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Raavi presents their ode to "no bodies" for Hardly Art Singles Series





Raavi presents their ode to "no bodies" for Hardly Art Singles Series

Interpolating from the artist’s own declaration of creative intention, Raavi’s “no bodies” is a song about the ontological insecurity not infrequently experienced by artist types who on the one hand seek self-actualization and authenticity by means of artistic expression and on the other seek some measure of ego-sustaining and career-sustaining public approbation and how these two goals can sometimes be antithetical to one another…

…or put into plain English it’s a song about “measuring one’s own worth” in cases where there's a little voice in your head saying things like “If I’m giving everything to this music career (or whatever), and I’m not succeeding, then where am I? And what even is success?” and where reaching the top of one figurative ladder leads back to the bottom rungs of another ladder…

…thus making it “incredibly difficult to recognize where you are on your own path” in the words of band frontperson and primary songwriter Raavi Sita who as a self-described queer desi may know a thing or two about what's it like not fitting into socially-imposed prefabricated categories…

…and granted you’re not gonna get all this from this lyrics which are more evocative than explicit and bully for that—although lines like “you hear what / they say bout me / off-kilter / the f#ck that mean?” put across an overall sense of lack-of-fit and thus insecurity not to mention the song’s title which playfully plays off from the anxiety of being “a nobody” crossed with denial of bodily autonomy routinely applied to The Other as in "no bodies for nobodies" or maybe I'm reading into it too much—but it’s the music of “no bodies” that puts across the theme most clearly to these ears…

…with the pleasingly off-kilter (whoops, sorry!) melodic hook and a song structure that moves from earthbound to ethereal and back with gritty guitar tones set against celestial harp-like harmonics, sustained crystalline syllables combined with vocal hiccups and pitch bends; reflective and musical repetitive verses set against sublime interludes soaring off into the stratosphere—and if this is what ontological insecurity sounds like then it's got its good points at least…

…and right about here it’s probably relevant to mention “no bodies” was produced and engineered by Justin Termotto and to also mention that Raavi’s rhythm section is comprised up of James Duncan (bass) and Jason Block (drums)…

…and finally also that “no bodies” is the latest chapter in the Hardly Art Singles Series of 2022 with the acclaimed Sub Pop sub-label (check out some of their many fantastic current signees) celebrating 15 years of existence with 15 singles curated/commissioned from some of the label’s favorite artists which should help to bolster anyone’s ontological security we hope. (Jason Lee)

Published: September 25, 2022 |

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