27 Aug 2015

Listening session: Silicon

8:59 am on 27 August 2015

Kody Nielson sits down with Music 101's Sam Wicks to talk through his new album, Personal Computer.


Silicon's Kody Nielson.

Silicon's Kody Nielson. Photo: Ralph Brown

Following the dissolution of The Mint Chicks, Kody Nielson formed the psych-pop outfit Opossom, surprise released an EP of funk and soul-fuelled breaks, produced a handful of records for other artists, and teamed with his brother Ruban on Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s Multi-Love.

Now Kody is stepping out as Silicon, with a 10-track retro-futurist solo set.

Kody Nielson announced his new direction in sound with a series of canvases featuring his rendering of an emoji, a hand painted face made simply out of two dots for eyes and a line for a mouth. He references the paintings on ‘God Emoji’, the first release from Personal Computer.

As Kody explains, the name ‘God Emoji’ came to him while he was working on the canvases.

“I was just trying to think of a simple name for the emoji image,” he says.

“There’s so many ideas of what God is, and God doesn’t have a specific face … I guess that’s the other thing: if it’s just an emoji, it’s sort of like this fake image – it’s something that represents something that’s not necessarily real.”

These near-identical DIY emoji point to the hand-hewn components that make up Personal Computer, an album of electronic tracks impressed with very human fingerprints, which wrestle with the anxieties of communication in the digital age.

“[Computers] make me think of Big Brother or something. People trust these devices so much. It’s almost like they trust them more than people; there’s something sinister about it. It just seems like there’s this eye watching, and I’ve always been aware of it.”

PODCAST: Kody Nielson talks through a handpicked selection of Silicon cuts.