Re-inventing Electronica: Northampton’s Home Body
Home Body is Seductively Fearless
A New Spin on Electronica
Nowadays, making stimulating music is too easy. All one needs is a computer program and the ability to count a measure of four beats. Electronica is often flashy but void of originality. Home Body, on the other hand, does not hide behind its electronic equipment. The band features only two members, Eric Hnatow (keys) and Haley Morgan (vocals) who both live in Northampton as a happy couple. Onstage, they wear matching futuristic white jump suits like astronauts ready to launch a musical journey that takes the audience on an adventure through time and space.
The duo is both subtle and piercing. High end melodies warble dreamily from the keyboard and sequencer behind which Eric stands. The melodies he plays are reminiscent of theme songs from old-fashioned video games, slightly cartoonish in their grand delivery, and yet not goofy. Their songs are playful without being silly, and unreal without being alienating. The listener finds himself drawn into some delicate and emotional mold over which Haley unveils her beautiful chants, which are often unabashedly childish and sweet.
The duo spare no energy while on stage. This is so much the case that they leave the stage to immerse themselves with the audience, dancing not just through it but with it, trailing their mic chords through dancing feet. They excite the crowd with this breed of fearless showmanship, which is not cocky but in unison with the intensity of their music, in unison with the audience’s dancing and revelry. It is clear that despite their talent they do not take their audience for granted, but instead both members of the duo embrace the crowd as part of the show, whether it be Eric dancing with you as he plays his keys or Haley locking eyes with you as she sings. This creative freedom leaves no space for boredom or stillness, is an electric eruption that pushes the crowd out of its funk.
Haley Morgan does an incredible job of enticing her audience. Her warm voice pulls heartstrings, her tone desperate for establishing an affectionate embrace as she sings “The Jungle”:
“Allow me to introduce myself. I am in love with all of you.”
And it is that line that, for me, illustrates the magic of their music: it creates the meeting grounds for people to interact in a way that is both primally pulsing and yet warmly seductive, sweet and sexual, non-perverse in its implied encouragement of togetherness. With swaying synth beats bedecking the background of their music and drums that always seem to be on their toes, their music demands more than a head nod that follows the general beat; the listener becomes a facet of the music, guided by its wild movement into a frenzy of dance. I recommend that anyone check Home Body out as they bring a raw and yet minimalistic energy to the stage that leaves the audience begging for more.
The group has just returned from a tour that took them down the East Coast, joined by Jeremy Dubs and his band Speak! They have released a 7″ inch record called Traps. It has one track on each side, and comes in a neat little package that includes the record sleeve, which was illustrated by Haley herself, as colorful and imaginative as their music. Enamored by anyone involved in the Northampton music scene, and possessing the passion to carry their act forward, they are sure to be a steadfast member of the scene, and to gain further popularity as they continue to spread their music. Check out their website: http://home-body.bandcamp.com where their first E.P. Fire Places is for sale, as well as their new 7” record.
–Ezra Prior is a Contributor to The Free George. Photo Courtesy of Home Body
The Free George is the online magazine and visitors’ guide of Upstate NY, covering things from Albany to Lake Placid, including Saratoga, the Lake George region and the Adirondacks. Check out our City Blogs section for our extended coverage areas as well.
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