Having released an EP, Myrina, in 2013, and several singles in 2013 and 2014, Koda, also known as Jordan Sudak, continues to entrance us with his mixes and tracks. A South Carolina native, although originally born in California, Koda creates a fresh electronic sound with dark synths and intensely beautiful bass accompanied by his layered and haunting voice. While his earlier tracks seem to be more experimental, he seems to have found a slow, entrancing style of mixing. He’s perfected the ability to play with the listener’s emotions within the tracks themselves and hold our attention for a much longer time that we intended. For example, “Limnos,” from the Myrina EP, has an intro that takes about 1 minute and 50 seconds before the song picks up and there aren’t any words. Yet we listen, entranced by electronic sounds as they play softly over one another.
My personal favorite, though, is “Staying,” which was released as a single in 2014. And I can definitely dub it my favorite, since I played it on repeat for a good two weeks. While the track has the essence of Koda’s music, holding our attention with slow, haunting words that echo over the instruments, this track is a step above the rest. It’s a much quieter piece than his other tracks such as “The Take Down,” as seems to be the pattern with his more recently released singles like “Shattered.” “Staying” is a track that I find dark, lonely, and comforting at the same time.
The song is lyrically harrowing as well. I won’t try to impose my personal interpretation or try to understand what was going through Koda’s mind when he wrote it. However, I will argue that each verse of the track is incredibly beautiful and poetic. Take the last verse that leaves us almost with a question: “And I as future kings/ walk off the edge/ hold me by my name/ hold me till the end.” In this day and age, with the need for catchy tunes and easy lyrics, it is sometimes difficult to find true poetry within a song. However, there is no question that Koda knows how to create a painting with words and leave us breathless in the process. I’m more than excited to see what he comes up with next. This is an artist we should be watching.