Boxed In: 2015
Boxed In at WFUV (photo by Sarah Burns)
Like East India Youth’s William Doyle or Chad Valley’s Hugo Manuel, versatile Boxed In producer Oli Bayston first found his footing as frontman of an indie band, Manchester’s eclectic Keith. But Bayston shifted to a solo path after Keith folded in 2009, honing his craft as assistant and engineer for producer Dan Carey (Hot Chip, Bat For Lashes, Franz Ferdinand). Bayston remixed tracks for Teleman and Ghostpoet, and as a writer and musician-for-hire, collaborated with Lianne La Havas, The 2 Bears, Steve Mason, Willy Mason, and many others. Notably, he’s also produced other bands, recently helming The Bohicas’ raucous first album, The Making Of.
That diversity, adventurousness and ease has served Bayston well on his own self-titled debut, produced by Carey. Boxed In is a sophisticated collection of wiry electro-pop gems that crackle with flourishes of Neu!-reverent krautrock, decadent piano house, and urgent dance-rock, slipping from the lush perfection of “Mystery” to the brittle stomp of “False Alarm.”
Initially conceived by Bayston as a solo project—and yes, this is an album born out of a romantic breakup— Boxed In rapidly expanded as a band on the road as he recruited friends Liam Hutton (drums), Mark Nicholls (bass) and Jack Benfield (guitars and keyboards).
When Bayston and his bandmates recently visited Studio A, the affable London producer discussed visual artists, like Max Ernst, who inspired him and recalled the heady experience of meeting Neu!, Harmonia and Kraftwerk’s legendary Michael Rother, who actually remixed one of Boxed In’s songs.