(SXSW 2013 flavoured!) Album Review: Kodaline – High Hopes EP

By on Friday, 15th February 2013 at 12:00 pm

Around since early 2007, when they were still being called 21 Demands, the band now known as Kodaline became the first group to have an independently released track hit #1 on the Irish singles chart. And now the Dublin-based band, most recently honoured with a BBC Sound of 2013 longlist nomination, has something new for us. The ‘High Hopes’ EP has two original songs, a cover and a remix.

With influences from indie and a touch of the modern folk rock movement, both ‘High Hopes’ and ‘The Answer’ are gorgeous simple tunes. Singer Steven Garrigan’s clear, earnest delivery gives us the perfect foil for the quandary of an enamoured suitor. Even the cover of LCD Soundsystem’s ‘All My Friends’ (video here) fits this mould. Only the remix of ‘All I Want’, originally from their first EP, seems out of place, all audio pixelated and jangly. However, you may be able to pick out recognisable parts to it because this tune was reworked as an instrumental for the music in Google’s quite amazing ‘Zeitgeist 2012’ advert (see below).


I think it was brave to attempt a cover of LCD Soundsystem’s ‘All My Friends’, and it is the track I am most taken with on the EP. Rather than a bouncy description of life traveling where one’s music will take you, this treatment is quite stripped back. It’s more a mournful exhortation of the plight of the musician on the road, moving on day after day to yet another gig. In this version, you can really hear that it’s not always the party life on the road can seem to be; but maybe if you have your friends there with you, it’ll be all right.

The video below for ‘High Hopes’ develops the kind of story that only a masterful storyteller can achieve in just four minutes. Up, down, downer still, and then, thankfully, up again the redemptive quality of hope is perfectly mirrored between the lyrics and images.


Kodaline’s debut album ‘In a Perfect World’ is due out on the 1st of April on Sony, but before then, catch them as they traipse through Britain from mid-March through to early April. The band will head on over to Austin for SXSW. (We previewed them in the singer/songwriter and folk UK bands chapter of the TGTF Guide to SXSW 2013.)


Saturday 23rd March 2013 – Bristol Thekla
Sunday 24th March 2013 – Norwich Arts Centre
Monday 25th March 2013 – Sheffield Leadmill
Tuesday 26th March 2013 – Manchester Academy 3
Thursday 28th March 2013 – Nottingham Rescue Rooms
Friday 29th March 2013 – Newcastle Cluny
Saturday 30th March 2013 – Leeds Brudenell Social Club
Sunday 31st March 2013 – Glasgow King Tuts
Tuesday 2nd April 2013 – Birmingham Institute Library
Wednesday 3th April 2013 – Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms
Thursday 4th April 2013 – London Scala

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5 Responses

2:53 pm
15th February 2013

RT @tgtf: New post: (SXSW @SXSW #SXSW13 flavoured!) Album Review: Kodaline @kodaline – High Hopes EP: http://t.co/pwtbkjqu

2:54 pm
15th February 2013

RT @tgtf: New post: (SXSW @SXSW #SXSW13 flavoured!) Album Review: Kodaline @kodaline – High Hopes EP: http://t.co/pwtbkjqu

3:10 pm
15th February 2013

RT @tgtf: New post: (SXSW @SXSW #SXSW13 flavoured!) Album Review: Kodaline @kodaline – High Hopes EP: http://t.co/pwtbkjqu

[…] Cheryl’s review of the EP here, and stay tuned for coverage of Kodaline’s appearances at SXSW coming soon on […]

[…] from Dublin, especially from their ‘High Hopes’ EP released earlier this month that Cheryl reviewed in February. I have been spreading the good word about Kodaline round to my work colleagues, using ‘High […]

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