indie/shoegaze group Basement Revolver are gearing up to release Embody, their forthcoming full-length album, on February 18th via Sonic Unyon Records.

Having previously shared the singles “Skin,” “Transatlantic” and “Tunnel Vision,” Basement Revolver return today with “Circles.” An expansive and highly melodic piece of dream pop that grapples with the aftermath of being raped, stream “Circles” via your preferred platform now. Watch the accompanying visuals on YouTube.

The track finds bandleader Chrisy Hurn-Morrison capturing the feeling of trying to do everything in your power to get better, but there is just that one thing that it always comes back to — knowing that it is a slow and long journey.

As much as it is about this heavy, shitty thing that happened, I feel resilient. I feel a little bit stronger every time I hear it — a little bit more like I can stop hiding parts of myself.

Written with her partner, “Circles” is a song of catharsis for Hurn-Morrison, with the hope that it helps listeners who are going through similar experiences.

Embody Tracklisting:

  1. Skin
  2. Be Okay
  3. Circles
  4. Slow
  5. Blackhole
  6. Storm
  7. Transatlantic
  8. Dissolve Tired
  9. Tunnel Vision
  10. Long Way

Eating disorders are – for lack of a better term – a mindfuck. Unfortunately, many aspects of pop culture confirm elements of EDs by focusing heavily on weight loss, fat phobia, and unrealistic beauty standards.

In 2020, the world stopped but Basement Revolver never really did: songs were written and recorded, a band member left, and another came to replace them. But, they couldn’t tour or rehearse or record in the usual way. The gap between making work, and being alone, resulted in serious introspection for the band. Their new album is full of the tension in a world that is shut down, but which expects productivity. This resulted in a deeper understanding of what kind of message the band wanted to present, and which stories they wanted to tell. 

Basement Revolver, the indie dreamgaze band from Hamilton, Ontario have been playing together for more than six years. Their co-leads Nimal Agalawatte and Chrisy Hurn-Morrison, have known each other for much longer. Their career started with a bang, being signed by the UK label, fear of missing out on the strength of their 2016 break-out single, “Johnny Pt 2.” They followed this up with three EPs in quick succession–an eponymous one in 2016, Agatha in 2017, and Wax and Digital in 2019. A full length, Heavy Eyes, was released later that same year. This punishing schedule of releases was supported by concerts throughout Southern Ontario, the US, the UK, and Germany. 

2020/1 was supposed to be the same–a new full length album, Embody, and touring dates to support it. The pandemic meant less touring, and different ways of being in the world. But, there was also reconsideration of who the band was. Nim talks about how they found themself in the midst of creating an album under these strange circumstances. They planned on making the album last year. They waited, and worked out what to do, eventually changing what they wrote. “The world was shifting around us – and there was some global trauma – with that, we decided we wanted to fully express ourselves. So far we had kind of held off sharing political views, but we were realizing that our silence was actually just violence. We realized that to be who we are fully and authentically, we needed to share our voice.” That voice includes making explicitly public identities that were previously private. 

That voice discloses stories about sexuality, mental health, and religious trauma, expressing, in the midst of this global moment of anxiety, the difficulties and joys of being fully-formed. Nim came out, Chrisy came out, but they came out against what Chrisy describes as homophobic and transphobic enviroments. One of these environments is the private Calvinist college Redeemer. The college has provided the origin of many Hamilton musicians of their generation, and this year Redeemer’s ideology has been made clear. Chrisy talks about these revelations caused “While we were in the studio, the CBC released an article about Redeemer University, and their homophobic and transphobic policies. I realized then and there, I had to come out. I had to share my experience with being bi.”

Coming out in the middle of pandemic means that embodiment has to take new forms, and this album is one of those ways forward. This record, with its complex sonic landscapes, sometimes lush and sometimes stark, is of a piece with their earlier work, but it’s deeper and more self-aware. Embody is the sound of freedom, especially in the midst of such pain, both locally and globally. Trading tracks virtually, rehearsing online, and the isolation of that means that the album is full of hopeful waiting—to tour, of course, but also to engage these new understandings in the physical world. 

Vocals/Guitar – Chrisy Hurn-Morrison
Guitar – Jonathan Malström
Bass/Synth – Nim Agalawatte
Drums – Levi Kertesz

With tour plans on hold throughout 2020, the foursome found time to wrestle with questions about identity, faith, mental illness, and sexuality. Basement Revolver’s forthcoming sophomore record, Embody, is explicit about these new ideas and new thoughts, addressing them with a deeper sound and crisper production to adroitly express the complexity of the world.

 Set for release in early 2022, Embody is an album of friendship, of working out identity together, and making deeply personal art. 

Basement Revolver – Tunnel Vision

Basement Revolver – Transatlantic

Basement Revolver – Skin

Basement Revolver links:
Band/Artist location – Hamilton, Ontario
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