Local outfit Joywave will release their newest effort, a seven-song EP/mini-album entitled Koda Vista in less than two weeks – on March 27th. The release is a personal one for the band, exploring how a single entity affected all of their lives in different ways. Koda Vista is a product of the Eastman Kodak Company, a ubiquitous corporate personality in their hometown of Rochester, NY. It’s not a direct influence, with the band penning songs about the now-bankrupt business’ failure to adapt to the digital age, but an indirect one – a realization that were it not for the one-time giant, the lives of each of the band members would be drastically different than it is now.
Like most of the individuals in the community where the band grew up, each of the band’s members can find intersections between their own family’s history and Eastman Kodak. Koda Vista tells its stories with Kodak ever present in the background. Like the town the company helped to build into a city, it also helped build families and friendships and futures. Trajectories both large and small have been altered by the rise and fall of the former financial behemoth. Kodak is woven into the fabric of countless lives.
And not unlike the smokestacks of Kodak Park that have become part of the band’s definition of home, Joywave’s music retains a sense of familiarity. It’s instantly accessible, regardless of the listeners’ starting point. Thematically, Koda Vista is about finding one’s way in the world – whether in love, or in the process of creating one’s own home and future – universal struggles for anyone.
But while the company that helped to define the skyline of the town the band calls home may soon become lost to history, there’s also a sense of renewal about the process, both within Rochester and within Koda Vista. The EP starts with “AM,” an instrumental symbolizing the start of a new day and ends with the reassurance that “there are no monsters here tonight” – an ultimate sense of peace and closure for individuals, households, a company, and a city.
The band released the second song from Koda Vista on Tuesday through yvynyl; “Anemone” is darker than the first taste, “True Grit,” but that doesn’t make it any less enthralling. (My girlfriend has mistaken the song’s opening for Yeasayer on two separate occasions.) Koda Vista is wholly entertaining, and I encourage everyone to get a copy for themselves; they’re available for pre-order through Joywave’s Bancamp in various packages ranging from a simply digital download, up to a $30 Executive Package which comes with credit for a share of Kodak stock.
And if you’re around Rochester, the band has a special show at the local Planetarium on Thursday, April 12th. Details for that show are available over here.
Joywave // Anemone [mp3] from the forthcoming Koda Vista