With 2013 being named as the return of the guitar band, Kodaline have timed their arrival perfectly. A good job too, because the Irish four-piece haven’t got a plan b. “There are no other ideas. This is it”, says lead singer Steve Garrigan. “It may sound cliched but this is all we’ve ever wanted,” adds guitarist Mark Prendergast.
Steve and Mark, along with bassist Jay Boland and drummer Vinny May Jnr, have had an explosive start off the blocks. Their debut track All I Want has sold over 100,000 copies in the UK. Written by Steve about an ex who broke his heart, he explains, “I was with this girl for about two and a half years, who went away on holiday and said ‘we’ll talk about it when we get back’ and she came back with a boyfriend, so it was like ‘oh shit’, so I wrote about it.”
Most of the song’s success has been due to word of mouth from the video, a beauty and the beast melodrama directed by the upcoming Stevie Russell. The song, coupled with the story of a modern day ‘monster’ (played by Russell himself) winning over a blonde colleague, has racked up over 1.5 million views online. It was also handpicked for the Google Zeitgeist ad, which has been watched by an audience of 13 million, bringing with it a solid army of fans.
All I Want is part of their debut 11-song opus In A Perfect World, which they’ve spent the best part of the last year making, and is an album of honest, melodic, soulful and romantic songs. The album has garnered massive success in their native Ireland, reaching Platinum certification and Gold certification in the UK. The album also features the track High Hopes that has been generating a massive response across Australian radio.
Influences are wide-ranging, from the likes of Radiohead, The Beatles and The Strokes to Thin Lizzy, Jackson Brown and Bruce Springsteen all having made their mark on the group.
The lads – most of the line-up have been playing together since they were 15 – garnered their thirst for music from playing in their bedrooms as teenagers in the small Irish town of Swords, before grafting hard on the local band circuit in Dublin. Even though Steve is the main songwriter, they all play a part in the process. “We all pitch in,” explains Jason. “All the songs are about things that have happened to us.” Being a band based on a history of friendship means their characteristics are instantly obtainable. Although very different men, their bond is solid and music is king.
“Kodaline illustrate all the ingredients for greatness, with many a swooning chorus to invoke a thousand festival lighters held aloft.”
Clash Music (8/10 review of In A Perfect World)
“This is an accomplished and emotive statement of intent, cinematic in scope and able to raise goose bumps at will.”
CoS (3.5 star review of In A Perfect World)
“… starting small, with Garrigan tapping out the melody on electric piano, it churns into a cyclone of ringing guitar and uplifting chorus.”
The Guardian (4 star live review, London Scala, April 2013)