Music, Premieres, Reviews July 15, 2021

Single Premiere: Cody – “I’m Not Really Listening”

by Kevin Johnston

After years of solely identifying as the co-front man of Colorado’s adored brother-band Slow Caves, Jakob Mueller steps away from those familiar indie guitar shoegaze shores. Adopting the pseudonym Cody, Mueller dips his toes into new, even washier waters. Cody’s first single “I’m Not Really Listening” premieres below, via BandWagon today.

Recalling the instrumental, sentimental tones of the art museum scene from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Mueller’s Smiths-like croon stretches out beyond the landscape of his other band’s well-established catalogue. Though Mueller is the sole songwriter for the project, he didn’t go it alone. 

“My brother and bandmate, Oliver produced the project,” Mueller tells BandWagon. “There aren’t many traditionally structured songs in [Cody] that follow the form of Slow Caves tracks. I think of these songs as being continuous and free flowing, or without structure. ‘I’m Not Really Listening,’ as well as several other songs were written in a stream of consciousness.”

Breath smells like a flower – It tastes like regret

Fly through the blue – Go home

Lose interest in me …

Cody is the new solo project from Jakob Mueller of Slow Caves. The first single “I’m Not Really Listening” premieres today via BandWagon, below. All photos by Ben Ward.

The lengthy sweeps of Mueller’s voice assimilate with synth sounds, which take notable instrumental dominance over the guitars on the track. The production is top flight. Together, Jakob and Oliver strike a perfect balance between the vintage 80’s tones of Washed Out or Talk Talk and the youthful, baritone wisdom of Car Seat Headrest. 

Jakob credits his brother as “transforming [the tracks] from gloomy/ambient songs into something much more positive,” and that rings true. Cleverly clicking percussion beneath those swooning synths set a driving, melancholic mood while the slow-motion drama of Mueller’s pained melody unfolds in long arcs. It’s an amalgamation of meditation and indie-songwriter trance.

Cody’s forthcoming album will be released by Dream Cult Press. Stream the single exclusively via BandWagon below. Photo by Ben Ward.

Positivity, possibility and freedom of form are at the core of the Cody concept too. “With a band like Slow Caves,” who, fear not, fans, Mueller says are still in full force, “you have to be strategic with what shows you play. I wanted a solo project where I could play whatever shows I wanted. Basements, garages, venues, anything.”

As for the title of the project, that’s a family affair as well. “My Mother, who is Danish, wanted to name me Cody because it sounded like a cool American cowboy name,” Mueller says. “I wholeheartedly agree with that. But my parents decided to go with a very Danish name instead, Jakob.”

Though the family remains close at hand, Mueller’s new musical direction and moniker is an exciting risk. As Cody, he steps out of the comfort of the cave, into the light of a new era, and you can bet Colorado will be listening.

Click below to hear the exclusive premiere of “I’m Not Really Listening,” the first single from Cody, available worldwide tomorrow, July 16. Lean Forward, the debut record is due August 27 via Dream Cult Press.