Premiere: The Dark Seduction of Koda’s “Curse”

Koda © Jack McKain
Koda’s “Curse” is a dark and mesmerizing distillation of trapped emotion, fueled by raw melodies and intense imagery.

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Like shadows lurking in the distance, Koda’s new song sends shivers down the spine. Haunting and vulnerable, “Curse” comes from the very depths of the soul, a stirring outpouring of feeling that sends listeners into a brooding reverie.

Freedom is a curse
that I don’t want to break

I’m trapped inside a room
where everything is faded

It’s tied to all I’m worth
like every conversation

And love is for the birds
when things are complicated
Listen: “Curse” – Koda


Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Curse,” the lead single off Koda’s forthcoming debut album, i hope this makes us better. The musical project of artist/producer Jordan Sudak, Koda’s music is a blend of folk and electronic warmth, highly influenced by the likes of Sigur Rós and Radiohead yet distinct as a world unto itself. “Curse” is a dark and mesmerizing distillation of trapped emotion, fueled by raw melodies and intense imagery that captures everything that makes Koda an artist to watch this coming year.

curse - Koda

curse – Koda

Somber as a ghost
I just want a home

Everyone is so far gone
We are all alone
Go to park the car
I just cannot take it
I’m blinded by the lies
(Why’d it have to be complicated;
why do we make each other crazy)

Of all the lonely fakers

“Curse” starts out as an ominously soft lullabye: “Freedom is a curse that I don’t want to break,” sings Koda. “I’m trapped inside a room where everything is faded.” We are immediately drawn to the artist like flies to a light, his emotive whisper dripping with mystery and allure.

Koda © Jack McKain

Koda © Jack McKain

“I wrote ‘Curse’ steeped in depression and the guilt that comes with that – which is rare,” Koda shares. “There’s a myth of the tortured artist that is complete BS; I can never write or do anything in low periods, much less anything good. So ‘Curse’ was an oddity for me – I think it helped pull me out of this toxic non-romantic relationship I was in at the time, where I ceded all control of myself and lost confidence in myself. It didn’t liberate me, but it was the start of crumbling those walls.”

Indeed, “Curse” isn’t about tasting freedom itself; it’s about gathering the courage to climb out of the well. Koda is fully engulfed in a dark moment, choking on air as he desperately looks for that next breath. Similar to the likes of NoMBeBRÅVES, and Thomston, Koda’s energy comes from the combined impact of potential and kinetic energies: His subtle textures build huge amounts of tension that beg for sweet release, but he only rewards us when the moment is right; otherwise, he holds onto that tension, letting it simmer and rage in anxious anticipation.

Somber as a ghost
I just want a home
Everyone is so far gone
We are all alone
Somber as a ghost
I just want a home
Everyone is so far gone
We are all alone

Initially Sudak’s side project, Koda has already amassed over 20 million streams thanks to a sound that is as haunting as it is intimate and overwhelmingly powerful. The latest in his repertoire is by far one of his best, unleashing a wild darkness that is at once raw, yet incredibly polished – beautiful, poignant, and utterly transfixing.

You can catch Koda in New York City on Monday, 11/7 at Rockwood Music Hall (tix here) and in Chicago on Friday, 11/10 at Metro (tix here). Embrace the indie world’s latest sensation, exclusively on Atwood Magazine.

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curse - Koda

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photo © Jack McKain

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Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com

  • James Fitzgerald Montfleury

    Dark, ethereal, atmospheric, you don’t listen, you float…