This season’s slew of releases has marked a sizable swell of unexpected heavy-hitters, but Kodiak Empire seem to be making solid case for placement on all kinds of year-end lists with their latest single.
The band’s etheric new song is a bittersweet, semi-linear prog ballad of sorts – it’s hard to describe. The Brisbane quintet has always been fairly original, and it seems like they’re raising the bar for themselves yet again with the airy, shapeshifting “Animist.”
Check out the video below, directed by William France. The video, which may or may not represent existential dread as well as hope, is pretty class. It’s the song though, that will keep you coming back.
That little guitar filter thing just after 03:15 is just so pure. Kodiak Empire throw in a lot of dynamics across the entirety of “Animist” though, with flittering drum work, a supremely catchy chorus, and instrumentation favoring more keys and atmosphere rather than a more guitar centric delivery. It gets crunchy, yes, but never to the point of overwhelming that semi-reserved nature of the song.
The overall effect is quite heady, but also straight to the point. As “Animist” lurches into the more dramatic tones towards the end, it’s hard to find comparisons. Fellow Aussies sleepmakeswaves and Closure in Moscow come to mind in terms of winding, ponderous song-structure, but Kodiak Empire’s consistent originality and strong melodic focus just might have us comparing other bands to them soon enough, instead of the other way around.
This is the second song we’ve heard from the band’s imminent full-length The Great Acceleration, and here’s to hoping we get to hear the whole thing before the year’s end. From what we’ve listened to so far, it seems that Kodiak Empire have learned to swim in the deep end without getting lost in conceptual voids, a daunting task for many in the world of prog. If 2022 sees the release of the album, you heard it here first that it’s sure to end up on at least a few lists, and we mean that in the best way possible.
We’re not kidding when we say those year-end lists are filling out quick, with some publications even putting them out already – which is stupid. So we definitely hope this Kodiak Empire record hits the shelves soon, particularly the vinyl from Dunk Records. We’d love to get our filthy hands on that. You can pre-order it here on their Bandcamp, and if you’d like, you can pre-order us a coffee here because it’s cold as hell and you’re a nice person. Maybe. Anyway, coming up we’ve got good stuff from Upright Forms, Yowie, illustrious NY-producer legend Martin Bisi, and more. Thanks for reading!