The contemporary era has offered up a bit of a renaissance for eclectic musicians and their fans, and among its more interesting products to come out of the woodwork has been Kodacrome, a two-person experimental operation whose new record The Banff Sessions has been causing quite the stir, even before it official release date this coming March 5th. The Banff Sessions is comprised of only five songs, but each of its tracks is a journey to the center of cerebral artistry befitting of the audience this pair has attracted in the last few years. Short but elaborate, Kodacrome’s new record is a lovely addition to an already sterling discography of decadence and discord.
This album has a terrific production quality that provides us a picture-perfect look into the detailed tones that make up songs like “Tender Exit” and the icy “Catherine,” but I wouldn’t go as far as to say that any of the real magic here is generated by the mix itself. There’s too much emotion in the creative construct of “Oh, You Two” and “Play Dead” for that to be the case, and even in strikingly dexterous moments like those in “Solitary & Elect,” it’s obvious that Kodacrome aren’t shortcutting us on substance in The Banff Sessions at all.
The warmth of the instrumental fabric in “Play Dead” and “Oh, You Two” comes in great contrast to the cold bones of “Catherine,” “Solitary & Elect” and “Tender Exit,” but I think it’s important for this juxtaposition to be prominent in the record so as to keep the audience on the edge of their seats around every twist and turn in the tracklist. Diversity is everything in experimental music, and there’s no overstating just how much of a factor it plays in making The Banff Sessions the landmark release for Kodacrome that it undeniably is.
Though the lead vocal in “Catherine” is a stoic black and white, its lack of color is perhaps what makes the piano parts in the track pop as much as they do, and I think that it’s examples of simple surrealisms like this one that set aside this album from the competition more than anything else does. Whether intending to do as much or not, Kodacrome take the status quo to task in these songs, and wind up delivering a record that could prove deeply influential if it finds its way into steady rotation anywhere on the college radio spectrum this year.
Music enthusiasts who simply won’t accept anything but high caliber content in their daily playlists needn’t look any further for unstoppable charms than in Kodacrome’s The Banff Sessions this March, and it would surprise me a great deal if I was the only critic remarking as much. This act is getting more sophisticated with every release they share, and if the momentum they’ve got in the studio continues to grow at the same rate it has in the last half-decade, I think the 20s are going to be even more productive than the teens were for their brand.