The Codas bring multi-layered sound to Kingston’s music scene

Frontman Braden Elliott discusses the artistic evolution of The Codas

Ads for The Codas can be seen around campus.
Supplied by The Codas

Kingston band The Codas have been creating a name for themselves with incredible originality since the release of their first single, “Anomaly,” in 2019. Their sound is difficult to describe, with traces of folk, R&B, jazz, and even funk layered into many of their tracks.

The band is comprised of four members who each bring their unique musical talent to the mix. In an interview with The Journal, lead vocalist and guitarist Braden Elliot talked about the band’s origins, creative process, and plans for the future.

“We actually got started through social media,” Elliott said. “I was living in New Zealand for a couple years, and I posted some videos of me playing guitar and singing. Angus, the drummer, reached out to me and said we [got to] get together and try some writing.”

After the singer returned to Kingston from New Zealand, he and Angus Fay met in Toronto and started collaborating on new material.

The name of the group has stuck out to spectators, and the meaning behind it only proves the band’s depth and thoughtfulness.

“In a piece of music, a coda is a passage that brings a piece to the end. If you’re going to a coda, you’re going to the extended piece,” Elliott said. “So, each individual in the band is capable and can play music by themselves, but when we’re together, it’s an expansion of our musical talent.”

Elliott credited this idea to Fay, who also has a heavy influence on the band’s song-writing process.

In terms of his musical influences, Elliott described three major inspirations on his own style: Tom Misch as a guitarist, Daniel Caesar as a songwriter, and Allen Stone as a vocalist.

"Tom Misch is one of my favourite guitar players, I really like how he blends jazz guitar into modern music," he said. “And I really like Daniel Caesar’s approach to song writing, it almost feels like spoken word.”

Finally, he described the vocal abilities of Stone, an R&B singer. “If I could have half his talent, I would be happy. Anything he puts out is gold.”

The Codas are eager to go on tour and create more music but for now, this plan has been stunted by COVID-19. However, they recently released a new single, “Stranger,” which further proves their range. The song is upbeat “rock and soul,” as labelled by the band, and differs from their previous EP which is comprised of slower acoustic songs.

Leading up to the release of “Stranger,” the band had an unconventional creative process. Elliott said the single was the culmination of a year of work.

“Angus has a loft in Kingston, and one day we were listening to a song that had a crazy key change in the chorus and we really wanted to try that,” he said. “We finally came up with lyrics for it months later.”

The process, he said, was start and stop. Elliott challenged the stereotype in music about artists sitting down and writing a song in an afternoon, recording it the next day, and having it ready for release within a week.

“It was a real Frankenstein tune at first, we didn't know which way to go with it. It’s not always easy to just sit down and write a song in minutes—sometimes you have to sit on it and come back to it with a fresh perspective.” 

In a final comment to The Journal, Elliott described the importance of maintaining authenticity when creating art.

“If you want to connect with people, you have to connect with yourself.”

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