For a group that calls Virginia’s hardcore scene their origin, and “powerful trans thinkers [and] soldiers of techno” their family, True Body don’t seem like the types to shy away from ambitious messaging.
That much can be gathered from the title of the Richmond five-piece’s long-awaited debut, Heavenly Rhythms for the Uninitiated. With half a decade of work behind the album, and the apparent sense of how a bombastic title can backfire, True Body back it up with ten wide-eyed, fence-swinging songs that divinely balance post-punk tradition with anthemic ambition.
“The record initially came from a place of emulation,” vocalist Isabel Moreno-Riaño shares. “We wanted to be a part of the rich musical history we’d been so captivated by all of our lives. As we worked, we noticed our focus unintentionally shifting from admiration to understanding.”
Album opener “Spirit City” swaggers with a nocturnal cool until it revs into a heartland rock-indebted chorus that practically charges into “Holy Child,” which similarly builds until Moreno-Riaño is suddenly threatening to overtake cinematic horn blasts with her rasping howls. Folding in Dais Records’ grip on darkwave (“First Thing”), stomping glam rock (the aptly titled “Glitter”), and a brooding pop accessibility that’s been missing between this post-punk revival and its previous one (“Television”), True Body’s biggest feat is not how seamlessly they integrate influences, but how they never come off as emulators of any one scene.
“Genre is unimportant to us,” Moreno-Riaño adds. “We pull from any sound experience we’ve encountered that is relevant to the signal we are attempting to broadcast. True Body began as a project, attempting to build a career around channeling the works of other artists that we held dear. Now it has harmonized itself with our lives and transformed into a language. It is no longer a ‘project,’ but rather the way that we speak to the world around us.”
Heavenly Rhythms For The Uninitiated is out on April 3rd on Funeral Party Records, but check out the advance stream of the record below. Pre-order a copy here.