Sunday, April 21 2024

Straight out of Coeur d’Alene, United States, Ben Vogel‘s latest single, ‘Boxes,’ showcases musical versatility and homegrown talent. Ben wears many hats on this recording, handling all vocals, guitar, drums, bass, keyboard, and programming duties, demonstrating dedication and commitment to his work.

Influenced by the likes of Crowded House, Squeeze, Elton John, Carole King, and The Replacements, Ben’s musical journey took an unexpected turn during the challenges of 2020. Unable to perform live, he invested in recording equipment, transforming his Coeur d’Alene abode into a home studio where he produces all his music.

‘Boxes’ brings to mind sounds and styles reminiscent of renowned artists like Lindsey Buckingham and The Records. Additionally, the rhythmic nuances evoke Marshall Crenshaw’s ‘Someday, Somehow’—never a bad thing in my humble opinion!

In more detail, the track itself begins with a blend of bouncy, chugged acoustic guitar and reverberating piano notes that set the stage for Ben’s vocal and introspective lyrics:

Seems I’ve had more friends turn to strangers,

Than I’ve had strangers turn to friends.

‘Boxes’ by Ben Vogel

Vocally, Ben’s unique voice brings to mind the emotive tones of David Mead and Josh Rouse, but with a style all of his own.

As the song progresses, it enlarges. Ben’s vocals are joined by programmed drums and subtle synth accents, adding depth to the narrative, and the pre-chorus is accompanied by a bass guitar. Personally, the pre-chorus is the standout moment of ‘Boxes’ for me. The wonderful lift leads seamlessly into a chorus, where again, the sound grows with the addition of vocal harmonies to support and enhance the catchy melody.

Throughout ‘Boxes,’ Ben’s musicality shines through, with touches like the bass adding dynamic energy and driving the song forward, and the clever structural shift after the second chorus that leads to a short breakdown before building again into the chorus and outro. Ben has a knack for arrangement and composition.

Ben Vogel credit Eleanor Milman
Photo Credit Eleanor Milman

Thematically, Ben describes ‘Boxes’ as a “coming-of-age song about all the things you didn’t realise you’d left behind while growing up.” Some well-written lyrics convey this sentiment effectively:

Sometimes I can’t recall the details,

I often lose the names.

The years turn grand designs to rummage sales,

Turn a youthful pride to shame.

‘Boxes’ by Ben Vogel

As Ben embarks on his ambitious project to release a single every month throughout 2024, ‘Boxes’ serves as a confirmation of his resilience and creativity. Released on his 30th birthday (Happy Birthday Ben!), the song encapsulates Ben’s personal journey of self-discovery and growth. And for me as a listener, it’s simply a fantastic and catchy tune that hits the spot!

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Review

Summary

Ben Vogel’s ‘Boxes’ intertwines acoustic elements with an ’80s power-pop flair, crafting a poignant coming-of-age anthem. Reflecting on the passage of time and the connections of youth, it’s a heartfelt journey complemented by Ben’s ambitious project of monthly releases in 2024.
88%
Reflective & Catchy

Rating

Song Quality
Vocal Performance
Lyrics
Instrumentation
Production

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About Author

Matt Warren

Matt Warren is a Cheshire based musician who studied contemporary music and composition. When not writing for The Indie Grid he enjoys watching 'Breaking Bad' on continuous loop and going to gigs. Since a youngster his fave band have been 'The Beatles' (with 'Cardiacs' in at a close second)... and this still applies to this day.

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