“Politics of Living” Kodaline
By Esther Chan
Released on September 28, Kodaline’s “Politics of Living” surrounds listeners with surreal alternative rock. With an amalgamation of nostalgia, hope, and angst-like urgency, the Irish band’s latest album depicts life’s losses and triumphs.
The journey begins with “Follow Your Fire,” a recollection of teenage freedoms and sweethearts. Personified by quick tempos and scintillating synths, its themes of nostalgia and underscoring restlessness linger throughout the setlist. Accompanying this lyrical motif, Kodaline celebrates comradery in “Head Held High” and “Shed a Tear.” In “Brother,” they profess in a battle cry of brotherhood, “I’d give you my lungs so you could breathe.”
A calming breath in the midst of upbeat instrumentation, “I Wouldn’t Be” chronicles an ode to friends and family. Featuring the reminiscent melodies of bagpipes, the band pays homage to their Irish roots through this lethargic, church-like track. With “Angel,” a tribute to a teenage fan who passed away in a crowd mid-performance, the song unveils the band’s heartbreak as lead singer, Steve Garrigan, laments, “Tonight we send an angel home.”
The album culminates with “Temple Bar,” referencing Dublin’s iconic pub. It bleeds pain and confusion—peculiar for an album that preaches hopeful perseverance. As the final notes dance through the air, Kodaline’s broken plea, “Where did it all go wrong?” resonantes all too well with listeners. If this album is a depiction of life, perhaps there is no better way to portray its reality than admitting that there are no true answers to life’s questions, only hope.