Desi was singing in the shower. Cody liked it. Desi & Cody was born.
With the release of their self-titled debut record, Desi and Cody have triumphed over all the odds that made releasing the record seem nigh impossible. It took years of overcoming grief, making wedding plans, difficult analog equipment, bad timing, and other responsibilities to see the record through. It’s been a long road, but they’ve made it to the worldwide release of the album and a west coast tour to support it.
Part of why the album took so long to see the light of day was Desi and Cody’s devoted interest in making it a fantastic record. The perfectionism in laced throughout the production.
From the opening track of I’m Glad You Noticed Me to the closing Everyone’s On Our Side, the ethereal harmonies and lyrics sweep the listener off into a summer place that can also be freezing at night. Cody’s plaintive lyrics mixed with Desi’s lonesome Billie Holiday-styled vocals make for a potent pair indeed.
The musical landscape at the moment is a fairly dark place. Records made with intelligence typically have an abrasive sound that’s hard to swallow for regular listening. Records with an appealing sound typically have no intelligence behind the songs whatsoever. There’s a modern concept that says that when one wants lyrics with any more insight than “let’s party” you’ve got to listen to jagged croaking folksters. If you want to listen to anything well produced and beautiful you’re typically going to be dealing with a more or less vapid lyrical world. Desi & Cody defeats this issue by deftly mixing a light psych-folk atmosphere with crushing lyrics of death and pain. It’s a masterful balancing act.
The record isn’t all that similar to The Beach Boys’ 1966 classic album Pet Sounds sonically, but I would compare the overall musical spirit to it. It’s deep, melancholically happy pop music that keeps an engaging variety and comforting unity. The album’s genres range from psych-folk pop, Stax-soul, to Flying Burrito Brothers country and more. It doesn’t stay stuck in a rut throughout, and it never runs out of things to say.
When I interviewed the duo, Cody said that the goal was to make an album that he would enjoy, and that perhaps everyone else wouldn’t hate. I believe he succeeded greatly. The album is virtually impossible to hate. Even if the style is not your cup of tea, the talent and time that went into the work is undeniable and extraordinarily impressive.
If you’re looking for music that sounds like it’s somewhere outside of this “age of whatever” as Cody has called it, look no further. If you’re a huge “She and Him” fan that needs a fix of something new, look no further. If you’re a fan of great music period, look no further.
Desi & Cody can be purchased on itunes.