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An Interview With Kodiak Island

Updated: Oct 9

The latest single release from Kodiak Island brings out a lush and colorful soundscape that touches on a rustic undertone with lush and natural instrumentation along with percussion that lets the song breathe and feel alive and vocals that float along with the songs vibe and atmosphere which all together, keeps you washed away with the soundscape.

"Drawing A Line" comes through with such particular energy and character that keeps you listening and has a way of wrapping itself around you and keeping you right where it wants to.

There's also something so positive and freeing about the song that makes it really just feel good to listen to.

I think one of my favorite aspects about this track is the instrumentation in general because there are wind instruments, guitars, wonderfully performed percussion and drumming, and this is part of what delivers that almost fantastical tonality.

This song shines with presence and really showcases the artist's ability to release music with much fewer boundaries than you may be used to which in turn is also part of what gives it that freeing feeling.

There's such an openness and vastness about this track that it feels like floating face up in a lake staring at the clouds and thinking about your life.

It's sort of peaceful but also has this great gypsy undertone to it and the guitar work across this record is really cool because of these actual guitar hooks which is something that I haven't heard in a little bit.

These days there are more vocal hooks than musical hooks but it's really refreshing to hear a great guitar hook on a song that is such a full-bodied and bountiful indie acoustic pop song that touches on elements of folk and so much more along the way.

Upon diving into this track, I got a bit hooked and decided to do a little deeper digging on Kodiak Island and what I found was a spectacular catalog of music with releases starting in 2015 on Spotify.

This was great because there are so many different approaches and so many songs have their own persona to them that you start to get the understanding of how this artist actually does her thing.

There are very few walls up when she decides to create a song or maybe even during the process of creating the song itself and that one aspect is very consistent but allows her to be free with her songwriting.

There's absolutely nothing that is standard or cookie cutter if you will, about the way that she approaches her songs.

This is a perfect example of a songwriter that is able to create a character and Persona with each different release and doesn't focus on one particular genre or certain particular instruments per se.

I have a feeling that this is where music is going or should be going because when art and any form has little to no boundaries or walls, it's the best art it can be and Kodiak Island is a perfect example of this.

There's a ton to listen to and the back catalog and I would suggest starting with this single and working way backward because another release that came out this year called "Strange Skies" is also outstanding.

Either way, this is the type of project that you keep an eye on because I have a feeling there's going to be more released before the year's end. Or at least I hope so.

With the release of such a beautiful single, we wanted to have a sit-down with Kodiak Island to find out where this actually came from and what might be coming up next for the project.

Here's what happened.

Buzz Slayers: Okay, let's start with "Drawing A Line"! This track had a fresh and breezy feel to it that was genuine and colorful! How did this release come about?

Thanks! We started to work on some new ideas a few months ago and this was one of them. I started to play the main verse riff in a rehearsal and the rest of the band joined in – it just worked straight away. This is the first Kodiak Island song I have written the lyrics to. We have recorded three new tracks over the summer, this one was released at the end of September, the next one, ‘Innocence’ we have literally just finished – it’s due out on 3 November.

Buzz Slayers: How did this all start for you as an artist?

I’ve been in bands since I was 14 – it’s a long story! Everyone in Kodiak Island has been in bands before, this is now a wonderful meeting point for us all. We just click musically and even though we don’t get together as often as we’d like – when we do, it’s always magik.

Buzz Slayers: What kind of things really inspire songs for you?

Listening to other music we love...thin air...drinking tea...getting together and just playing...divine inspiration! Buzz Slayers: This release has some great approaches to it! Can you give us some of your biggest influences musically?

Jo - We all have different influences – I think that’s why when we get together we make such a unique sound.

Jo - New Order, Nick Drake, REM, Underworld, Velvet Underground, Phoebe Bridgers, Lloyd Cole, Van Morrison, John Coletrane.

Richard - guitar influences - Larry Carlton and Malcolm Young. - Flute influences - Ron Burgundy.

Mathew - I'm still listening to K/DA, faux k-pop created by a video game company.

And kefmania, an Amega nerd software demo

And 'unreal superhero 3 key generation' music. It's music from pirate software used to generate free keys to steal games. Someone speculated the illegal tool played this compelling music, so the user kept it open to listen while the program installed viruses and spyware.

They are mostly very old pieces of nerd music. I'm also a big fan of Matt Furniss who's been making video game music forever.

Gareth - Drumming influences, Billy Cobham, Terry Ollis and Moe Tucker

Mike - Bass influences Mike Mills of REM, Mark Bedford of Madness and James Jamerson

Buzz Slayers: What are you doing when you're NOT working on music?

Thinking about music, writing about music. Riding motorbikes, digging allotments, wild camping.

Buzz Slayers: Who's in your headphones right now?

Jo – Bibio and Haim

Richard - was listening to a mix of 70s stuff yesterday - today I have mostly been listening to king gizzard and the lizard wizard

Mike - Currently listening to Rilo Kiley and Gomez (But not the Clash)

Gareth - Listening to some blank banshee now , some terrible jazz courtesy of Afrodeutshe on 6.... thinking of spinning some of my own choons. I like Joaquin Cornejo too. Percussion and dub. Gotta go down the pub soon to meet a friend though.

Buzz Slayers: Are you doing any live performances right now?

We don’t play live very often; we try to play slightly unusual places. There’s a cool bar near where we live, called The Cabin we play every so often. We also organise parties we play at. The next gig we have coming up is another local one at a great place called The Login Lounge in Camberley. It’s on 4 November, it’s free to attend but you have to register – here: We’re really looking forward to it and are getting two different sets ready to play!

Buzz Slayers: Do you record these at a big studio or do you have a home studio set-up?

Richard is the guitarist; he also plays the flute and sometimes synth...he has converted his garage at his house into a fab studio. We tend to record most of the music in our own homes and send Richard the wavs...he weaves his magic, and it all sounds awesome! Sometimes we also record at his place.

Buzz Slayers: What can your fans expect from you in the near future?

More music and playing live as often as we can.

Buzz Slayers: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of the music?

Thank you for listening – tell your friends!




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