The Los Angeles/Long Beach-based electronica/soul trio Bootleg Orchestra gets our hearts pumping with a smooth and sultry single entitled "Rock Your Body."
Known for using their music to highlight communal issues through an anti-imperialist and anti-fascist lens, Bootleg Orchestra not only leaves listeners in a reflective state but in a dazed daydream with their warm and tender instrumentation. Having shared stages with acts like Ruby Ibarra, Sylan Esso, Gallant, and many more, Bootleg Orchestra is finally ready to release its debut full-length album on August 27th, 2021.
Onto something more serene and chilling, Bootleg Orchestra recently released one of the more atmospheric and dreamy tunes we've heard this year with "Rock Your Body." As the lead vocalist serenades us with a passionate message, the rest of Bootleg Orchestra backs her up with the utmost graceful, sensual, and soulful sonics/instrumentation.
The opening of "Rock Your Body" is a dense and soulful r&b beat that sets the song's groovy tone alongside a hazy background synth, a plucky bassline, and the lead vocalist's smooth vocals. As she begins expanding on love like no other, Bootleg Orchestra later transitions into the hook where they greet us with a celestial and transcendent approach to modern r&b/jazz, especially through their tender organic instrumentation.
The last two minutes grant this beautiful tempo change that breaks the song down into a serene and chilling jazz/r&b soundscape, especially through Bootleg Orchestra's haunting electric guitar picking, the gentle background vocals, and their brilliant yet tender percussion. We're more than impressed with this dynamic and soulful ballad, especially as Bootleg Orchestra take their time to carefully transition from the first half into the last.
Feed your soul with Bootleg Orchestra's latest single, "Rock Your Body," now available on all digital streaming platforms.
Thank you for joining us at BuzzMusic Bootleg Orchestra, we genuinely adore the dynamic and soulful experience of your latest single, "Rock Your Body." What inspired the creation of this groovy and soothing piece?
This song was inspired by a break-up. At the beginning of the songwriting process, we only had vocals and lyrics of the chorus written on top of a soft synthesizer pad that predominantly had a dream-like and forlorn quality to it. Because break-ups can be overwhelmingly sad, we wanted to create a groove that also emulated the liberation and empowerment that often comes after a break-up. Adding the punchy bassline and energetic drums that you hear in the song took it in a different direction that was much easier to ride and play with. I would say that most of the songs in our upcoming album are relatively mid-tempo, and we were deliberate about making “Rock Your Body” the track of the album that sticks out for having a bit more pop elements.
Could you introduce us to your group members and how you divided the sonic creative process for "Rock Your Body? How did you go about creating your instrumentals and production?
Menchie is the executive producer of the album and bassist. Vanessa is the vocalist and trumpet player (which you hear in other songs throughout the album). Andrew is also the producer and guitarist of the band. I (Menchie) wrote and composed the foundation of “Rock Your Body” with just bass, drums, synth pad, and scratch vocals before bringing it to Andrew and Vanessa for their feedback and additions. In this process, Vanessa and I stayed in Cambria for a few days to track vocals, enlisting the help of our friend and frequent collaborator, Cato. There, Cato added backup vocals and coached Vanessa through the recording process, pulling out the performance that you hear now on “Rock Your Body”. Afterward, Andrew added his signature reverberated and emotive guitar sound as well as the outro that you hear now. The first outro that we had consisted of layers and loops of vocals that we recorded in Cambria, but it just wasn’t meshing well with the song. So, we started the outro from scratch when Andrew sent me the outro that you hear now and I ended up writing something to it but without the intention of including it in the album. It was really a writing session for me and my own healing, but it ended up staying in the song to add dynamic to both the sound and storyline of the song. Afterward, it was just a matter of embellishing and arranging the song. We enlisted the help of our friend Monz (of Ruby Ibarra & The Balikbayans) on keys and bassist/producer Neon Phoenix on bass, on top of adding more layers of vocals and adlibs.
Who wrote the passionate and sensual lyricism for "Rock Your Body?" How did you want the song's lyrics and scenes to make the listener feel?
I would like listeners to feel seen. I think most people have gone through the experience of parting ways with someone they love, and one of the hardest things to learn and practice as we grow older is setting boundaries with some people that you love to make room for things that you do deserve and help you reach a higher level of authenticity. I think the message here is that it’s okay to lose someone you love when you deserve greater love, and there is light and joy after a break-up. You hear that in the celebratory, energetic groove of the song and you see glimpses of joy as Sierra dances throughout the music video. In essence, this song is a reminder of all the less sad things of a break-up.
Should we expect to hear "Rock Your Body" on your forthcoming debut album? How will this album help listeners get to know your group better?
“Rock Your Body” is certainly on our album! Our album is a combination of political songs inspired by our experience organizing in the community and sad love songs inspired by our breakthrough experiences from break-ups. The common theme being that we are constantly healing - as individuals and as a society, and these songs echo the revolutionary optimism, revolutionary struggle, and personal healing that come from our lived experiences as millennials in this era of capitalism. It acknowledges that while we are pushing to create systemic change with our community, we also need to create change within ourselves by healing parts of ourselves that need to be healed in order to serve the movement for people’s liberation. As cultural workers, we want to create music that not only reflects the times, but also reflects the new culture that we’re trying to build and one that we deserve: A culture that is just, fair, and equitable as well as a culture that truly honors mental health.
What's next for you?
Our first full-length album, MAKIBAKA, comes out on August 27 on all streaming platforms. MAKIBAKA comes from a popular revolutionary chant in the Philippines “Makibaka, Huwag Matakot,” which means “dare to struggle, don’t be afraid.” Hopefully, we’ll be able to play shows in the months following our album release and we’ll definitely release some singles that didn’t quite make it on the album. So, stay tuned!