Following years of critical and global, recording and touring success as members of The Boxer Rebellion, Tennessee-born Nathan Nicholson and London’s Adam Harrison have teamed up with London-based writer, director and photographer Ben Lankester to launch new multi-disciplinary creative three-piece, Big Ideas. The band’s timely debut EP, The American Dream is born via Absentee Recordings and explores the artists’ instinctive responses to the current state of the world. Themes of hope, grief and rebirth feature heavily in the captivating audio-visual endeavour.
Mixed by the legendary Billy Bush and drawing from musical influences from the Seventies, Eighties and Nineties, The American Dream EP will bury deep into your ears and then deep into your soul. The EP’s lead single and title track features saxophonist Johnny Colla of Huey Lewis and the News and is a song about mislaid patriotism and the great potential in us all. Inspired by Springsteen’s often misunderstood “Born In The USA,” “The American Dream” can be interpreted as ironic or as an uncomplicated celebration.
As an urgent response to the current U.S. election and enormous societal challenges worldwide, Lankester has created a short film for the title track. The personal character study of a young, aspiring boxer, the promo is a visceral, pitch-black depiction of one man’s journey through contemporary America. Violence trampled hopes, exploitation and apathy set the metaphorical and figurative backdrop for The American Dream, featuring a brooding performance from boxer/actor, Tom Bennet.
Comment on the project from Nicholson and Harrison states: “Whilst writing, we had the idea for a song that commented on two realities that exist in the world today. ‘The American Dream’ embodies that drive to improve life for the individual – on the surface, easy to understand… like our song. But that short-sightedness ignores challenges that can only be solved as a collective. The dream you’re sold, isn’t always the reality you end up paying for.”
Lankester added: “What I relished about the challenge of creating the video for ’The American Dream’ was the dichotomy between the seemingly breezy surface of the song and the very contemporary dystopian themes running almost hidden underneath. Could we push this dark narrative concept as far as we could whilst ensuring the film always worked in service to the music? This was the challenge that was a pleasure to tackle head-on.”
Watch the video for ’The American Dream’ – BELOW:
Music by Big Ideas will be released as a collection of EPs, each led by a film of incredible artistic quality. Pairing Nicholson’s compassionate and melodic writing with Harrison’s ability to create sonic worlds of introspective depth and lively rhythm has generated magic alchemy of sparkling pop-infused grooves and thought-provoking lyrics. Each track tells a story that is both personal and outwardly communicative, building on The Boxer Rebellion’s knack for allowing the audience its own space for personal interpretation.
The American Dream EP track listing:
The American Dream