Album Review: Kodah – The Apocalypse

Kodah (real name Dakoyta) is an alternative rock artist who has just released her debut album The Apocalypse. After years of writing and recording music, this is her first collection of tracks, part autobiography, part therapy it acts as an insight into a unique mind.

By Graeme Smith

The album starts with the low-key, bluesy The Strangers. In it, Dakoyta’s vocals are almost whispered, which makes the listener lean-in and really pay attention. The instrumentals are kept simple and there’s an effectiveness to its simplicity. It really draws you in.

And the formula is maintained in track two When I’m A Ghost, which showcases Dakoyta’s poetic lyrics. It’s clear she’s battled some demons over the years and it gives her melancholic storytelling a heavy sense of authenticity.

Track three Haunted moves more into a rock and roll direction. Instrumentally things are still simple but the energy levels are taken up a notch with psychedelic electric guitar and a darkly Gothic vibe. Things are pushed further towards rock, with an undercurrent of funk, in title track The Apocalypse.

There’s a theme of the occult, the unexplained and the altogether weird in Dakoyta’s music, used as metaphor to explore the otherwise everyday and mundane. When I’m A Ghost and Haunted use the afterlife while tracks five and six I Want To Believe and Space Invaders use the extra-terrestrial. They also take things in a suitably experimental electronic direction musically.

This experimental feel is maintained through the second half of the album – the bass-led and disconnected Vacancy Sign, the apathetic, escapist Shit For Brains and the pared-back ’80s power ballad Heavy As The Moon.

Closing the album is Let It Go. As the title suggests, it’s a cathartic experience. Upbeat in comparison to a lot of what has come before, Dakoyta pours her soul out lyrically. Sonically, there’s a subtle complexity that feels rich compared to the rest of the album’s simplicity. It’s a real joy and it’s clear Dakoyta saved the best for last.

Kodah is not an act that’s going to find an universal audience through her far-from-mainstream sound but the brave and patient listener will find The Apocalypse to be an absolute gem. Dakoyta cites Modest Mouse, The White Stripes and The Doors among her influences and I think fans of any of those acts will find something to love in her sound, even if the parallels are not always immediately obvious.

What really sells the album, though, is not the music but the confessional lyrics, which imbue the album with a strong, relatable sense of authenticity.

You can hear The Apocalypse below.