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According to Winterhalter, "in the end it was a 3 year writing process, in addition

to 3 months of recording and mixing", with Neige beginning writing almost


immediately after returning from recording Shelter in Iceland. 'Untouched' was the
first song written for this album, followed by the title track 'Kodama'. "These two
songs (especially Kodama) kind of forged the sound of the whole album. Through them
I could foresee the album's shape and identity and the further direction I wanted
to take for the rest of the album."[4]

Neige has said that the album is heavily influenced by Japanese culture and by
Hayao Miyazaki's film Princess Mononoke.[1] Neige was particularly inspired by the
film's protagonist San, seeing something of himself in her. Drawing on the film,
Kodama particularly centres around the conflict between the 'human' and 'natural'
worlds. Talking about the album's Japanese influence, Neige said that it comes from
his own love of Japanese culture, particularly the way in which "Japan has a hyper
technologic society, always ahead of its time, full of crazy items, gadgets, etc,
but yet people there are very attached to tradition, nature, and spirituality." He
cited the band's two tours of Japan, in which they performed within Buddhist
temples, as having a profound influence on the direction of this album.[4]

It also represents a return to Alcest's earlier blackgaze style.[5] Neige said that
they "wanted to go back to something a bit more punchy, because at the time we felt
this need, in a very natural way, because after such a mellow record, you want to
make something a bit more punchy."[1] "As for the guitars, I wanted to bring back
the riffing and contrasts in our sound, exploring the possibilities of the guitar
as much as I possibly could. Vocal wise, I felt that some of the songs could
benefit from more contrasted expressions. I chose not to limit myself and went from
harsh screams to very airy and ethereal vocal lines." He also highlighted Grimes'
album Visions, Tool's last two albums, Dinosaur Jr., The Smashing Pumpkins, Cocteau
Twins, Explosions in the Sky, The Cure, and Sonic Youth as musical influences on
the direction of this album.[4]

The album is deliberately structured similarly to the band's previous albums


�cailles de Lune and Souvenirs d'un autre monde. All of these albums are just over
40 minutes and have a structure of 5 long tracks and one "stand out track at the
end, in a more experimental style compared to the rest of the music. I like this
formula and I feel like it was a big part of our identity on our first records. We
wanted to pay tribute to that, especially since it's a structure I feel comfortable
with when it comes to composing music. A lot of my favourite albums are short too,
so it was the natural choice for Kodama."[4] Winterhalter has said that, compared
to previous albums, the band wanted to "do more with less. [...] This time, we put
a lot more focus on the percussion and the energy aspect of the Alcest music, with
an earthy, tribal feel at times." He also explained that the structure of the songs
changed frequently during the writing process until the band were completely
satisfied with them. "If certain things about the songs didn't match our original
concept/guidelines, it was changed until it did fit, or even completely removed, as
was the case with some entire songs (even after recording some of them)."[4]