Indie Rock, 2020
I often find music to be a personal diary of sorts. The types of music that I enjoy change with the various phases of life that I go through. Now that I am, er, on the mature side of life, I find myself appreciating songs that touch on things that I never fully appreciated when I was younger. When once I reveled in songs of anger, angst, and what not, now I find those songs tad immature and even silly. Now, I’m all about songs that touch on the fragility as well as the steadfast nature of relationships, issues such as love and loss, and of hope and optimism.
So, hello, Kodaline. I admit, I have heard their songs many times before, but I always assumed they were by, oh, Imagine Dragons, Bastille, and such. Even my favorite song by them, Brother – seriously, people, watch the music video once, cry ugly tears, and then don’t watch it again if you don’t want to experience repeated heartbreaks – well, I mistakenly thought it was an Imagine Dragons song and all that while told people that these blokes couldn’t be all that bad if they could come up with that song. So yes, now, Imagine Dragons is officially trash.
Now that I have corrected my mistake, I hereby embrace Kodaline with all my heart. Their fourth album, One Day at a Time, ticks off all the boxes on my personal “Yes, I worship thee!” list. Steve Garrigan’s beautiful voice that can easily soar into glorious falsetto, ooh. Simple, haunting riffs and choruses, ooh. Songs that touch on themes of love, life, and loss in a melancholic, yet somehow uplifting at the same time, manner with just the right amount of pathos and cheese in a precarious balance? Ooh.
The best way I can describe their music to newbies is that they are like what happens when the Kings of Convenience discovered steroids and multiplied to become a group. Soothing melodies that can instill a sense of calm, with a tinge of melancholy that serves as catharsis. Whether it’s the soaring chorus of Sometimes or the mournful longing in Spend It with You, or maybe it’s the gentle reassurance in Open Heart or the heartbreak in Everyone Changes – everything comes together in this album for a gorgeous musical diary that resonates with me in so many ways.
Yes, the lyrics can be unbearably cheesy – Owl City-tier – but the delivery of the cheese is pure Beaufort D’Ete. If I am not mistaken, Kodaline means “beautiful but broken”, which is something one would expect to be the title of a new adult story, but oh, the things these people do to me.
This album is one of those rare ones that have everything I seem to need at this stage in my life. Catharsis, pick-me-up, assurance, comfort, optimism – all that is here, and what a wonderful here this is.