Bridie Adams reviews The Neighbourhood’s latest single
The Neighbourhood’s new single ‘Yellow Box’ seems fairly typical of the band’s usual alternative rock style. With the haunting lead vocals of Jesse Rutherford giving the song an eery quality that is recognisable in much of The Neighbourhood’s music, it is easy to see the similarities between ‘Yellow Box’ and the band’s previous hits, such as ‘Sweater Weather’, ‘Daddy Issues, and ‘R.I.P. 2 My Youth’. Featured on the soundtrack to the action game Death Stranding: Timefall, the title of the single is intended as a reference to the main character Sam’s backpack.
sustained vocal notes, a wistful melody, and minimalistic instrumentation
The lyrics of the single focus heavily on the notion of fresh starts, with the question “Can we begin again?” being posed repeatedly throughout. Generally, the words of the song are interestingly unspecific, creating an opportunity for the audience to choose what to assimilate them with. While a player of Death Stranding may link the ambiguous lyrics with the content of the game, other listeners may find different personal meanings within the concept of yearning for a restart, whether this may be in life, a relationship, or some sort of challenge to be overcome. The beauty of the lyrics of ‘Yellow Box’ is that they can be tied to many thoughts, feelings and situations, allowing us to connect with them on multiple levels.
The simplicity of the lyrics is accompanied by the minimalistic instrumentation. The introduction, though perhaps longer than necessary, is made interesting through the crackling sounds that can continue to be heard throughout. The echoing, distant vocals add to this intriguing mix of rather electronic sounds.
‘Yellow Box’ has everything we expect of a single by The Neighbourhood: sustained vocal notes, a wistful melody and minimalistic instrumentation, making it appealing to both fans of the band, and players of Death Stranding.