First Watch: Kalbells, 'Bodyriders' | WVIA

First Watch: Kalbells, 'Bodyriders'

Last Updated by Bob Boilen on

There's comfort and mystery in "Bodyriders," the newest song from Kalbells, the solo project of Rubblebucket singer and saxophonist Kalmia Traver. While the electronics are soothing, its timpani adds tension over the top, as Kalmia sings these curious words: "I woke up tired, couldn't find you, couldn't tell you how my body won't flow." But then we see singer Kalmia Traver in a see-through space filled with roses and crystal chandeliers singing "and is it something reasonable to ask you for a ride in your body tonight," and the song felt comfy and sweet.

She tells me that "this song is about knowing somebody so well that your minds meld into one, your trust is so deep that your bodies become interchangeable, and your joys & sorrows exist on a free-flowing circuit that stops time." It's a beautiful sentiment from someone who has seen the darker side of life, fighting and winning a battle with ovarian cancer.

Ten Flowers, the album debut for Kalbells, is a new favorite of mine with its endearing, honest and playful lyrics.

The video for "Bodyriders" was put together with old friends, Yuan Liu and Russell Lee Cramer. "Brainstorming with that duo is an expansive experience, filled with yes's and laughter, plucking references out of vast film history, the beauty of the world around us, and sometimes even thin air."

Director Russell Cramer told me that he listened to the album after Yuan Liu had passed it along and this song "Bodyriders" resonated. "I immediately responded to 'Bodyriders' in a very visual way. Yuan later told me that was the song she kept going back to the most as well." The result is a riddle rapped in opulence and a lovely marriage of image and song.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit

listenlive_fulllength.jpg cove_spacer.png
Now Playing on WVIA-FM



New Zealand's Prime Minister To Take A Baby Break

Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand's youngest prime minister in 150 years, will become only the second female leader to...

Government Shutdown Still Possible As Short-Term Funding Passes House

The House has passed a short-term spending bill, but a government shutdown is still possible as Democrats appear...

USA Gymnastics Severs Ties To Karoyli Ranch Where Olympians Say They Were Abused

Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles, who is competing in the 2020 Tokyo games, said on Monday it would break her...

healthybites_sidebar2.png reserve3.png