We're Crying Over KODALINE's New "Wherever You Are" Music Video Based On A True Story!
Ai dela Cruz
Kodaline has done it again. *grabs tissue*
It's inevitable to feel vulnerable when listening to Kodaline. No wonder their songs have repeatedly become soundtracks to our favorite shows and movies.
Their LSS-inducing biggest hit "All I Want" was instrumental in intensifying our feelings while watching our favorite scenes from the global tearjerker The Fault In Our Stars, Grey's Anatomy, The Vampire Diaries, and most recently, 13 Reasons Why despite being released back in 2012. In 2014, the film Love, Rosie also featured the band's breakout hit "High Hopes."
"WHEREVER YOU ARE"
And now, they've dropped a new song along with another emotionally charged music video that's sure to tug at our hearts once again. "Wherever You Are" is their first release since their 2018 album Politics of Living and it's looking to be another anthemic tune.
— Kodaline (@Kodaline) January 18, 2020
In my 22-minute MYXclusive phone interview with the Irish band's drummer Vinny May, he confirmed that the upbeat track is the first single off of their much-awaited fourth album which comes out this summer: "It's one of the first songs we had finished for this new album."
"It's basically about missing your loved ones and missing our wife and our partners and our family when we're away, touring. And no matter where in the world you are, they're always in your thoughts," Vinny said of the song's meaning, which was written by the band's frontman Steve Garrigan for his girlfriend Diana Bunici.
Thanks to modern technology, the band can talk to their loved ones anytime, face-to-face, via video calls. But Vinny explains they've also missed birthdays, anniversaries, and other important occasions, which technology can do nothing about.
Thankfully, their friends and families don't hold it against them. "They completely understand and they're 100% supportive because they know we're doing what we love to do and this is what makes us happy. And my wife is super supportive. I wouldn't be able to do it without her support," Vinny said filled with gratefulness in his voice.
Shot in Morocco, the "Wherever You Are" music video is extra-special because not only is it based on a true story of a girl's painful journey with grief, but it also features that very same girl in the video—model Teresa Oman—who happens to be a friend of the director, Riley Blakeway.
"After hearing the song for the first time, I was reminded of a close friend that lost someone very special to her and shortly after, went on a trip in search of catharsis. I then asked that friend to star in the film and the result was one of the most meaningful collaborations I've had. I can't thank Teresa enough for the trust and vulnerability she gave me," Riley narrated.
New music video for @kodaline “Where Ever You Are” by my incredibly talented mate @rileyblakeway Thankyou to our amazing little team who made this beauty a reality. Experiencing my own grief of losing a loved one recently has been a real journey. I’m truly grateful to have had the opportunity to use some of these emotions to create something beautiful like this 💫💫💫 go check it out :)
In the video, a happy couple (played by Teresa and Nick Mahady) plans to take a trip to Morocco, but the guy gets sick and eventually dies. As she grieves, Teresa decides to complete the journey alone, resulting to a bittersweet experience: the trip of a lifetime and a fitting way to say goodbye. "It's a sad video, but it's uplifting," Vinny described the heartbreaking visual, which now has almost two million views on YouTube.
According to the 29-year-old drummer, they intended for the video to be low-key: "We didn't want to do a big, flashy, expensive video where the song will get lost. We talked to the directors and creatives, said what we wanted in our head, what the song means to us, and what we would like the video to portray. The ideas came back and it matched the song's meaning."
As they celebrate their 15th year together this 2020 (including their years under the name 21 Demands from 2005 to 2011), Kodaline has decided to go back to their roots for their upcoming fourth album.
After collaborating with different producers and songwriters in their last album Politics Of Living, Vinny excitedly shared that their upcoming album was written, recorded, and produced by just the four of them—Steve, guitarist Mark Prendergrast, bassist Jason Boland, and himself—much like how they did their debut album In A Perfect World.
— Official Charts (@officialcharts) January 18, 2015
"It was just the four of us in the studio, writing and recording, which gave us so much freedom. We have 100% control over it. We don't send anything to the label unless the four of us are really happy about it. So our fans are gonna be glad to hear it 'cause it sounds like our first album. We're going back to our roots," Vinny happily stated.
We’ve been hard at work in our little studio making these new songs and it’s so great to be able to start sharing them with you now. We’d love to see your covers, tag us and we’ll share our favorites #whereveryouare
🎥 @thisiswolff pic.twitter.com/sm1Tpxu7mM
— Kodaline (@Kodaline) January 19, 2020
Their production process has also changed according to what has worked for them best over the years they've been together. Now working in their own studio in Dublin which they've had for the past 2-3 years, Vinny revealed that before, they would get bogged down after staying in the studio every day from morning 'til night.
