Although at first glance you might think that Kodacrome are an electronic band, they are in reality a two-piece production team. Based in Brooklyn, New York, they comprise Elissa LeCoque, who takes on vocals and arrangements, and Ryan Casey, who takes on synth and production duties. The pair both have a background in the visual arts, and pretty much every aspect of film making (including set building and screenwriting) and they take this into their music.
Known for their dark, textured, yet minimalist production, with layered vocal melodies, as well as their artistically inspired video output, Elissa and Ryan have been working together since 2009, when they met through touring their own solo projects, under the Belgian label, Marathon Of Dope. Their collaboration was initially cross-country, with Elissa in San Francisco, and Ryan in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Now with both based in Brooklyn they have released the studio albums ‘Perla’, ‘Aftermaths’, and the 2018 released double album, ‘Think Of The Children’, which was met with critical acclaim.
Following this, Kodacrome participated in artist residencies in Crete, as well as The Banff Centre, in Canada. Here they studied the expressive relationship between orchestral instruments, and analogue synths, leading them to arrange and record a chamber-based redux EP – ‘The Banff Sessions’, set for release on March 6. The record contains original compositions for piano, voice, strings, woodwind, horn, and – if that wasn’t enough – analogue synths. It was all recorded without the assistance of a click track, and using humans rather than machines, meant that the result was more raw and real. It was a serious change in direction for the previously synth heavy pair, but one which they found to be quite addictive, and that they will use in future releases.
Naturally, ‘Play Dead’, first track from ‘The Banff Sessions’, comes with a cracking music video, which sees Kodacrome at their artistic best – lots of chiaroscuro – playing with shadows and light, with objects like brushes and jars, miscellaneous art supplies, cups, and so on, all lending their beautiful shapes to the clip as the camera pans slowly across in time to the music. Suddenly we are in a potter’s studio, where hands work the clay, again, their shadows becoming art itself. Elissa’s gentle vocals are drift in and out, ethereally, sometimes synthetic, mostly authentic…always gorgeous.
Watch the video for ‘Play Dead’ below.