Casey Liu

Lionel Boy traipses through the emotive fog of “Shadowboxing”

If you missed Lionel Boy’s somewhat sudden proper arrival last year, well, I feel for you. A decidedly bright, if melancholy, spot in our pandemic stricken reality, the Hawaiian artist’s self-titled debut album was a supreme delight, driven by insightful emotional hues and earworm musical backdrops, nimbly splitting the difference between Bedroom pop and something grander.

Thankfully, he’s already deigned to return, preparing not one, but two EPs for release in 2022, Up at 4 and Down at 8. To kick things off, he’s shared a first single, “Shadowboxing”.

At once familiar yet clearly differentiating itself from what’s come before, the track is a true treat. Guided by Lionel’s omnipresent voice and lyrics, it’s backed by moody guitar, subtle electronic elements, and a lightly jazzy atmosphere.

As for the EPs, their creation came more than naturally, as Lionel reflects: “I felt like I spent all and none of 2021 working on these songs. Producing these EPs looked like a lot of early mornings and evenings spent at my computer screen. Some days feeling like I made no changes at all. I’m a pretty early riser—waking up at 4 am which are when many of these songs came to mind. I spend most of my time working when the world is quiet which sounds nice but isn’t always the easiest to do when you live in an older apartment with downstairs neighbors. Everything I do to get things moving in the morning is an inconvenience to the people around me—the creaky wood floors, tracking vocals, tapping my drum machine…just one of the many ways I’ve woken up my girlfriend throughout the years. Trying to find a balance between making my music when the creativity strikes while also being a respectful roommate/neighbor is tricky but we make it work.

Check out “Shadowboxing” below or on streaming platforms, and look out for the pair of EPs soon, with the first of which set to arrive April 29th.

Catch Lionel Boy on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.