Here is what I love about The Boxer Rebellion. They make their music their way, without regard to fashion, formula or record label dictates. This is the way they have always worked. And it works.
Here is something else I love about The Boxer Rebellion. The music. Their songs are sweeping, epic, and totally unique – even cinematic. They are emotional. The Boxer Rebellion are not afraid to put it all out there… their hearts, their aches, their passions.
When it came time to record this new album, The Cold Still, they were looking for a new perspective and another set of ears. The Boxers felt they had taken their band as far as they could on their own so they brought in producer Ethan Johns, known for his work with Ryan Adams, Ray LaMontagne, and Laura Marling. To my ears, Ethan Johns took what The Boxers do so well and made it bigger at times and smaller at others. In interviews, Johns says his intent was not to get in the way of the music but to help “capture” it. And he does.
Last fall I had the privilege and pleasure of interviewing The Boxer Rebellion on KCRW. The band had just finished writing an original song for the film “Going the Distance.” In the movie they play themselves, basically a band looking for a record deal and being pursued by a young A&R executive. When they came by to perform at KCRW they unplugged for our session – something they don’t often do - and it brought an intimacy to the new song and the three tracks they played from Union that underscored the emotion they weave into their music. I loved hearing them that way and that is what I hear in electric form all over this new record – the closeness of an acoustic session presented in an epic way.
Part of the conversation I had with the band that didn’t make it into the finished interview was about their plans for life after The Boxer Rebellion. They’ve set up an alter-ego band that plays weddings and bar mitzvahs. But after hearing this new album front to back, I don’t think you’ll be catching them at your cousin’s wedding anytime soon.
-- Anne Litt, KCRW Music Host
The Cold Still will be available to stream on demand starting January 31 through March 1, 2011, and will be digitally released exclusively on iTunes on Tuesday, February 1, 2001.
Listen to The Boxer Rebellion live on KCRW with Anne Litt, August 28, 2010.
Artist website: http://theboxerrebellion.com
1. No Harm
2. Step Out of The Car
3. Locked In The Basement
4. Cause for Alarm
5. Caught By the Light
6. Organ Song
8. Both Sides Are Even
9. The Runner