Black Tin Box was released over a year ago on Miike Snow‘s latest album, Happy To You. It took my breath away the first time I listened to it back then, but it’s only today that I felt the need to express how mesmerising I believe this song is.
I am quite certain that I am among many of us who are absolutely fascinated by storms. What is not fascinating about a storm? It is a testimony of the greatness of the universe, that we constantly try to challenge. It is like the world reminding us “oh, by the way, I can shatter you.”.
I don’t know about you, but to me there is also something reassuring about realising that the universe is much greater than our pitiful selves. For a moment, it’s blank, the world is expressing itself and you can do nothing but admire it. It is both frightening and appealing, dark and bright, loud and quiet. Storms are fascinating.
And Black Tin Box feels like a storm.
The low introductory synth line is the wind blowing, constant, quiet but powerful. It’s coming, the drums are saying it, it’s coming. The second, faster, synth line, it’s us, the living, getting agitated in the perspective of what is coming. Andrew Wyatt’s vocals impose themselves over our heads like the clouds, going with the wind’s flow. The xylophone notes fall like the first raindrops, still unsure, but slowly gaining confidence. It’s coming closer, electric drums add up.
Then they strike together: the thunder as the loud drums and the heavy rain as the fastest synth line.
Suddenly, the clouds move, everything goes quiet, and it flashes in your face: beautiful and luminous, Lykke Li’s voice, the lightning. But it was a short break, the storm builds itself up again, to come back stronger.
“The edges were sharp.”
The last synth line, the leaves on the trees, trying to resist the wind, then the violins, the same leaves giving up on the wind and letting themselves fly into the sky.
I hope that this is not only in my head and that anyone who listens to this song feels how powerful it is too.
This song is a fantastic gift from Miike Snow, and Lykke Li’s contribution is light but those few seconds listening to her voice feel like gravity has been disturbed. I told you Swedes were amazing!
Speaking of Miike Snow, Lykke Li and Swedes, hope you’ve checked out the INGRID compilation, amazing piece put together by a collective getting together Lykke Li, the members of Miike Snow and Peter Bjorn & John, and many other brilliant and innovative artists. If you haven’t, you know what to do next!