The new single from US-based indie rock group Transistor could very well be the anthem of the pandemic. “Shadowboxing,” as the name might imply, encapsulates a feeling all too familiar to the plague-weary people of the world, describing the sense of desolation stemming from the monotony and inaction now normal in our daily lives. For many living in this seemingly endless cycle, any action can feel pointless, as though you are flailing at your own shadow.
While the song’s subject matter may address our collectively subdued state, it is not one that wallows in its own misery. “Shadowboxing” is a high energy, foot tapping, and undeniably energizing tune. It is as though the lyrics describe a problem while the music is simultaneously its own remedy.
But there is also a sense of impatience in the strong rhythmic drive and circling melodies, a desire to return to the world, daily life, and the concert stage. A constant drum beat undergirds an energetic guitar part and the singer’s own musings. A guitar solo begins without great ceremony but suddenly turns ornery, its dissonances needing to be bent upward to fit into the harmony, exposing the frustration beneath the song’s lively veneer.
The tune’s music video aptly captures the almost dream-like state induced by isolation and pandemic-related rituals. It is full of surreal imagery in the same vein as Monty Python’s Flying Circus, a delightfully charming supplement to a timely song.
“Shadowboxing” is available on all major streaming platforms.
Written by Jacob Jahiel