Shadows & the Wolf Below
An experience with psychedelics is not something one forgets. It may fade in and out, collapsing and compressing, but always just on the periphery of your vision it waits for any reason to rear and tear at the fabric of your mind. The music of Koda finds its purchase within the storied walls of this euphoria. Dark and deep, these passions melt throughout the folksy instrumentation of Koda’s varied musical expressions like a monster below an alpine lake. The tracks don’t lose their hypermodernity though, and the motes of dark, Shwarzwaldesque musicality are usually counterbalanced by symphonies of synth and drum machines.
Bijou Winters’s otherworldly vocals add grim charm to the third track [Chasm]. Dravidian influences also make their mark on the vocal lines here and elsewhere with pricks of dissonant, ethnic beauty. Dizzying synths and the vocalist’s delivery may seem like a Coldplay-indie-darling’s dream on the three archetypical songs [Reclaimer], [Generator] and [Exit] , but it comes across so reverently lit and electrifying! Coldplay on its best day wishes it had this much soul. Ambient qualities also hang heavily over this album, but downtempo and indie pop reach too deeply to really place this album in any real category.
Except, I’m going to put it in one myself: it’s Indie Pop, really it would be pop if pop would grow up. Watching this movement from many paces away, Indie Pop and those-not-willing-to-be-labeled musicians often intrigue me the most. Don’t be fooled, these brooding songs are fueled by love and her pitfalls. The music is dark, meaningful, at times very danceable, and above all: beautiful. And in this case, very sexy. South Carolina artist Koda finds quite a futuristicly Gothic voice on Shadows & the Wolf Below and I think we should all hope to see more from Koda in the near future.
This album is available for free download (donations appreciated) at the Fluorescent Records site. Enjoy!