If you ask Steve Garrigan how his band Kodaline came together, he’ll probably shrug and tell you it was “out of convenience.” Garrigan, along with Vinny May, Jason Boland and Mark Prendergast grew up together in a small Irish town (Swords, Ireland—yeah, that’s a real thing), skateboarding and eventually finding their way to whatever instruments were lying around. Even still, the idea of putting descriptors like "organic" on the band’s formation feels a little weird.
“A band’s a band,” says Garrigan. “We were friends before we even touched an instrument.”
Kodaline have just released their first full-length album, In a Perfect World, which includes the recognizable single “Love Like This.” The LP’s title probably has a lot to do with Garrigan’s commitment to the ideology of positive thinking.
It’s not all hugs and kisses, though. The songs on this album, written entirely in Ireland, came from what Garrigan calls “a mix of emotions.”
“We write a song depending on how we’re feeling at that moment in time,” he says. “It could be really happy, it could be really sad. It could be anything else in between. … That’s why America’s been amazing—so many different experiences and so many new people and so many amazing landscapes.”
During their live show at Los Angeles’ Troubadour, though, the emotion at the forefront was unadulterated intensity. There was a definite shift in the room—just before an impromptu audience sing-along to Sam Cooke’s “Bring it On Home to Me” from the rafters—where the crowd lit up. The excitement held through to the end of the set.
Kodaline just announced a U.S. headlining tour, which kicks off in February of 2014. Until then, they’re on road promoting the album, both in the States and overseas. They’re humbled by the response and plan to use the solid start a a sturdy foundation for even bigger things to come.
“‘Seize the day’ I suppose, as cliche as that is,” says Garrigan. “F*cking live it out man, you know?”