Xoxo have erupted onto the Brighton music scene with a colourful complexity. Showcasing a sound characterised by melodic riffs, infectious basslines, intricate beats and inspired lyrics, their latest release, ''My New Habit'' is an earworm armed to attract.
The song's melody is unmistakably pop, reeling in the listener with a playful keyboard riff. It encapsulates the optimistic romanticism of youth, spinning a tale of a flirtatious late night encounter. Charming and relatable, the lyrics express the desire to understand precisely what is going on in the mind of the person you want ''wishing you were telepathic''. Poetic imagery of delicate ''tiptoes through daydreams'' project a sense of innocence, reinforced by a peppy bassline built into climax with a slow controlled drum rhythm. Exploding into a sense of longing, the chorus echoes in a detailed guitar riff with a palpable sense of need; the track is relatable yet fresh.
My New Habit is the epitome of pop music in 2022, combining the youthful energy of indie with shamelessly catchy hooks. The track is charming, relatable, and a dazzling first impression for Xoxo. We sat down to chat with Vocalist Vid and Guitarist Ollie to get to know Xoxo a little better.
Snowballing together through a series of musical collaborations between members, Xoxo fell into fruition. Their chemistry is clear as we speak over Zoom. They tell me about early introductions: "The first time we ever met, we went to this gaming cafe bar, and the majority of the night was just me shouting at Vid and Chey, telling them how bad they are Mario Kart" it makes sense for a band with such a playful sound to have sparked chemistry in the midst of a gaming cafe, with Mario Kart serving as a foundation for friendships' we don't talk about Mario Kart in Rehearsal…you were brutal, right off the bat.'
The pair bounce off each other with ease; compatibility that they inform me runs straight through their creative process. "I've never had as much fun writing music as I do with these guys. There are no boundaries. We can just do whatever we want.". The importance of experimenting creatively is something they reaffirm throughout our conversation "There are no creative boundaries, it's still pop music, but we're allowed to express ourselves how we want". They explain how they collaborate on creating their music, supporting and building upon each other's ideas "When Vid came to us with the idea, it was a piano playing a vocal melody. Very instrumental, very rough … the first take we did, I came up with the idea for the guitar riff that ended up in the final take. It just snowballed and kept going until we had the whole song." "It just clicked with these guys and turned into an actual song, as opposed to a few lines here and there and a few bits and pieces. It would be fair to say that it was recorded more than written".
Xoxo's sound is eclectic and inspired. When asked about their influences, their answer is as multifaceted as expected. "I've been listening to a lot of Fickle Friends... I come from a bit of a metal background. So you've got Lamb of God, Polyphia … when me and Finn had our first chat, we were talking about the inspiration for it [Xoxo] we really liked the complicated technical sound, but I also love Taylor Swift." Respect for Swiftie seems to be a shared trait amongst band members: "I think she's a really great songwriter. A lot of people underestimate her just because of how she started as this pop star". Dancing between a range of influences; the pair laugh as they propose that perhaps they can be described as "Taylor Swift with mosh pits". A love for lyricism is close to the band's heart as they go on to explain how they landed on their branding: "We've got quite wordy songs. Lyrics are an important part of us as a band ... which is why the Baskerville font. It was supposed to be bookish without being old fashioned."
'My New Habit' is unmistakably pop, but what can we expect from future releases? They tell me about their forthcoming release, Tongue Tied, describing it as "a chain smoker song but with riffs", "It's like Foals heavy…..Tongue tied would make a really good liquid drum and bass song!". Their studio time appears to pay off as they explain, "The amount of stuff we've got in the works, we've got enough for an album." "Singles just make the most sense right now from a promo perspective".
As the conversation progresses, I ask how it feels to be a part of the local scene. "Brighton's music scene is one of the best in the UK, bar London. I honestly don't think you can get much better than Brighton. You can go anywhere in Brighton, and you'll be able to find live music on, and opportunities, it's such an interconnected place. There's such a wide range of genres … It feels like a place where you can grow your career from writing songs in your bedroom to selling out stadiums.". Support is something Xoxo have received plenty of in Brighton, with accolades from Melita Dennett and Kieron Pepper they explain to me how this has felt "It's just showing that the hard work people have been putting in is paying off. We're so lucky to have people like Melita around to help out who are willing to work with us. She has gone above and beyond what she needs to do. I feel like I can finally tell my parents that being a musician is a viable career path."
Developing a reputation for energetic live stage shows, the band told me about their latest performance at The Hope & Ruin: "It was amazing. There was a load of people. It was packed out; everyone was enjoying it, happy to be there… one of my favourite shows I've played in a long time. The Hope and Ruin it's quite a prestigious venue for up and coming bands, being able to play that stage and have a really good show. It was just very euphoric. We've been working together for about five, six months now - it was the culmination of that five, six months work." Following the success of the show and this latest release, it seems Xoxo are itching for the future and most definitely one to keep on your radar.
Xoxo's latest Single ‘My New Habit’ is available now across streaming platforms.
To keep up to date with Xoxo, follow them on Social Media:
Instagram - @xoxobandidos
Facebook - Xoxo Band
Spotify - Xoxo
Written by: Alice Hingley of South Lanes Studios
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