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The Boxer Rebellion Return With 'Lightness Out Of Darkness'


By Stevie Connor.



Meeting fans in intimate circles and grand theatres last month, from London and Leeds to Paris and Amsterdam, The Boxer Rebellion’s connection to their illustrious past felt as visceral as the rush of love that found them in the present. Following those unforgettable nights, when old songs met new and their five-year hiatus came to an official end, the real sense that only good things still lie in wait is expressed in delicately weighted tones on their latest track, Lightness Out Of Darkness. The same band that established towering DIY ideals, toured the world independently and impacted a decade of popular culture profoundly through soundtrack contributions and TV appearances, Nathan Nicholson (vocals), Andrew Smith (guitars), Adam Harrison (bass) and Piers Hewitt (drums) achieve the notable feat of updating their sound, while remaining 100% the same The Boxer Rebellion that fans have always loved. Teasing out the latest, emotive opus from their upcoming February 2024 EP, produced by the band and mixed by Sam Duckworth (Get Cape, Wear Cape, Fly), Lightness Out Of Darkness is a four-and-a-half-minute, meditative flow of powerfully-articulate beauty. Nicholson explains “Lightness Out Of Darkness is a song about perseverance, knowing that every sunset has a sunrise and obstacles only stay obstacles when you lose faith in yourself.”

Announcing just eight dates across the UK & Europe for this year, while dropping hints of more to follow in 2024, The Boxer Rebellion brought their extended pause in writing, recording and touring together to a close last month and started penning the band’s next chapter. A shoulder-to-shoulder, standing-room-only return to the city that pulled the transatlantic band into each other’s orbit, at Lafayette, London, was followed by sold out major dates in theatre venues overseas, including an unforgettable, concluding night at the ornate Paradiso in the Dutch capital. As their short tour gathered pace, The Boxer Rebellion not only treated fans to their first new music since their 2018 album, Ghost Alive, by releasing the crystalline single, Powdered Sugar, they also released classic long-players, Exits, Union, The Cold Still, and Promises on vinyl for the first time. Hugely popular on the merch table before and after each show, the remastered reissues are now widely available, including directly from the band’s official online store. Also passing the 20th anniversary of their first single release, Watermelon, in October, The Boxer Rebellion’s return has offered them and their fans moments of nostalgic reflection, while looking forward to completing their EP’s release early next year. With a song book that includes other notable singles, including Flashing Red Light Means Go, Evacuate, Keep Moving, Diamonds and Both Sides Are Even, the four-piece’s story – from emerging as Kerrang!-tipped post-grunge act to the worldly-wise, grown-up indie soundscape specialists – was told through a lens of a noughties and 2010’s music world that battled with new technologies to find a new normal. Working progressively outside the atmosphere of major label discord and torment, The Boxer Rebellion released six albums from 2005, five of those being independently financed, released and taken round the world on successive international tours. Following debut album, Exits, released in May 2005 on Alan McGee’s ill-fated Poptones label, the band’s own Absentee Recordings label put out Union (2009), The Cold Still (2011), Promises (2013), Ocean By Ocean (2016) and Ghost Alive (2018), growing a global family of fans and gathering critical approval record-by-record.




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