Single Review/Essay: Kodaline – Brother

By on Tuesday, 27th June 2017 at 12:00 pm
 

It’s been 2 years since Kodaline’s sophomore album ‘Coming Up for Air’. Now they’re ready to hit us with the first taste to their upcoming third record. Working with past producer Steve Harris plus new collaborator Two Inch Punch (Rag ‘n’ Bone Man, Sam Smith), ‘Brother’ is another slow-burning, sensitive track from the Dublin foursome. Heightening the overall emotional effect of the single is its accompanying promo video, directed by longtime video collaborator Stevie Russell, who was also at the helm of the ‘All I Want’, ‘High Hopes’ and ‘Honest’ videos.

The ‘Brother’ video takes the title and theme of the song quite literally, as a young Irish boy (ginger, natch) tearfully says goodbye to his older brother. Tearfully and heartwarmingly, he is awoken in the night and reminded that, just like the Gerry and the Pacemakers’ song maintains, “you’ll never walk alone”. From the melodic verses, the tune goes into a classic Kodaline anthemic chorus, rich with the band members’ combined voices and wholly memorable. It’s unclear if the smoky warbling of lead vocalist Steve Garrigan’s repeated line of “I’ve got you brother” was done with or without effects, and if the feel of this line adds will continue throughout the new album. There’s also a gospel feel to the bridge, where they all join in on the words, “and if we hit troubled water / I’ll be the one to keep you warm and safe / and we’ll be carrying each other / until we say goodbye on our dying day”.

In this life, we make positive connections with people, those that can last for years, across thousands of miles and even beyond death. But this only happens with certain people, and effortlessly, like we’ve known them for years even before we first actually meet. We can trust them with our secrets and even our lives (“if I was dying on my knees / you would be the one to rescue me / and if you were drowned at sea / I’d give you my lungs so you could breathe”). Even if we’re not related by blood, this happens. But why? Even if you don’t believe in fate and that there’s a bigger meaning to your life than, well, being alive, it’s impossible to discount the profound effect other important, caring individuals have on our existence and in turn, how we can positively affect and inspire others who are close to us.

Having been together as a unit for quite a few years, recording, writing, travelling and touring as Kodaline, the bond created between Garrigan, Mark Prendergast, Jay Boland and Vinny May, Jr. must be as strong, if not stronger than the bonds they have with their own siblings and families. In understanding that, ‘Brother’ comes across as a touching tribute to their own very special, unbreakable connection. It also serves as a timely, relatable parable to all in the wake of the terrible tragedies we as a modern society have faced in the last few weeks: the Ariana Grande suicide bombing, the multiple terror attacks in London, the Grenfell Tower fire disaster. While ‘Brother’ feels like it also has a distinct religious bent, it’s important in these difficult times to remember that all religions are rooted in love and the caring of others, and what the world needs now is love.

9/10

Kodaline’s brand new single ‘Brother’ is out now on RCA Records. We’re expecting more information on their third album in due course. Stay tuned. In the meantime, you can enjoy all of TGTF’s past coverage on Kodaline through this link.

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

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