Codeine is an American indie rock/slowcore band formed in 1989 by members Stephen Immerwahr (vocal, bass), Chris Brokaw (drums), and John Engle (guitar). Codeine pioneered the slowcore and sadcore subgenres of indie rock, but with a more experimental attitude than other bands in the genre, such as Low, Idaho and Red House Painters. The band’s original tone, marked by slow tempos, Immerwahr’s nasal and apathic vocals, and Engle’s ringing Telecaster, did not evolve much during their career.
Their second release, the short album Barely Real was issued in 1992. Immerwahr rejected several of the songs after the recording session. Some of these songs would be re-recorded for the final album. The song W. is a solo performance on piano by David Grubbs (of Bastro, Squirrel Bait and Gastr del Sol). A somewhat different full-band version of the song appears on Codeine’s next album, but titled Wird.
Codeine’s next and final release was the full-length album The White Birch, released in 1994. David Grubbs also participated on the album. After this release the band broke up. Stephen Immerwahr has since then been playing with the band Raymond, while Douglas Scharin continued in June of 44 and later HiM (a post-rock band from New York).
Definition: Codeine has been medically proven to soothe depression by submerging the user in a state of calm.