PLAYING only a handful of small, intimate gigs and in-store promotion sets before a fuller UK tour next year, Boxed In arrive at Leeds’s Headrow House as one of the early highlights of the Beacons Metro festival which launched on Wednesday night with the splendidly-named Dinosaur Jr.
But it will be a different kind of vibe at Headrow House on Thursday when the London-based four-piece headline, no doubt delighting those present with most of the tracks from their brilliant second album ‘Melt’, released just last month.
More dance-orientated than the first eponymous release from last year, the band - originally the brainchild of singer-songwriter and producer Oli Bayston - has covered a lot of ground since they were last in West Yorkshire as part of ‘Live At Leeds’ in 2015 when they closed proceedings at The Nation of Shopkeepers.
And while Bayston remains very much the creative driving force behind the band, there has been a clear determination to ensure that the collaborative aspect of their live performances in recent years has been replicated in the new release.
“I think Melt is a deliberate progression from our first album, sort of staying in the same ball park sonically and influence-wise but I do think we’ve headed a little bit more towards the dance floor with this one,” said Bayston recently. “It’s a bit more synth-heavy and I would be interested to see what people think of the progression.
“Like it is with us playing live, the way we go about things (in the studio) is very much a four-way collaborative thing. We rely heavily on each other playing together and our ability to interact with each other as much as possible is a very important part of our live set.”
The collaborative process has extended to Bayston’s band-mates joining in the with the songwriting, with joint credits on the track ‘Forget’ and the hypnotic closer ‘Open Ended’.
“I write my songs,” added Bayston. “But, on this album, we wrote two songs together which was really important to me to feel like we had a collaborative point on the record where we had all written songs together.
“It’s great because I feel there is a progression with the band in a number of different ways.”
‘Melt’ must listen: ‘Underbelly’, ‘Open Ended’, ‘Melt’
The new album is a bit more synth-heavy and I would be interested to see what people think of the progression.Boxed In’s Oli Bayston