Spotlight: Boxed In

Will Cowie finds a promising spark in Oli Bayston's melancholic melodies

Boxed In might have now released two albums, but they’re still an underground and undiscovered force. Oli Bayston is the mastermind behind the band, and you can tell that he was at one point the assistant to Hot Chip’s producer.

Indeed, in many ways this feels like the natural progression of the Death From Above sound which burst through in the Noughties—the nifty piano riff of their best known song ‘Mystery’ has more than an echo of LCD Soundsystem’s ‘All My Friends’.

That’s not to ‘box in’ the band: they are never in danger of sounding derivative. While Bayston, like James Murphy, is adept at taking a sound and slowly letting it run its course, his downbeat (yet occasionally uplifting) melodies feel much better suited to 2017, or Trumpton as it is now known, than previous dance-rock efforts.

In the latest release Melt, Bayston’s often soaring yet melancholic melodies come to the fore across an impressive selection of songs. The title track, as well as the album closer ‘Open Ended’, are flawless pieces of song writing. It’s not a perfect album by any means, but it demonstrates that Bayston is clearly a fearless and innovative musician with an ear for a good melody and a great beat. One to watch.