You heard it first on Majestic Journal: Koda’s darkly personal debut mixtape will take you on a “feels” trip.
At Majestic Journal, our “Fresh Sounds” feature aims to showcase not just the latest tracks from our favorite up-and-coming artists, but the messages behind the music. In our latest feature, we’re premiering California based artist Koda’s debut mixtape, “Same As It Ever Was.
At one point in his life, the “Same As It Ever Was” had transformed into something different when he switched from living in a liberated household to an exceedingly religious one. Sudak began his musical career in an unconventional situation as the vocalist for a rock band with his parents, and later went on to launch his individual side-project, Koda.
“Same As It Ever Was” is the preamble to Koda becoming his own artist, diving into different sounds that interchange from post-rock and alternative to electronica. With tracks like “If I Had A Gun,” “Bury Me” and “Everyone I’ve Ever Loved Is Dying,” the 8-track project exudes an initial dark connotation merely from the titles that match the multiple eerie rhythms. Meanwhile, a few buoyant beats can also be heard in a couple of the tracks, keeping in line with the overarching theme of contrasts and disparity, inspired partially by the world at large.
“I feel like it's me screaming,” explains Koda. “It’s easier to scream now. The current climate isn't much different now, same as it ever was. But it feels like the frog is close to boiling. We’re all waking up to the world on fire — most likely too late, but we'll see.”
To celebrate the premiere of “Same As It Ever Was,” we have selected some of our favorite tracks from the musician’s debut, with an exclusive first listen here on Majestic Journal. Get ready to be put in all types of moods.
Everyone I’ve Ever Loved Is Dying:
Aiming to duplicate a feeling (self-explanatory from the title) rather than being just a song, Koda eliminates all of the vocals to take us on a jaunt of elaborate instrumentals for a full four minutes. The song starts out soft yet profound, with calming synths that mirror a feeling of empowerment and rebirth. A short silence and muffled voices transition into the ghostly, pulsating sounds that emerge at the end of the song to signify the track’s official “death.” By the end, we come to reckon that someone we loved from our own lives is probably dying too.
The lead single from the mixtape, “Tearglass” sees Koda returns to his rock roots and uses an assemblage of instruments to create an easygoing vibe. The arbitrary “woo”s and “lalala”s scattered along the tune also add a dreamy nu-gaze feel, and Koda’s higher pitched vocals position “Tearglass” as a distinct track among the others.
Koda translates a troublesome dating practice that is all too familiar in the 21st century into a relatable song in “Ghosting.” The particular track has a less experimental sound from the others, and resembles a mildly alternative love song with the fuzzy bass notes in the background. The tranquil melody throughout the song complements the tender message that Koda expresses: “At least we got each other / at least I have you.”
Written by Paulina Praphanchith
Edited by Jaclyn Siu