By: Staff –
To celebrate the release of CODA FACTO’s new Jamesville EP (out now), the Hamilton-based band curated a brand new exclusive Spotify playlist.
CODA FACTO are a rock band from Hamilton, Canada founded by Alexander DeRoo and Jonathan Harley. CODA FACTO fuse melodic Brit-Rock and Americana with modern vocals and lyrical stories.
Alex and Jon began gigging in 2010 after meeting as classmates at Hamilton’s McMaster University. In 2016, they formed the band ALEXR with Adam Rogerson (guitar), Mark Korczynski (bass) and Luke Ormond (drums).
They caught the attention of Glen Marshall and the late Bob Lanois at The Mule Spinner, a local venue in The Cotton Factory creative hub. The band would often rehearse, perform and record early tracks there gaining seasoned insights from both producers.
In 2018, the band was joined by Kaitie Allinger (vocals) and renamed STRATHCONA after the city’s west downtown neighbourhood. The band performed regularly at local music venues; including The Casbah, the former This Ain’t Hollywood, and The Mule Spinner. They recorded “Rock ‘N’ Roll Sounds” and “Hidden Treasure” with the artful guidance of producer Carl Jennings of Westmoreland Recording Studio.
Early 2019 saw the group disband as several members chose to pursue other interests. Alex and Jon continued arranging and recording with Jennings for a debut EP as the band, CODA FACTO.
The name represents the coda of Alex and Jon’s music journey– every song’s beginning has an inevitable end bringing new beginnings. And, the fact friendship remains constant throughout their journey– CODA FACTO.
While recording their debut EP, Alex (vocals, guitar, piano) and Jon (strings, mandolin, vocals) involved esteemed, session collaborators: Joel McCabe (guitar, vocals), Matt Gormley (guitar, organ), Chris Gormley (drums, congas), Tim Jennings (drums), and Carl Jennings (bass, vocals).
The fall 2021 release of CODA FACTO’s debut EP Jamesville follows the summer video and single releases of “Rock ‘N’ Roll Sounds” and “Ode to Rose.”
Paul McCartney – “Maybe I’m Amazed”
I have always admired Paul and his songwriting. When we first set out to make Jamesville, I was reading “Paul McCartney: The Life,” by Philip Norman. I gained a lot of insight on Paul’s life before and after his time with The Beatles. I grew a deeper fascination with his music and approach to crafting a song. His music definitely influenced this EP. My catalogue of songs has subtle influences of McCartney. This particular song was often on repeat as I travelled to and from work. I always felt lifted and inspired when I heard it.
Half Moon Run – “Favourite Boy”
Half Moon Run was the last band I saw before the pandemic locked everything down. They were playing in London and Toronto, Ontario a few days apart. Often when a band of interest would come into the area, we would go to Toronto because it was closer to home. We were an hour bus or train ride away. Having seen so many shows in Toronto, I decided to make the trip to The London Music Hall. This is a longer trip when you consider the drive home after the show. I love this song. I was listening to their record A Blemish In The Great Light on vinyl for weeks on repeat. I’m surprised I didn’t wear out the record. This is my favourite band at the moment.
Arctic Monkeys – “Fluorescent Adolescent”
I downloaded this song when I was in high school. I remember listening to it and enjoying the energy of the track. I loved the story; a woman getting older and finding out that life isn’t as fun anymore. I had trouble catching all the lyrics because of the singer’s delivery and accent. I decided to look up the lyrics. This was the first time I had analyzed a song. I discovered there is more to it than just the music and the melodies. There is a story. I thought their approach of telling it was unique.
Talking Heads – “Take Me To The River”
Glen Marshall and the late Bob Lanois, mentors of ours, turned me onto the Talking Heads. I watched their 1984 concert movie “Stop Making Sense” over and over. I was completely hooked. I was enthralled with David Byrne’s cadence and the rhythms in their music. Its infectious quality was lingering in my head for months.
Disturbed – “The Sounds of Silence”
I rarely watch late-night television; but, sometimes I’ll tune into a performance. In 2016, I was watching Conan and Disturbed was going to perform Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Sounds of Silence.” I was unfamiliar with Disturbed up until this point. Before they performed, I tossed my headphones on and listened to their recording of the song. It was incredible. I was glued to the television at this point. I had to hear them play it live. This performance inspired me to take vocal lessons.
Paul Simon – “Graceland”
I was reading “Paul Simon: The Life” by Robert Hilburn and I had decided to study Paul Simon’s work. He is one of the greats, and a big influence on my songwriting. I fixated on “Graceland”, the title song from his album Graceland. We wrote “Ode To Rose” immediately after. I think you can hear a bit of Paul Simon’s influence in this song.
Queen – “Bohemian Rhapsody”
I had recently watched Queen’s Live Aid Performance. I saw a beautiful synergy of life and death. Freddie commanded the crowd. I was completely captivated. “Bohemian Rhapsody” was the first song of Queen’s that I discovered. When the performance finished, I picked up my guitar, a pen and paper, and wrote “Rock ’N’ Roll Sounds” in 20 minutes. My roommates were all asleep. I had to play quietly so I wouldn’t awaken them. I sang in a whisper, which allowed me to exaggerate the chorus. Had I not been doing that, I suspect the song may have been quite different.
The Beatles – “Martha My Dear”
I can say comfortably The Beatles are my all-time favourite band. I have always been listening to them and they have always had an influence on my writing. When I first began my musical journey, I found myself sitting at a piano. I have a classical music background, and have always loved rock ’n’ roll music. I felt this song had a special balance of both. This is a song about Paul McCartney’s sheepdog, Martha. It would appear to anybody else to be a song to a girl called Martha. Being a dog owner myself, I found this to be clever. It inspired me to take my time with lyrics and avoid jumping to conventional ways of expressing myself. I wrote a similar tune called, “Mavis.”
Mother Mother – “Get Up”
I have been a fan of Mother Mother for many years and have studied their music intensely. The song speaks about wanting to make your dreams a reality by putting yourself out there and getting your voice and opinion heard. This really resonated with me. I was listening to their album Dance and Cry a lot while we were recording the EP. They came to Hamilton during this time, which was exciting because I had never seen them live. Their show was great and inspiring. If you ever get the opportunity to see this band live, go!
Ed Sheeran – “Perfect”
I listened to Ed Sheeran a lot before we started recording the EP. I consider him a great songwriter and performer. He has written many undeniable songs. This song has an old-fashioned, ballad quality that I have always enjoyed. It was in the back of my mind when we were recording “She.”
Young The Giant – “Something to Believe In”
I love this song and this band. This song is one of my favourites. When they are in town, my friends and I make an effort to catch their show. We would have the song blasting in the car as we drove around town with the windows down in the summer; such a great vibe. You can feel the bass and kick drum in your chest. It is electrifying! The instrumentation is articulate and the production is precise. I practically taught myself how to sing by following along with Sameer Gadhia’s vocals. Their music has had a positive influence on my songwriting.
Arcade Fire – “Creature Comfort”
Jon, my bandmate, got me into Arcade Fire. They are a great Canadian band. I saw them at Scotiabank Arena around the same time we started recording the EP. The show was amazing. They performed on a rotating stage and the production value of the show was incredible. I am a fan of all their work; but, this song has always stood out to me. Once I started delving into their catalogue, I started mapping my songs differently. I love everything going on in this track. Great melodies, rhythm, harmonies, and meaningful lyrics. Being in a sold-out stadium with everyone singing along to this song was a moment that I will never forget.