Television talent shows are a strange beast. They can often seem like the best avenue for a band to get traction in the ever more crowded music industry, and this can be especially prevalent in the Irish music market. However, for many artists it doesn’t seem to work out as they had hoped and any exposure that they do achieve is short lived. But sometimes they can prove to be the first step, however small, for a new music act to get onto the ladder.
Thus proved the case for the Dublin four piece, Kodaline.
When Steve Garrigan, Mark Prendergast, Eoin Long, and Conor Linnane first appeared on our TV screens during the audition stages of the RTÉ talent show, You’re A Star, in 2007. There was something about them that stood out from the other acts that were on the show, even at that early stage, as they exhibited a confidence and presence that belied the early stages of their development. The band would eventually finish as the runner-up of the series that year, and the single that they would later release, Give Me A Minute, would go on to become the first song by an independent Irish act to feature in the official charts. I really like this song…
21 Demands would continue until 2011, before re-imagining themselves as Kodaline (with Vincent May and Jason Boland replacing Long and Linnane). They would release their debut EP, The Kodaline EP, in September 2012 and thus would begin them going on to secure themselves as one of the big hitters in Irish music with a string of high charting singles and three extremely well received albums, In a Perfect World (2013), Coming Up for Air (2015), and Politics of Living (2018).
I will confess to not being the biggest fan of most of the music of Dublin the Dublin band, but there are times when they demonstrate an obvious ability for songwriting and representing complex emotions and storytelling through their music. Songs like All I Want, Perfect World, The Riddle, and others demonstrate the obvious talent of the group.
Another example of this comes in the form of their 2013 single, Love Like This.
There is something about this song that appeals to me, or more to the point resonated with me. This is an interesting song, where a lighthearted a happy instrumentation style masks a melancholic and heavy topic that most people will be able to relate to.
Across the song, we are introduced to the idea of what is described to us as a seemingly wonderful romantic relationship between two people. The instrumentation, along with the whistling interlude that opens the song help to paint the picture of a summer season and how times like this can be made all the better when being shared with a romantic interest. I immediately took me, and many other listeners, back to a summer day that they would have enjoyed in their past and this wave of nostalgia is a powerful grip for an audience.
“Running through the heat heart beat
You shine like silver in the sunlight
You light up my whole heart”
However, it soon becomes clear that our protagonist believes that there is something temporary about this relationship and that it will inevitably end. I have always been fascinated by this particular scenario or idea as for a long time I couldn’t imagine the idea of people committing to a romantic encounter without seeing the potential for it to become something serious or long term, and to be honest I still don’t understand why anyone would put themselves through that. But it seems as though the person in the song is perfectly okay with this scenario and is happy to live in the moment and enjoy it while it lasts without wondering where it is going.
” A love like this won’t last forever
I know that a love like this won’t last forever
But I, I don’t mind
I don’t really mind at all”
However, it is interesting to see that as the song progresses, it can be suggested that our protagonist has started to think about it ending and they’re not all that happy with that idea. This is more consistent with my thought processes on the idea, and how it is always extremely difficult to let go of something that is giving you such joy.
“Lost in the memory as it shakes up the corners of my heart
Was it my mistake?
Or maybe it was just as simple as a change in your heart
Mm, just as simple as a change of heart”