“All I want is nothing more
to hear you knocking at my door.”
Kodaline is one of those bands I forget about all the time until Pandora or Spotify remind me – and then I really like them. Something about them feels a little prime-time drama soundtrack, relatively unhip but deeply satisfying in a Snow Patrol or Lifehouse kind of way. This is why I was surprised a couple weeks ago to spot their vinyl on the racks at Urban Outfitters. But I really have enjoyed getting to know their songs from 2013’s “In a Perfect World” in anticipation of their new album, the new single of which, “Honest” is built for pop radio six years ago but I hope gets some solid attention anyway because I love their songs better than those of most of their comparable contemporaries.

In the stunning and strained “All I Want,” one probing question makes for the most pained of choruses, a haunting, quiet song that arches into the clouds and back to the ground. This is their best song. This is the one that people would listen to over and over again. It is the emotional climax of this album that is pretty and poppy, full and focused on aspirational hooks and builds. 

What mostly appeals to me about this band is simple lyrical content matched with their overall sound, an honest one that brings together incredibly familiar styles. I enjoy the occasional unique string instrument or simple shaker auxiliary, and the more-than-occasional falsetto, as well as the way their sound toys with the more trendy, produced styles of bells and muted skins. That’s a hint of gospel in that chorus wrap-up, and some U2 in that intro, and some songwriter-friendly pronouncements in tired, weary hooks. There’s so many influences here, in that way UK-rock tends to betray, yet there is an earnest authenticity I find to be quite uplifting and inspiring. 
These are the kind of songs that suit the montage of putting it all back together. So good on my music-discovery tools for predicting with eerie accuracy an album for tonight that makes me think of putting one foot in front of the next, that dresses a heavy heart in brighter tones than it might be used to without shocking it too far into unfamiliar territory. Tonight something a little simple and straightforward and stirring is enough to be optimistic, even with it’s more gentle and vulnerable moments mixed in. That’s usually the best part anyway.
“So you brought out the best of me,
A part of me I’ve never seen.
You took my soul and wiped it clean.
Our love was made for movie screens.

But if you loved me
Why’d you leave me?
Take my body,
Take my body.
All I want is,
And all I need is
To find somebody.
I’ll find somebody.”

~All I Want
Kodaline, In a Perfect World