But now, they've decided to take the weekends off: "It's better 'cause we're completely fresh when we come back on Monday from the weekend break. We can come back from where we left off with a new perspective. It's very relaxed and chill. That's the difference in treatment. We're more subjective. We're so happy with how it turned out. We're excited to show everyone what we worked on."
And it seems their simpler and more intimate way of creating the new album didn't just do wonders for their music, but also for their relationships with each other as bandmates. Vinny proudly said, "The four of us have never been as close as we have been. 'Politics' was a great album for us—it stepped us up on a different level in terms of touring and fan base and a whole different experience with songwriters. But for this album, we wanted to take it back and see if we can work with just the four of us and it's been absolutely incredible."
It was evident how happy they were with their regained freedom and independence because of not doing collaborations this time, which led to them retaining their original sound. But it also begs the question as to which artist they would deem worthy to collaborate with in the future. As soon as I asked Vinny whom they would want to welcome inside Kodaline's world of music and mesh with their sound that blends indie, folk, rock, and pop, he immediately exclaimed, "Oh, God. That's a really tough question."
After a few moments, he had a reply that sent my imagination running wild: "Working with people that aren't in our genre would be pretty cool. I want to work with someone completely different or kinda outside our comfort zone like Khalid, Anderson .Paak, or Chance the Rapper—someone people wouldn't expect us to work with." Whoa. Pre-saving those tracks in my mind now.
— iHeartRadio (@iHeartRadio) March 12, 2018
With Kodaline getting bigger and even more successful with each year, those collabs don't seem too far-fetched. The band has scored three #1 albums in Ireland, two Top 5 albums in the UK, and numerous strong chart placings all over the world.
— Ken Binley (@Kbinley) March 18, 2014
In 2019 alone, they played some of the biggest shows of their career. At home in Dublin, they sold out two huge outdoor shows. They've hit many festivals such as Lollapalooza, Benicàsim, and Open'er before becoming the first Irish band to headline the massive NH7 Weekender in India.
— Kodaline (@Kodaline) December 3, 2019
Today, their songs have garnered more than a billion streams on Spotify and almost 600 million views on YouTube.
Being together for 15 years is no joke. That's even longer than most relationships last nowadays. Asked what their secret is for staying together, Vinny drew a deep breath before saying, "We've had our tough times and arguments in those 15 years. We know each other now really well. We know when someone's having a bad day and we know how to deal with it, like when people need a bit of space."
— Aoife Hennessy (@aoifehenno) December 20, 2014
He also shared another secret that probably applies as well to any relationship: "We're really honest with each other. There were times when we wouldn't say anything when someone is really annoying. Over the past three years, we've realized it's very toxic not to talk about your feelings and how something somebody said to you has affected you. We've matured now as a band. When something is bothering us now, we say it straight out."
"We don't hide things from each other. If one of us has done something that annoyed the other guys from the band, then we'll say it. Then we move on," Vinny continued.
Their touring crew is also a big factor in how they were able to keep it together: "Because we've known each other for so long, we have the same guys around on tour. They're our friends even when we're not on the road, so we're all grounded. Nobody is allowed to have a big ego because the other guys won't let them."
"Anytime somebody is having a tough day, we take a step back and realize what we do. We know how extremely lucky we are and the privileged condition we're in. We don't take that for granted at all," he assured.
Words can’t express the gratitude we have for everyone who has listened to our music, come to a show or supported us in anyway. You guys are the reason we get to do this. Looking forward to sharing new music with you all in the new year.
Thank you so much VSMJ pic.twitter.com/9IoQqFrhVe
— Kodaline (@Kodaline) December 18, 2019
In the end, Vinny perfectly summarized the root cause of Kodaline's longevity: "We're friends first and foremost, before bandmates."
COMING BACK TO THE PHILIPPINES
The last time this tight group was here in the Philippines was during their second visit in February 2019, which was their first solo concert for their Filipino fans, as part of their Politics of Living tour. The first one was in March 2018 during the Wanderland Festival, which Steve even posted about on his personal social media accounts.
— Steve Garrigan (@SteveKodaline) March 12, 2018
So when are they coming back? Here's what Vinny can give us for now: "We're planning a lot of touring towards the end of this year and early next year. We'll definitely be back in the Philippines for sure."
While we keep our "high hopes" for their third visit in 2020, here's Vinny's message to all of Kodaline's Filipino fans: "Thank you so much to all of our Filipino fans. You guys are absolutely incredible. You always give us such a warm welcome every time we come to your beautiful country. Thank you all so much for your support and love for our band and our music. I'll see you guys pretty soon."
We'll hold you to that "pretty soon" statement, Vinny! Just please come back. That's all we want.