For some reason, “epic” seems to be the adjective of choice when it comes to Irish rock. From the ragged, heart-on-sleeve glory of Glen Hansard and The Frames to the romantic radio-friendliness of Snow Patrol (and lest we forget that little quartet Bono has fronted for the last few decades or so), the emerald isle has always managed to go straight for the jugular with a punchy, impactful chorus. Hailing from just a little north of Dublin, since 2011 Kodaline have contributed to this proud lineage and with a second LP entitled Coming Up For Air due in February, the four-piece are back with their latest heart-wrenching single Honest.
A heady blend of electronica-tinged stadium rock topped with anthemic vocals courtesy of frontman Steve Garrigan, Honest is, by design, poised for big things. Tying the ancient tradition of, well, “honest” Irish lyricism to a hyper-modern, ultra-compressed production aesthetic – no doubt thanks to new production partner Jacknife Lee (R.E.M., Weezer) – this latest tune sees Kodaline set the scene for album #2 and makes no bones about their lofty ambitions.
With a Hot Fuss-era Killers vibe driving the track’s frenetically energetic bridge and some intimate moments reminiscent of Coldplay’s Chris Martin at his most endearing, Honest is the kind of single that could well see Kodaline crack the coveted U.S. market. With a mammoth sing-along hook soaring over a tight and polished radio-ready smash, there really isn’t much stopping them.