After five years, two albums (both number 1 in their native Ireland) and hundreds of millions of streams, Kodaline wanted to take some time off. “It was just meant to be a little break,” says guitarist and keyboard player Mark Prendergast. “But actually it was full of the biggest things we’ve ever done.”
They backed Ed Sheeran in front of 160,000 people over two nights at Croke
Park for a massive singalong. They recorded a hit single with Norwegian superstar DJ Kygo. Singer Steve Garrigan was flown by private jet to sing with Seal, Leona Lewis and Labrinth at Kygo’s show at the Hollywood Bowl. In LA, the band sat in on rehearsals by fellow countrymen U2, and watched Bono and co “practically blowing the walls off,” according to lead singer and guitarist Steve. “The whole thing was so inspiring.” “It was just like a taste, a reminder of what we are all in this for,” says bassist Jason Boland. “We couldn’t feckin’ wait to get back,” concurs drummer Vinny May Jr.
Irish quartet Kodaline return this year with their third album, quietly confident that it is the best of their career. “We took our time, we did our own thing, we made sure we got everything to exactly where it needed to be,” insists the soft spoken Steve. “We gave ourselves room to get out of our comfort zone and experiment, to try things we might have shied away from before. But the songs were always the foundation: the structure, the lyric, the melody. If you get that right, production can only make it better. It’s like sprinkles on top of the cake.”
Recorded at The Vale, the new album sees Kodaline work with old collaborators (Johnny Mcdaid) alongside a variety of different writers and producers including pop guru Wayne Hector, Jonny Coffer (Beyonce, Emeli Sande, Naughty Boy, Two Inch Punch (Rag ‘n’ Bone Man, Sam Smith) and Steve Mac who they worked with on their anthemic new single ‘Follow Your Fire’.
Kodaline formed in Swords, north of Dublin, in 2012, although chief songwriters Steve and Mark had known each other all their lives, and worked together since 2005. As a four piece, they achieved immediate success. All I Want, from their first EP, has clocked up over 46 million views on YouTube. Their 2013 debut album, Perfect World, established them as a highly emotional pop rock band with perfectly crafted songs in the anthemic vein of Coldplay. The follow up, 2015’s Coming Up For Air, gave them their second Irish number one, constant touring confirming their status as a growing force around the world.
There's a billboard for 'Skyscraper', the summer blockbuster starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson down the street from Jamie N Commons' house. You wouldn't know from the poster, but Jamie composed the music for it. Living alone in the depths of Historic Filipino Town, the blues-y troubadour has been quietly developing an impeccable reputation as a go-to songwriter for hire by the movie, TV and advertising world. Quiet and humble, he doesn't brag about it. Unless he's in the pub with some other Englishmen - like he was yesterday - watching England's soccer team in the World Cup and explaining who he is. He pointed at a trailer on the TV behind the bar. It was for 'Skyscraper'. “I did the music for that,” he said, proudly.