Time flies by when you’re having fun, and appears to fly by too when you’re writing for an online music journal. I just happened to check our archives and found it hard to believe that an entire year has passed since we last featured Hamilton, ON indie-rockers Basement Revolver, whose plan at that time for a 2020 tour was derailed by the presence of the Covid-19 outbreak. Having crafted both noisy and graceful shoegaze-esque tracks since their 2016 breakout hit, “Johnny,” the band could have simply accepted this setback and laid low for a while, but instead, saw an opportunity to return to the studio and work on material for their upcoming sophomore album.
While the world appeared to turn upside down around them, Basement Revolver found time to wrestle with more meaningful questions about identity, faith, mental illness, and sexuality. For Chrisy Hurn-Morrison (guitar/vocals), Nim Agalawatte (bass/keyboards), Jonathan Malstrom (guitars) and Levi Kertesz (drums), this unexpected change of plan allowed them to devote all of their energy to their next album, “Embody,” which is explicit about these new ideas and new thoughts, addressing them with a deeper sound and crisper production to express the complexity of the world. “The songs on Embody were pieces of me, and I need them to feel how those pieces of me feel,” offers Chrisy. “Each of us contributed extensively to the album’s production and we have given ourselves real permission as a band to explore our sound.”
Earlier this month, the band shared “Skin,” a self-aware slow burn of a track and first single from the new album. Desperate to feel like her body was okay or good enough, Chrisy found herself perched on the edge of a dock when the lyrics for this song began tumbling out, and signals the first time she has found the courage to write explicitly about the struggles she feels with her own body. “Make me feel small / Don’t want to know it all / The shape of my body / Eraser lines / Just marker of time / Darling, you stand by.” “This line is about the stretch marks that have developed as I have gained weight, how they grow and fade, darken and change,” she shares. “This song has helped me to love the parts of my body that have often been scrutinized in the mirror. Ahead of getting married, I felt terrified about the vulnerability that it would bring.”
It clearly took a lot of soul searching to face her internal demons and summon all of her courage to write “Skin,” so I can only imagine how difficult and nerve racking it must have been for Chrisy to allow the camera to focus solely on her as she literally sheds her clothing and bares all for the accompanying music video. “Making this video was one of the more terrifying things I have ever done,” she recalls. “I have been afraid of my body for so long, this thing that felt like an alien that I have been forced to inhabit.” “Feel you standing there / Try to grin and bear / Touch me with your stare / Make me get all loose / Forget I had to choose / To love myself today / I wanna feel at home / In my skin, in my skin.” “If you have ever struggled similarly, this is for you,” she adds. “May we learn to love ourselves together again.”