Monday 17 June 2013

Kodaline | In A Perfect World (Album Review)

1. One Day     2. All I Want     3. Love Like This     4. High Hopes     5. Brand New Day  
6. After The Fall     7. Big Bad World     8. All Comes Down To     9. Talk     10. Pray  
11. Way Back When

Released: 17th June 2013 via RCA Victor

Upon first hearing 'All I Want' way back in September last year I knew I'd discovered something truly amazing. Something that would build its way in to my heart, set up home, and not leave for a very long time, if ever. The profound emotion and affection bundled in to Kodaline's music is hard to sum up in a few measly sentences but I'll sure try my best.

In their own Utopian world, sitting precisely between Folk and Pop, the fresh faced young Irish group manage to tug at the heartstrings of even the sternest of human beings. As far as debuts go 'In A Perfect World' stands strong at the forefront of modern day music and I'm sure it'll stay there for quite some time.

As the record opens with the long drawn out One Day, emerging from it's murky depths is a fantastically bright percussive sound creating the backdrop to the rising vocals of Stephen Garrigan. As subtle guitars chug away in the background it matures and develops in to a never ending chasm of warmth and clarity as we're met with the painstakingly beautiful "ohhhh's" and "woooo's".

Looking to set you off on a roller coaster ride from the onset, the album quickly shifts in to the sombre approach of lamenting a past love as All I Want gets underway. Stripped away are the joyous melodies we've just got accustomed to, and in their place a blisteringly cold reality as we engage with Garrigan's "But if you loved me, then why'd you leave me". If there's one thing that's clear already (and it's something I sadly don't talk about enough when I review) this is a thoroughly well mixed album. As the percussion breaks through with razor sharp snares setting the mix alight it's hard not to be overcome by the emotional trait laid bare.

Now there's no denying this is a radio friendly album. With Love Like This and High Hopes being sprawled across daily daytime radio shows on some of the nations biggest stations you get the image that Kodaline are just another pop band that's managed to create a little hype around their name by landing in to the laps of some highly paid music exec. Don't let that image fool you. Through fragility and optimistic flair this Irish four-piece have more than proved their way.

By the time 'Brand New Day' kicks in with its catchy rhythm and electric riffs you'll be head over heels in love with the joys this band bring. As the track paints vivid images of hope and positivity much akin to an American highschool love as it blossoms with lyrics like "I'll be flicking stones at your window, I'll be waiting outside 'till you're ready to go" you can't help but feel like dancing. I'm sure this will be a big festival favourite.
The same goes for 'After The Fall' as all its swaying notions and whirlwind percussion flourish from the minimalistic piano led intro to form a musical amalgamation of multi-layered guitars, vocals and synths packing a powerful punch.

The lyrical content remains true, profound and undeniably raw throughout. As the band delve deep in to their innermost thoughts documenting them in a way that will act as therapy for many Big Bad World goes a long way at demonstrating how prioritising your problems can have such an impact on your life through its swells of energetic rhythm and orchestral openness. As the final hurdle approaches the foursome seem to ditch the fast paced motion we've consumed thus far and entitle us to a more sentimental side as their musical abilities come to shine through with a stark and lonesome resentment.

As the album rounds up with Way Back When, we become surrounded once more by their lovable, danceable charm. "Someday I'll have it all again, Just like way back when" utters Garrigan as the track takes a sharp turn in to Folk heaven with its distinct strumming style and backing vocals/whistling.

At its heart In A Perfect World remains true to its name; A vision of longing and wishing as relationships fall apart. Imagining how things could be yet accepting them at face value and trundling on through with the best intentions. Granted it's a very safe album without too much deviation from their niche but it's a definitively strong effort, one that'll act as a giant stepping stone, surely pointing them in the right direction for their future endeavours.

Be sure to catch the band performing at the following festivals if you're heading their way:

Friday 21st June – Hurricane Festival (Germany)
Saturday 22nd June – Southside Festival (Germany)
Friday 28th June – Glastonbury Festival
Saturday 29th June – Hard Rock Calling (London)
Saturday 20th July – Longitude Festival (Ireland)
Saturday 27th July – Stockton Weekender
Saturday 10th August – Summersonic Festival (Japan)
Saturday 17th August – Pukkelpop Festival (Belgium)
Friday 23rd August – Reading Festival Saturday
24th August – Leeds Festival 


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