The Boxer Rebellion

"Ocean By Ocean"

(Kobalt); Indie pop

By ​Phil ​Bennett

What a beautiful album this is.

Travelling well under the radar for the last 15 years, The Boxer Rebellion have put out album after album of classy, radiant pop and have managed to sneak their tracks onto TV shows and movies with relative ease, due in no small part to their ability to set pulses racing and tearducts prickling with their gorgeous slowly swelling melodies.

Their points of reference range from U2 with their dramatic earnestness (Big Ideas and The Fog I Was Lost In are the kind of tracks that reach the heights U2 always aspired to but never quite reached), Sigur Ros with their cascading vocal sweeps courtesy of lead singer Nathan Nicholson’s haunting falsetto, and Britpop in general with their memorable, stirring tunes.

Gloriously focussed, the songs on this album flow like escalating waves of sound that sweep you up on their ever-pulling tide, building on to each other to a climax that never transpires.

Which, of course, makes you want to put the album back on again.

Replete with fantastic hum-along, singalong, shout along choruses, their ability with the songwriting hook is second to none, their songs wrapped in a melodic sophistication that nags at your ear, seeping into your listening experience with such a beautiful subtlety that they remain with you well after the album’s closing life-affirming line “I choose to be happy”.

Ocean By Ocean is a majestic, panoramic adventure that leaves you feeling better about pretty well everything.

Music that tingles your spine.

​Phil ​Bennett

Musician, actor, singer, music reviewer, Phil’s interests cover a lot of bases and this is reflected in the music he writes about. From blues to soul, ambient to electronic, Phil writes about artists he feels are interesting, true to their craft and worthy of your ears.