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Cody | Distance Learning (Shinkansen)
Previously decamped in Oxford, the quartet of Cody are now individually based in Oxford, Weston-Super-Mare, Newcastle and Northern Italy. Geographically-dispersed but still very much as one, the band haven't even stepped foot into the same studio as each other for two years and, because of this, the whole album was stitched-together via exchanges of electronic mail, at a keystroke. Self-described as a "chrome-filigree analogue-click heart-swelling art-pop" outfit, Cody quietly and quite convincingly blend acoustic and electronic instrumentation in a moving, charmingly-naïve way. The folktronica tag would hang heavily here, this is just really good, enriching music with a warm, soft centre as is expected on a label which emerged from the ashes of Sarah Records. Completely downcast in mood and yet strangely funky as well, these are space-ace post-rock, cut 'n' paste pop songs, forced into the daylight while numerous experimental ideas try to push their own way out of the misty background. A strange, tough to pinpoint, musical concoction mixing Belle and Sebastian, Broadcast, FourTet, Hood and even the Pet Shop Boys, Cody provide tunes that cling to the brain and hang heavily on the heart. A record that will nag you long after the music ends; there are currently few finer ways to gain further education than via this syllabus of 'Distance Learning'. A veritable honours degree worth of enriching songs are etched into these grooves.

Ian Fletcher
CWAS #11 - Autumn 2002