Dec 28, 2014

Top 20 Songs of 2014: Buddy - Boxing Elbows

Boxing Elbows is probably one of my favourite this year... the build, the musicality, the swagger, the poppy goodness is so good. The harmonies at the end of the track is what sold me on this one... Again, again again...

From the opening chords of “Weak Currents,” the album’s first single, the hand of Phil Ek is immediately evident. Ek, who mixed the album, is best known for his work with acts such as Band of Horses, Built to Spill, and the Shins, all of which Buddy’s sound could easily be likened to. The juxtaposition of the simple acoustic guitar part with the distant, kaleidoscopic, feedback provides a lush soundscape that is the perfect bed for the pretty vocal melody to lie upon. On this song and throughout the album, the backing vocal harmonies (at times augmented by guest artists Michelle Branch, Cary Brothers and Holly Conlan) steal the show, betraying a bit of Crosby, Stills, and Nash by way of the Fleet Foxes (another Ek pet project). This song is followed by “Slow Light Down,” which, though it never strays far from Indie rock orthodoxy in terms of its chord progression and melody, does make memorable use of overlapping background vocals, haunting guitar trills, and one of the standout lyrics on the entire album: “Despite what they say it isn’t love if you’re not ashamed.” BBS

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