Kodaline iTunes Tracks Kodaline Official Website


Dublin’s KODALINE were not just the new THRILLS in town, but the musical embodiment of COLDPLAY, KEANE and SNOW PATROL, complete with soaring, climactic U2-like anthems and a raft of craic-ing tunes. Actually starting off as 21 Demands (c. 2005), and from the area of Swords in the Irish capital, the quartet made history when they were the first act ever to reach pole position in their homeland when an independently-released download, `Give Me A Minute’, hit chart pay-dirt in March 2007.
Comprising frontman Steve Garrigan (also guitar/keyboards), Mark Prendergast (guitar), Vinny May (drums) and Jason Boland (bass) – the latter preferred over Conor Linnane when the combo changed their moniker to the more-streamline KODALINE – many pundits were touting the group as Ireland’s most promising act. Buoyed by the chart-topping native success of `High Hopes’ and the Top 10 `Love Like This’ (soon-to-be delivered into the UK charts by RCA/B-Unique Records), IN A PERFECT WORLD (2013) {*7}, answered their critics and doubters with a UK Top 3 place. Okay, they’d still had America to conquer in the midst of a folk-rock revival, but aforementioned singles were cool enough to be the next great white hope. Maybe, the release of the yearning `All I Want’ or `Pray’, will secure the band’s dreams of getting to the top; note that a cover of LCD SOUNDSYSTEM’s `All My Friends’ was available as a B-side.
Round two of KODALINE’s antiseptic “rock”, COMING UP FOR AIR (2015) {*4}, was in a word – suffocating. Reaching out to the mind-set of techy-twiddling teenagers unaware of “real” “rawk” bands out there, the Irish combo pulled on the heart-strings with sorrowful cliches about love and its foibles in the hope to reach the top of the charts by Valentine’s Day. Falling short at number 4 in Britain, it looked to be a COLDPLAY in Hell before America froze over to their epic-tricity. Okay, the sing-a-long appeal of `Honest’ was nice enough to eat, and the schmaltzy `Unclear’ had the choirboy-backed hallelujah effect, but in the aptly-titled `Lost’ and `Autopilot’ it wasn’t a case of `Everything Works Out In The End’ (as in the KEANE-cloned track 10).
Not a substantial turn towards mainstream pop (a la MAROON 5), KODALINE’s third album POLITICS OF LIVING (2018) {*5} was neither political nor er… living in the real world; dispatched as it was against the serious issues of Brexit or the tsunami Trump. Hundreds of once-loyal devotees seemed to agree with these sentiments when the set only debited a Top 20 slot. As for America, all associate RCA labels ignored the Irish band completely. The relatively faceless as-yet, Garrigan, was not to blame – he could chant a great tune! Trouble was the songs barely rose above average; with the exception, possibly, of `Brother’, `Head Held High’, `Follow Your Fire’ and the sing-a-long anchor, `Temple Bar’.
Radiating an arena-ready formula, curtailed only by the spring 2020 coronavirus outbreaks, the Jason Boland-produced fourth set, ONE DAY AT A TIME {*6}, was anthemic and euphoric in nature, rather than epic. And bolstered by the sing-a-long multi-streams of the derivative, COLDPLAY-cloned `Wherever You Are’, `Sometimes’ and `Saving Grace’ highlights, the Top 40 album looked again to divide KODALINE critics and fans.
© MC Strong/MCS Aug2013-Jun2020

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