Local Band “Slow Coda” Releases New Video “Mall Walker”

PHOTO: Matt Hoodhood | South Pasadenan News | The making of the Slow Coda video "Mall Walker".

Slow Coda is the indie rock duo of Tavis Balkin and Nicholas Morford. Formed in 2012, when the two were living together in Hollywood, Slow Coda has released 3 Eps and most recently, a full length self-titled album. This Friday, March 3, they will debut their new video “Mall Walker”.

Balkin and Morford met at Columbia College in Chicago. Balkin had always played bass in his high school days and Morford majored in bass at school. “We both decided to pick up guitars for this band,” Balkin tells us. They formed the band when they relocated to Southern California. “At one point, our band was five people, but that was a few years back before we went on a little hiatus,” he says.

PHOTO: Matt Hoodhood | South Pasadenan News | Tavis Balkin and Nicholas Horford are “Slow Coda” in their video “Mall Walker”.

Balkin and his wife moved to South Pasadena in 2016 in order to be within walking distance to our famous local video store, Videotheque. “I kid you not,” says Balkin, “that was pretty much the main motivating factor. I used to work as a video store clerk and I’m just obsessed with video stores and collecting movies.”

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PHOTO: Matt Hoodhood | South Pasadenan News | Tavis Balkin of Slow Coda seen in the video “Mall Walker”.

The vibe for their new video is decidedly retro, early-90’s food court. “We really wanted to film a video for our song, “Mall Walker” inside of an actual shopping mall but we looked into filming permits and it was prohibitively expensive,” Balkin explains. “This was also during the height of the pandemic when everyone was paranoid and masked up everywhere. That was a vibe we did not want to have in our video. So our college buddy, Rothwell Polk (who directed) and his wife, Abigail Childs (production designer) got to work on this concept.”

PHOTO: Matt Hoodhood | South Pasadenan News | The set of Slow Coda’s “Mall Walker”

Childs set about building, by hand, a miniature mall food court straight out of something you might see on “Saved by the Bell”. It took over a year to build, due to how incredibly detailed it is. Another friend to the band, Matt Hoodhood came on board as cinematographer and shot the whole thing with a long lens camera which allows for extreme close-ups in the small set. “Overall, we wanted to capture that innocent, retro feel from early-’90s after school shows. But also introduce a surreal sensibility you might encounter in a Talking Heads video,” Balkin explains enthusiastically.

The band is currently working on an EP they will release later in 2023. Check out “Mall Walker” on YouTube and you can follow them for upcoming shows on Instagram @SlowCoda. Check out their video for another song “Gap Year” on YouTube which was filmed in and around South Pasadena.