Discovery of the Week: Kodaline

 
kodaline

Last.fm is all about discovering and sharing music. Here at Last HQ we do it all day, every day, but outside of Sessions we don’t often have the opportunity to share our own discoveries with you, the Last.fm community. So, in a brand new series for Originals, each week the Last.fm Music Team takes turns showcasing stuff that’s floating their respective boats, in the sure and certain hope that it will float yours too. Head of Music at Last HQ in London Chris Price, aka missingparsons, goes first …

So much music gets shared on social media these days it can sometimes feel like white noise. After a while you just tune out. So when the name Kodaline appeared in my Twitter timeline three times in one day a couple of weeks back, I had to see what all the fuss was about. The fuss – entirely justified, as it turned out – was over the video for ‘All I Want’, a kind of a modern-day beauty and the beast story that was winning new fans and had folks reaching for the Kleenex box in droves:

So when Kodaline hit the number one spot on the Last.fm Hype Chart this weekend, they seemed like the perfect choice for our first Discovery of the Week, in which we exclusively bring you the sublime acoustic version of ‘All I Want’ which graces the top of this post. Simply shot in a darkened and derelict school building, the moody lighting and swirling camera work perfectly capture the heartache and introspection in the lyrics (“Our love was made for movie screens”). Heart-warming as the original video is, what I love about this acoustic version is how it accentuates the quality of the song, carried by Steve Garrigan’s stunning, pitch-perfect vocal and buoyed by effortless multi-part harmonies from the rest of the band.

Hailing from Swords, a working class town in Dublin’s Northside district, Kodaline are childhood friends Garrigan, Mark Prendergast (guitar, keys) and Vinny May (drums), a line-up recently completed by bassist Jason Boland. Following TV talent show success in Ireland under the name 21 Demands, the band promptly disappeared to focus on writing, emerging two years later as Kodaline. (“We made the name up ourselves,” says Mark, “but later found out it’s a character in fuckin’ World of Warcraft.”)

‘All I Want’ is the lead track on debut release The Kodaline EP, whose three other cuts are all strong, finely crafted songs that demonstrate those two years away from the limelight were time well spent. ‘Lose Your Mind’ owes a debt to fellow Dubliners U2, while the piano stabs and acoustic guitars of ‘Pray’ are reminiscent of Parachutes-era Coldplay. Closing track ‘Perfect World’ deserves a special mention, another pulsing anthem strong on melody and drenched in harmony:

All that social media fuss is fast turning into scrobbles on Last.fm. It’s early days for Kodaline, who have just over a thousand Last.fm listeners at the time of writing, but their Listening Trend graph shows a sharp and gratifying upward curve. (And who doesn’t love to see a line on a graph going up?) If you like what you hear – and don’t forget to scrobble-enable your listening – why not head over to the band’s Shoutbox and let them know.

Being at such an early a stage in their career, Kodaline have yet to build up a raft of similar artists on their Last.fm artist page, but fans of Mumford & Sons, Jeff Buckley, Coldplay, Elbow and Damien Rice will do well to check them out. We’ll be watching these guys very closely; the acoustic video above may have been filmed in a schoolroom, but it won’t be long before Kodaline are filling arenas. In the mean time, catch them supporting The Temper Trap and We Are Augustines throughout October, as well as playing their own shows. Head to Kodaline’s events page for dates and tickets.

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Shepherds Bush Empire, London W12 8TT, United…
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