Kodaline are a young band from Dublin, whose first self-titled EP is out September 9th. The best way to describe their sound would be with reference to soft rock/indie bands such as Elbow, Doves, Travis and Coldplay – you know the drill.
The first song off the EP is All I Want. Immediately I found myself drawing comparisons with Thom Yorke – it’s got that same kind of melancholy wail as a vocal style. The song doesn’t really manage to transcend itself though, raising the melancholia into a state of beauty. No, instead it lies curled up in bed, weeping and going on about how unfair life is. I swear, if you have a dog and you play this out loud, the dog would start howling. It’s whingey, self-pitying, post-breakup stuff and consequently, that’s the sort of mental state you’d have to be in to want to listen to it.
The second song, Lose Your Mind, is a marked improvement upon the first. It’s almost uplifting, like the feeling of calm almost-euphoria you get after a good old cry (appropriate really given the mood of the first song), with transcendental, New-Agey (and somewhat tongue-in-cheek) lyrics about riding a dolphin and going to the ‘other side’.
Pray is a moody, dramatic piece, very Travis-like in style, with jangly guitars holding the momentum beneath the heavy, dark piano chords and the weighty chorus. The last song on the EP, Perfect World, sees those melancholy vocals put to good effect, with plenty of wailing about how things would be better if we lived in a perfect world. Which kind of states the obvious really but never mind.
Overall the mood of the EP is one of a grey, rain-washed weariness, with strains of weak, hopeful sunshine straining through. Without doubt, they’re accomplished musicians and the production is spot on. They even have a good name. All in all though, it’s pretty dreary stuff, and definitely not for getting the party started. Mark it instead, for rainy days only.