When the Boxer Rebellion made 2011’s “The Cold Still,” the London act did things the old-fashioned way: writing a group of songs and bringing them to producer Ethan Johns (Ryan Adams, Kings of Leon) to lay down in the studio. But for their fourth studio LP, the quartet turned their methods upside-down.
“It’s like a polar reversal between ‘The Cold Still’ and what we’ve done here, in a way,” guitarist Todd Howe told Billboard. “We wrote ‘The Cold Still’ as a band, together, the four of us – this one’s been as a band, but completely differently, just built from tempos or a beat. We would just groove on that and write around that.”
The process came as the band was given the opportunity to take over their longtime London rehearsal space, and thus the freedom to stretch out the recording sessions.
“We’ve been rehearsing at this one little spot in London for seven years. It came up that we could take the room over and set up a little studio,” singer Nathan Nicholson said. “So we’ve just been writing and recording, which is the new way of doing it for us.”
“We have great fans and a very loyal fan base,” Howe added. “Luckily through them, we’re able to do our own thing.”
Thanks to that support, the Boxer Rebellion remains independent, with 2009’s “Union” becoming the first self-released album to reach the Billboard 200 chart from digital sales alone. While the new set, due later this year, may bring a fresh creative process to the table, listeners shouldn’t worry about the state of the group’s soaring melodies.
“It still sounds like us,” Nicholson assured.