Rare or Unreleased 15: Codeine

Codeine: «Atmosphere» [mp3]

Codeine was a '90s New York band—one of the more sophisticated acts on the otherwise teeny-oriented Sub Pop roster, and subtly innovative. The trio's songs were extremely slow, which made their melancholy music sound downright depressing to a lot of people. A fitting group to interpret Joy Division, then.

In 1995, more than a decade before post-punk became so fashionable again and Joy Division experienced its renaissance with Ian Curtis biopic Control and a slew of reissues, Hut Recordings put out the various artists tribute album A Means to an End—The Music of Joy Division, which was discontinued as quickly as the few copies sold out.

Here then, is a largely neglected and forgotten band's able version of one of Joy Division's last and most accomplished tracks, «Atmosphere».

Tender, understated, unpretentious and unlike Joy Division, Codeine somehow always managed to stay clear of maudlin sentimentality and self-pity on their two albums and one EP, even as the subject matter they explored was invariably one of loss or longing. They weren't depressing. They were simply straightforward.
People like you have it easy
Face like the sun, walking on air


  1. It's weird how this rendition makes Codeine seem "upbeat." Thanks, had been wanting to hear this for a while, but hadn't realized it.

  2. Thank you for posting this. I loved Codeine, and I loved their interpretation of this song.

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