The title "In Boxes" captures the essence of how modern life often confines us within various 'boxes.' Each song in the album can be seen as an exploration of these metaphorical boxes - the spaces, both physical and mental, that we inhabit or impose on ourselves and others. The album cover depicts the indirect nature of our experiences through screens. It's a commentary on how we often experience life second-hand, through the filters of technology and our own perceptions, rather than directly engaging with the world around us.
In the song ‘Universe In You’ the lyric "Until you realise there's a universe in you" is a pivotal moment in this narrative. It symbolises the breaking free from these constraints, the moment of realisation where you discovers the boundless potential and depth within, beyond the confines of these 'boxes.' It's about transcending the limitations of our physical and mental spaces, encouraging us to look beyond the superficial layers of life and delve into the profound universe within us.
Underneath is a description of each song.
You can click on the time/note to see the lyrics.
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All I Ever Wanted - When you meet someone larger than life, you often become like that too. The first lyric, “there’s ten of you,” refers to a moment at a concert, when the singer said, “it’s like there’s ten of you”, because we were making so much noise at the front.
I Know - When a relationship triggers people’s protection mechanisms, it leads to a chain reaction. “You build a wall so high, it's almost as big as mine”.
Like a Memory - Memories that time didn’t heal can pin you in the past, emotionally. This song is about finding freedom from those memories and opening up new possibilities in life.
Photograph - I wrote this a short while after I met my wife. Her home was filled with photographs and pictures from all over the world, which painted a picture of her life, her friends and family, and made me feel like I already knew her. The studio version has an extra verse which was written 8 years after the original song.
The Next Adventure - Life seems to be made up of chapters and sometimes you find yourself in a brand new one. When my wife returns from Canada, we often start a new chapter.
The Box - Getting caught up in mainstream and social media with their narcissism, biases and agendas can shut down our freedom and desires. We can end up getting stuck “in boxes” in our own heads without realising it.
Universe in You - With the external pressures of life and work bearing down on you, you look within to find solid ground. Everything stops spinning.
Shine On - “If you know your shadow you can find the sun.” This alludes to exploring your dark side to find your light. I met the flamenco player, Juan, in a house in Brixton, London and recorded him playing this track in a loft.
Take Heart - When you’re on fire and in the zone! Positive confident vibes can have such an effect on others: “when all hell is breaking, to you it's a calm afternoon.”
Players - Feeling fragmented by having to fulfil many roles in life and work, you look for a way to let go and live a simpler life
As I Am - This song is about holding your ground with someone who only sees you how they want to see you and treats you accordingly. Some people can’t understand that you may have a different and equally valid point of view.
Platform 10 - When someone you love wants to hide a part of themselves that’s less than perfect, so they “disappear” for a while. When they return, the knowledge that they might not always be there means that you make the most of the time you have together.
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