Kodaline presented "One Day At A Time" last June 12th. Previously known as 21 Demands, the Irish indie-rock band celebrates the birth of their fourth album as Kodaline. "One Day at a Time" has been released, for now, only in digital format, due to the current circumstances. The group doesn't refuse a physical release when everything gets back to normal. And they don't exclude either its presentation on a tour, eight dates have been announced so far in the middle of September in the Olympia Theatre in Dublin.
In addition, "One Day at a Time" was born with another meaningful detail: the fact that its lyrics have taken on a whole new meaning due to the lockdown. The group, which had already finished the recording before the pandemic reached Irish lands, saw it fair that the album came out without postponing it much longer. "There were no rules about what to do, so everyone made them up as they went along, but the more we got into it, the songs started to have a second meaning. It was all very relevant and we decided that the album should come out now more than ever," said Jason Boland, guitarist of the band and producer of the album in an interview for Irish RTÉ on release day.
When listening for the first time, "One Day at a Time" captivates easily, but then, it fades away. It doesn't engage at all. It is like the end of "In the End" (forgive the repetition) the last track on the album. This song is expected to have a great ending, but it plays with the listener. The end is quiet it progressively fades out. In this album, Kodaline has mainly wanted to play with human emotions.
The band started this fourth stage in their career by presenting "Wherever You Are" right at the beginning of 2020. The song that opens this album was already a warning of what could be found in "One Day at a Time": lyrics full of love and longing loaded with emotional impact and a repetitive hook. Kodaline's choruses are easily memorized, which is appreciated and the message within their songs is clear and reaches inside in all its fullness.
After the presentation with "Wherever You Are", they jump to "Sometimes", the second single that came to the music scene in March. With this song, Kodaline brought back the ukulele and took the opportunity to send a message of encouragement to all the people who "get lost sometimes".
The third single, "Saving Grace", was presented with a music video full of home recordings by Kodaline fans. Later on, they performed it with the RTÉ orchestra in one of the live shows the group has been doing every Friday during the quarantine. The sound was a 2.0 version of "Wherever You Are" and the lyrics were a new vision of the song "Love Will Set You Free". “Saving Grace” is captivating, touching, and welcoming. Just the same as Kodaline.
On the one hand, "Say Something" is the soundtrack to the sunsets in the car and "The Evening", on the other hand, is the soundtrack to the sunrise, embracing the listener at the beginning with the violins and then adding the percussion in the purest "All I Want" style.
"Spend It With You" joins the list of the group's most elegant acoustic ballads. However, with "Care", the album shifts towards pop and then with "Heart Open", it returns to the ballad by making the the tone of the album darker. In this part, the lyrics stop being so hopeful and begin to be colored by resignation and sadness but without forgetting the acceptance of bad things.
The end is near, and with "Everyone Changes" it can be noticed a little more light and a little more pop. Then, with "In The End", they leave that sweet feeling of the beginning that has become bittersweet.
Speaking of sound, the band has had small progressive twists in their history. They started with an alternative rock style when they still were 21 Demands, and when they reconverted to Kodaline, they added an indie sound to their songs with "In A Perfect World" in 2013. World fame came to them with "All I Want" and "High Hopes", which marked a path for the indie-rock sound that led to the birth of "Coming Up for Air" in 2015. In between new albums, their EP "I Wouldn't Be" was born, which sought to give Irish folk a chance. In 2018, the third album "Politics of Living" was released and with it, pop was introduced into their compositions, can be seen in songs such as "Follow Your Fire" and "Brother" but without leaving indie-rock and indie behind.
In this fourth album, the band seems to have turned the wheel a little more towards a slightly more pop-ish album, without leaving behind their beginnings. According to the Irish Times, the album "is a textbook lesson in how to make pop that is produced immaculately but without imagination". The general reflection that can be drawn from "One Day at a Time" is that Kodaline sounds better than ever but has something missing to exploit.
Kodaline returns to the music scene with "One Day at a Time", their fourth and most humane album emotionally composed. Its physical release date is yet to be known, but in the meantime, it can be enjoyed on digital platforms. Kodaline is back, sounding better than ever and with much more music to give away.