Brother by Kodaline
Review by Sophie Minello
You know when a video begins with a funeral, tears are inevitable. This was especially true with the video for the new Kodaline single entitled Brother. Kodaline released their latest album, Coming Up For Air, in 2015 and have been teasing the making of album 3 ever since. Announced on June 13th, there had been much build up for the long anticipated music, which was released on June 23. Even at first listen, the message of brotherly love and care was obvious, with lines such as: “If I was dying on my knees / You would be the one to rescue me / And if you were drowned at sea / I would give you my lungs so you could breathe”. The release of this song was accompanied by a tear-jerking video directed by Stevie Russell.
To spoil the occurrence in the video, a boy’s older brother passes away, yet comes back to visit his brother the night after the funeral. The two play as siblings do, by competing in board games, having sword fights, and making forts. Throughout, however, the older brother has a ghostly presence that the younger one doesn’t seem to notice. When the little brother awakens alone in the fort that two of them had built, grief seems to hit as he understands his brother is gone from the world, but still exists in all the memories they’ve made together. It’s a beautiful and moving depiction of the little brother moving forward in the grieving process.
Within a minute I had tears in my eyes. When the ghost first appears, the instruments go quiet at the line “I’ve got you brother” with haunting and layered vocals. This, of course, left me sobbing right away. The younger one continues to remove the ghostly sheet from his brother’s frame and the feel of the video is shifted entirely. In videos, ghostly presences are often associated with fear, but fear is the last thing you feel during the video for Brother. There is a gentle and haunting beauty throughout the song, but the presence of the ghost brother brought along a rare warmth to the sad occasion. Overall, the song and video of Brother by Kodaline were a deeply moving and a wonderful way to propel listeners into the new era leading up to album 3.
Listen to Brother: