Boxed In

Boxed In Folder

(Wednesday) February 08, 2017 - 19:30

Hare & Hounds Kings Heath - 106, High st, Kings Heath (Map)

6 people attended

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DESCRIPTION

THIS IS TMRW
PRESENTS
WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 8TH
HARE AND HOUNDS

BOXED IN

BOXED IN - http://www.boxedinmusic.com/

Following hot on the heels of 2015’s self-titled debut, ‘Melt’ is the second album from Oli Bayston, the singer, songwriter, producer and front-man of Boxed In. It is an album of warmly inviting yet coolly controlled electronic pop, at once intelligent and full of feeling. Its 11 songs are quirky, infectious, accessible yet experimental, richly detailed, with the accent on midtempo art ache; the beats are propulsive and the basslines pulsate, designed for clubbing, while the melodies tease and tug, aimed for lonely late-night listening. If your dream notion of modern dance music includes a fresh spin on ‘70s krautrock, ’80s synthpop and ‘90s house and techno, then you’ll love ‘Melt’.

Bayston’s wry tones draw you in, demanding close scrutiny. Having honed his writing and production skills working with Nimmo, The Bohicas, George Fitzgerald and Petite Noir, ‘Melt’ was produced in tandem with the acclaimed Dan Carey at their studios in, respectively, Homerton and Streatham. “It’s all about balancing the two roles,” says Bayston. “I’m fortunate to be in a position where I can be a producer and an artist. The two inform each other - I get to see from both sides of the lens.” With Oli on vocals, keyboards and guitar, Jack Benfield on guitars and synths, Mark Nicholls on bass and Liam Hutton on drums, ‘Melt’ was recorded live, as a band, in Carey’s studio. Bayston then took the results back to his studio and made additions – the results are arguably more direct and electronic in tone, yet full of warmth, euphoria and tenderness. “I incorporated a bit more of my production style this time,” Bayston says, “but Dan’s ability to record a live band with me in it was absolutely essential. I wanted to just be the artist and have external input, and to fuse our individual takes on music into something new.” So much for the sonics.

The lyrics dig deeper still, largely exploring contradiction and confusion. “I haven’t stuck stringently to it, but the overriding theme of ‘Melt’ is the idea that you can be your own worst enemy and overcomplicate things,” Oli muses. “It’s about internal frustration.” Effectively, ‘Melt’ captures a young man in his early-30s, at a transitional stage, trying to figure out what to do, preparing to enter the next, mature phase of his life. “The first album was a breakup album,” he pinpoints, “whereas this one is about getting back together with that person and battling with the complications of entering that new phase. It’s about taking control and reconciling oneself with change and one’s own thoughts; it’s the importance of forward motion, and progression.” Beneath the pristine surfaces, therefore, lie passionate examinations of choice and change.

‘Shadowboxing’, for instance, is about attacking yourself and your own mixed emotions as you consider how to organise the new part of your life. The title track, too, discusses a dissolving complications. ‘Oxbow’, meanwhile, comes from the geographical process that takes place

over a long period of time where a river’s path is divided by an unstoppable force and is then latterly reunited, after being sent around a bank.” Collectively, they suggest Bayston’s own journey towards a new kind of acceptance of The Way Things Are. “I’ve been through a dark time and now I’m on the other side,” he reveals. “I’ve found a peace within myself and am appreciative of the things around me.” Not all the songs on ‘Melt’, though, address these unspoken thoughts. ‘Underbelly’ was written “on the spur of the moment”, following the Paris attacks of November 2015. “I felt completely helpless,” he admits, “as well as outright anger for the people who had created all that carnage. I’d never written a political or humanitarian song before, so that’s a bit of a curveball.”

The album is bookended by the gloriously upbeat first single ‘Jist’ and the dolorous, downtempo Open Ended. Actually, the album starts with the calm, reflective ‘Intro’, which heightens the sense of ‘Melt’ as a cohesive work designed to be heard from end to end, in one sitting. “I’m really proud of this album” says Bayston. “I put my heart and soul into it. In terms of sentiment and production, everything I was going for and trying to say I’ve achieved.” Not content with following the band’s self-titled debut album in little over a year, Oli continues to busy himself with production projects in tandem to Boxed In.

He’s currently producing the debut album from Nimmo, for example, and working with Zola Blood (among numerous other endeavours). In both his multi-tasking and this broader dissection of dance culture, Bayston perhaps offers a UK answer to James Murphy, Boxed In his LCD Soundsystem: his intention with each project is to “bring out the honesty in someone’s personality… I try to be true either to myself or the person I'm producing”. “The whole essence of the artist,” he furthers, “is to speak the truth through a song, whether they do it over dance music or acoustic guitar. I’ve just chosen to use the template of drums and synths. I don’t think you can pigeonhole who the ideal listener to ‘Melt’ might be. I think it transcends people’s specific choices. I’m just obsessed with the idea of expressing myself and helping other people express themselves through music. That’s my addiction in life.”

DOORS: 7.30PM
TICKETS: £10 ADVANCE

AVAILABLE HERE:
https://www.skiddle.com/whats-on/Birmingham/Hare-And-Hounds/This-Is-Tmrw-Present-Boxed-In-/12837784/

Tickets available on: https://www.skiddle.com/whats-on/Birmingham/Hare-And-Hounds/This-Is-Tmrw-Present-Boxed-In-/12837784/

(Wednesday) February 08, 2017

Boxed In

Hare & Hounds Kings Heath 106, High st, Kings Heath Birmingham, United Kingdom

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