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The Kooks: 10 Tracks to Echo in the Dark — How Did I Miss This

Like most Caucasian men of my age, I am a FIFA song aficionado. A staple of any FIFA playlist is The Kooks song: Always Where I Need To Be. Vivid memories of FIFA manager mode flash through my mind whenever I hear that song. Which leads me to the second article in the music series where I ask; How Did I Miss This!?

British Pop-rock has been a genre I have enjoyed for years. Growing up I thought I was an edgy punk kid, and British Pop-rock felt like that contributed to the image I was trying to craft at the time. I, also, just loved FIFA – a game that has always had good music. 

Another classic from The Kooks is She Moves in Her Own Way. A 2006 song that has somehow just always been around. I don’t know where I first heard it, or where I keep hearing it but it keeps popping up. The same applies to a few of their other tracks like Naive and Seaside.  

I have always enjoyed The Kooks but I wouldn’t consider them one of my favourite bands, until now. That opinion changed after discovering their latest album 10 Tracks to Echo in the Dark. The album came out in July of 2022. What, I don’t understand is how I only found the album a year later. I have a ritual, on Mondays I listen to my Discover Weekly from Spotify and on Fridays I listen to my Release Radar. Based on my music history I would assume The Kooks would find their way onto one of those playlists. Somehow that didn’t happen. Despite that, I was fortunate that the album found me this year. 

The album feels to fitting for the current moment from the first beat on the first song Connection. The chorus speaking to a feeling we all struggle with: 

I don’t know how, I don’t know why
I’m just trying to make a connection
To the left, to the right
I’m just trying to make a connection
And in your eyes a silhouette
I’m just trying to make a connection
I’m not a man to walk away
I’m not a man to walk away from a connection

Connection by The Kooks

A comfort song that hits me with just the right amount of dopamine to help me start a challenging task. For example, I used this album to push me through cleaning the kitchen and dishes today. 

They then hit you with the right amount of nolstagia with Closer. The type of nolstagia that improves your mood rather than pushes you into a deep depression as you contemplate the rapid passing of time. A freeing anthem that I can’t get enough of right now. 

Somehow, the album taps into the right amount of melancholy and hopefulness that I needed this year. This is exemplified on their song with Milky Chance called Beautiful World. Exploring the cruel realities of the world with a simple curse world while juxtaposing that with a simple hopeful line: 

It’s such a fucked up world
But I’m glad we’re living in it
Such a beautiful world
I’m glad we’re living in it

Beautiful World by the Kooks & Milky Chance

You don’t need complicated analysis to understand what they are trying to say. However, I think that chorus sums up how the album makes me feel. It is honest without becoming cynical. The world is flawed but their is hope. That is how the album makes me feel, and that is why I cannot stop listening to it.