(Jensen) California singer, songwriter and producer James Bishop announced today the release of "Wrecking My Body," the profoundly cathartic second single from his upcoming debut album, BODYBOUND. At once mesmerizing and unsettling, the song traces Bishop's extended immersion in nature and escape from himself - a fluttering, fever-dream song line of remembered solitude still carried within.
Resonating through Bishop's distinctive, tremulous timbre, "Wrecking My Body" shares his internal dialogue during five months of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail - a winding, often desolate 2,650-mile thread through the mountains of America's West Coast. Alone amidst wild sounds and sensations, Bishop experiences an epiphanous and eventually liberating connection with his surroundings - getting in touch with nature to get in touch with himself.
"I heard a choir in the creek, Head Deep in the holy water, Dismembered on my lonely altar," he recalls on "Wrecking My Body," almost singing the geography. "I've been stuck in my head, And it keeps wrecking my body."
Equally soothing and cacophonous, flitting between organic and electronic, earthy and otherworldly, "Wrecking My Body" meanders like a train of thought. Melding iPhone recordings captured on the trail with studio expressions to create something at once claustrophobic and panoramic, the song captures the internal/external experience of solitude in vast natural surrounds. Creeping into the consciousness like a lurking mood, it hangs on distant pulses and floating keys punctuated with stabs of percussion and textured bass beneath Bishop's whispered confessions.
"I wrote 'Wrecking My Body' when I was at my lowest," he explained. "I was lonely, anxious, depressed, doom scrolling, existentially nauseated, and desperate to reconnect to my own humanity."
Shunning traditional song structure and as adventurous as the experience that spawned it, "Wrecking My Body" traverses giddily processed countermelodies, pseudo-steel drum backdrops, and Bishop's breathy delivery. Challenging and never pandering, its musical and lyrical intrigue demands repeat listens to peel back myriad layers, only for more to be revealed.
"Wrecking My Body" explores a transcending of mental and physical boundaries, a theme that pervades BODYBOUND. By example, Bishop urges a questioning of thought habits and patterns towards a more conscious and complete existence; an elevated relationship with both the world around us and ourselves. Intersecting the spiritual and visceral, it's a universally relatable, ultimately optimistic note to self and call to action that concludes, "Everything screams 'live'."
"I've entertained nihilism, but I guess that I'm ultimately hopeful, because these songs wouldn't exist otherwise," mulled Bishop. "I'm reaching for a wholeness that I still believe in."
BODYBOUND is a unique stitching together of field recordings and five years of fastidious, perfectionist production by Bishop, a prolific composer for film and TV whose music has long been inspired by nature. Juxtaposing the sounds of upland terrain and desert trash with sublime studio technique, the album blurs the lines between us and our contexts to arresting effect. Executive produced by KZZ Music, the production company co-founded by Kirk Pasich, Zackary Darling, and Zachary Ross, the album officially drops on June 16, 2023.
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