While we won’t hold it against you if you haven’t heard Coda Meraki yet, we will if you’re not entirely captivated by his storytelling. Emerging amid the height of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, Meraki’s debut single “Happy” hit streaming via Heartsick Records. Reminiscent of his influences such as Lil Peep and Juice WRLD, “Happy” explores the struggle of anxiety and depression. Simultaneously, Meraki confronts the juxtapositions between alternative, pop, hip-hop and emo through his somber lyrics and catchy beats.
Following several singles and his indie debut album, When The World Is Upside Down, Meraki is releasing his latest single, “Spotless Mind.” Inspired by the 2004 film Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, directed by Michel Gondry and starring Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet, Meraki leans into the theme of erasing pain due to heartache.
The visual for “Spotless Mind” showcases a text conversation between two former lovers. It highlights the pinnacle of their split as their relationship unfolds and emotionally falls apart on the screen. While one side of the relationship recognizes the pain that they’ve caused each other, the latter dwells on the heartache.
For those unfamiliar with the cult classic, Eternal Sunshine follows polar opposites Joel Barish and Clementine Kruczynski as they navigate the anguish they share as their relationship ends. Through a medical procedure, Joel and Clementine consequently have their memories erased of one another. While Clementine effortlessly replaces her former partner, Joel begs for it to stop in the midst of the procedure. Pleading from his subconscious, “Please let me keep this memory. Just this one.” Joel relives their relationship, including when the couple met on a beach in Montauk, from an unconscious state.
Similar to the film’s romanticized themes of abandonment and closure, Meraki draws inspiration from the pair’s time in Montauk as well as the medical procedure that rids them of their memories from time spent together. “I love the cold, cut and dry way the film conveys the feeling of wanting to start over,” Meraki says. “To be rid of emotionally draining memories, moments and mistakes that make us all who we are. The idea of a clean slate.”
“Spotless Mind” highlights Meraki’s evident influence and admiration for Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington and Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain. Despite Meraki just recently capturing the attention of SoundCloud users and social media, he also managed to work alongside the Plot In You’s Landon Tewers and producer TYZN on his debut LP.
While Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind depicts a tragic and toxic approach to dealing with mental health struggles and failing relationships, Meraki’s outpour of emotions through his writing and recording remains a healthy release for him. Besides “Spotless Mind,” you should expect new music from the rising artist in 2021.
You can watch and listen to Meraki’s “Spotless Mind” below. You can also read his insight on the film in relation to the track and who inspires him most.
How has Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind inspired you? What message from the film did you want to apply to your track? What is it about the film that most resonates with you?
I was inspired to write “Spotless Mind” due to the cold but familiar portrayal of the downward spiral of both main characters Joel and Clementine. Watching the struggle to hold on to the good memories, moments and feelings of a relationship, while also wanting so badly to erase the past, strikes a familiar chord. [They made] the choice to undergo invasive measures to “feel better” while walking through their mental state as they attempt to battle through all five stages of grief. This, in the effort to understand their own confusion, was profound and beautifully painful. I have also been on the far side of grief and understand feeling in need of a clean slate.
In the film, erasing your memory to start over after trauma is strongly romanticized to overcome obstacles. Do you think that approach to trauma is healthy? How were you able to use that message and romanticized story to write your track?
The romanticized approach the film portrays toward mental struggle is an all too common theme in many feature films. The importance of one’s understanding of their own headspace cannot be understated. Mental health and the ability to reach out for help when in need still have many more hurdles to overcome, while those like myself, who identify with that constant battle, are met with the view of their obstacles as the next script or storyline. Writing music for me is cathartic and provides a healthy outlet for emotional trauma and heavy thoughts. Normalizing the ability to find a healthy outlet and speak about feeling hits home for me.
Besides film, what else inspires you musically? Do you pull sonic inspiration from any of your favorite artists?
Inspiration comes in many forms. I am currently in a season of reflection and finding the strength to unload heavy weighted burdens from my chest. And I tend to gravitate toward writing about my fears and uncomfortable moments in my past or present. I find that being able to tell a story just as you would read in a book is an art form, whether it be from music, poetry or in [a] script.
When it comes to my current inspirations, I draw inspiration from modern storytellers such as Joyner [Lucas], [Lil] Peep, Juice [WRLD], Gerald [Gillum, G-Eazy], and Bobby [Bryson Hall II, Logic]. I appreciate, respect and am a fan of their ability to tell a story in their own way that connects with the listener.
What do you like most about Coda Meraki’s film-inspired track “Spotless Mind”? Who do you hope to see him collaborate with in the future? Let us know in the comments below.