Common Koi and their pond in the Corvallis music scene


Madison Taylor

The Eugene band, Common Koi, poses for portraits in their neighborhood in Eugene on Jan 29. They won best local band for Best of Beaver Nation and their most recent release, their album Pond, can be found on spotify.

Josh Saunders, News Contributor

The POND pulsates with a “Standard of Beauty.” “The River Runs Cold” as “King Koi” puts a “Pricetag” of “280Z” on their “Dancing Shoes.” 

If that sentence seems confusing to you, listen to local band Common Koi’s most recent releases. Common Koi certainly brings a poetic prowess and invigorating dance-rock to Oregon State University and the greater Corvallis community.

Search for their single called “Clout” and their EP called POND on major streaming services today. POND sports a six-song tracklist — listed in the first paragraph — and an entrancing melotic vibe held together by four passionate musicians.

The story of Skylar Coy, Stephen Strong, Kira Gelbaugh and Jack Keith started in a basement: a cliche of any indie band. Coy, Strong and Keith practiced in the cavernous walls of the Hamilton dorm basement at the University of Oregon. It was here where they decided on the band name Common Koi. 

In Keith’s words, Common Koi was the name “they didn’t absolutely hate.” Gelbaugh joined the band soon later as their bassist. Now, Common Koi frequently plays shows in Corvallis.

“Every time we play a show in Corvallis we are always so happy to be there because the people that come to shows are so wholesome, and kind, and really care[s]about the music,” Keith said. “It’s a different change of pace for us from the Eugene show scene… but Corvallis is so lovely.”

Keith describes the group chemistry as a “democratic band.” It’s a long process, but they work together until all of the band members feel confident in a given idea. A song could start with a rhythmic, chordal or melodic idea that someone likes then it develops from there. 

According to Keith, it can be long and painful but in his eyes, when all of the band members with their different tastes and opinions connect with a given project, then that’s where the beauty of their music shines through. 

Common Koi is working on a new album. On behalf of the band, Keith said they feel their newest work is the work they are the most proud of, so keep an eye out for their local shows in Corvallis and Eugene. 


Skylar Coy:

Coy is the source of the band’s lyrics, guitar solos and vocals. As outlined on Common Koi’s website, “Skylar Coy provides poetic lyricism, heavenly vocals and shredding guitar solos for your mind, body and soul.” Coy is the lead vocalist and guitarist. He loves indie rock, folk music and John Mayer.

Stephen Strong:

Drums, drums, drums, and official manager of the “beat realm” for Common Koi. Strong’s “passion and drive are of insurmountable zeal as he aids the group towards self-actualization” according to the band. Hip-hop and trap are some of Strong’s favorite genres along with indie folk. He makes beats and raps on his own time too. His drumming style is very reflective of his wide array of tastes. 

Kira Gelbaugh:

Anyone who has seen Common Koi play certainly remembers their stark aesthetic. This is most closely attributed to the band’s bassist Gelbaugh. “Her influences… all of which can be found sprinkled amongst the band’s tunes and outfits,” according to the band. Gelbaugh is a “genre blender” as Keith puts it. Keith also mentioned that her wide influences in jazz, blues, punk and funk serve as a way to “spice up” the other band member’s indie rock tendencies. In addition to music, she also has an eye for documentary filmmaking.

Jack Keith:

Guitar and producing are Keith’s forte. After the band spent their full freshman year and some more time in quarantine in the COVID-19 pandemic writing and composing what would become their EP POND. Keith was responsible for producing and mixing those songs. He’s obsessed with stereophonic fields, saying that “once you put on headphones you’re kinda immersed in that world. It’s really important to me how all the sounds fit together.”

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