Four sophomores at Boston University, each classically trained in their own right, make up corporeal, an Allston-based alternative experimental band who released their first EP echo chamber in late January. The band is looking to break their classical molds by learning new instruments and producing an upcoming shoegaze-inspired album.
Founding members Sam Dvorin, a composition major, and Nora Bergman, a music theory major both attend the College of Fine Arts at BU. They bonded over their shared love of Duster, a slowcore rock band, and quickly knew they wanted to make music together.
“I didn’t know anything about anything other than classical music,” Bergman said, recalling when Dvorin and her began writing together. A classically-trained flutist, she said she wants “to try to heal my relationship with music and make it fun again and learn how to play instead of study.”
Dvorin said he started taking piano lessons seriously when he knew he wanted to major in music. After experimenting with producing lo-fi albums, mostly to earn money, he chose composition as his major.
Together, Bergman and Dvorin co-wrote and co-produced the EP echo chamber over the past two years. The project is about 17 minutes long, with three dreampop, ambient-sounding tracks, ending with what the band simply calls “noise.” “echo chamber,” the final and title track, is loud and distorted, and stands out against the softcore intro. On the other end of the spectrum, Dvorin wrote the lyrics for the opening track “edge of the bed,” which he said didn’t sound good enough to be released until drummer Selena Zheng sang on the track.
“It’s not about the lyrics though,” Dvorin said. “They are important, but they’re just another instrument. The most important thing is just what’s being played, and the lyrics are just like one of those things.”
Both Zheng and Emma DeLaRosa played piano for years in childhood, and both are newer to the band and to their instruments; the latter picked up bass to join corporeal, while Zheng had never held down a rhythm section. When Bergman convinced Zheng to join as their drummer, “one of the first things we talked about was like, This is gonna be fun…Sam’s really good at making music about play instead of work.
“windows,” the second track on the EP, is currently their most-streamed song.
“I think the production is the best on that,” Bergman said. “We did a lot of fiddling with that one. And it’s like the most dream pop-y, which is more digestible to the public.”
The first three songs of the EP—“edge of the bed,” “windows,” and “play into it”—all are dream pop core, Bergman said. Each flows into each other, with hints of the next track at the end of the previous one. “echo chamber” and its noisy, fuzzy ending eventually fades into nothingness.
“It’s just a bunch of noise that sounds good, but like, not noise as in more ambient noise,” Zheng said on shoegaze. “All the pedals and all the fuzz has to go together in a certain way.”
The final track “echo chamber” represents a shift to their real pursuit of shoegaze. With Zheng and DeLaRosa fully integrated into corporeal as new members, they’re already working on new music for a full-length album, mostly with the final track’s shoegaze vibe.
“For a bunch of classically trained people, it ended up being very opposite vibes,” Bergman said.
The band’s first show is on March 26 in Allston with two shoegaze bands (follow them on IG for info). Since the release of echo chamber, Bergman, the “quasi-manager” said more shows are in the works for April. For Dvorin, producing the EP got them closer to his goal: to perform live.
“The EP, it will never change,” Dvorin said, “but when we play we’re getting better.
“I love just listening to us play.”
Corporeal on Instagram