The Boxer Rebellion live on KCRW – Step Out of the Car

Written by

From KCRW Volunteer Taryn Olsen

I had the pleasure of talking to some of the people waiting in line to get into The Boxer Rebellion’s sold out night at The Roxy on Saturday. It was clear that the line of happy ticket holders were very excited at the prospect of getting to see The Boxer Rebellion, who are famous for being remarkable in live performance. There was an unmistakable buzz in the air that evening that could also be felt in the station this morning for their performance on Morning Becomes Eclectic.

During today’s interview, Jason took time to talk about what was different about their new album, The Cold Still,as compared to their last release featured less than a year earlier.

For their new album, the band brought in producer Ethan Johns (who has produced albums by Ray LaMontagne, Rufus Wainwright, and Emmylou Harris) to help them better capture their live sound. Jason asked about why he seemed the most appropriate choice and the band responded with a story about Johns having them record in a circle facing each other rather than recording separately.

This approach was very different from the layer-by-layer recording process frontman Nathan Nicholson described as being the way that Unionwas recorded. Foremost in the differences between the two albums sited by the band is the vocal freedom felt by Nicholson which resulted in an expressive, organic sound they felt was previously only accurately captured in their live performances.

I am continually impressed with the music being produced by artists in the UK and The Boxer Rebellion is a great example. With the exception of Nathan who’s cute southern twang gives away his Tennessee roots. Listening to their music feels like being somewhere else – like being temporarily transported very far away.

I’m not sure how to explain it, but something about Nathan Nicholson’s Chris Martin-worthy crooning (especially on “Organ Song”) and the forward momentum of the rhythms from the band’s guitars and percussion make listening feel like an adventure.

The band happily reported that their sold out show at The Roxy was indeed a night to remember and promised to come back to LA when they return for their fuller tour in the fall. Hear their full performance in our archives.

The Boxer Rebellion live on KCRW

Organ Song

Step Out Of The Car

Caught By The Light

> Interview

Cause For Alarm

The Runner

The Gospel of Goro Adachi