Edwin van Cleef, Monarchy, Xylos, Xaphoon Jones

Xylos (Live)

"Xylos, a five-piece band from Brooklyn, makes stylish electro-pop, gesturing toward sensuality but also holding it at arm's length for appraisal. That policy plays out clearly in "Not Enough," the first single from the group's self-titled full-length debut. With twinkling arpeggios fortified by bubbly rhythm, the song presents what seems at first blush like a pickup anthem, an ode to blithe submission.

Monika Heidemann has a warmly soothing voice, succulent even at its most ethereal. A transplant from jazz and experimental-rock circles, she sings with arresting projection, intense even in stages of repose. On the album's inviting opener, "Darling Dearest," her murmured reassurances suggest a riff on Sade. Attacking the brighter cadence of "Second Order," she evokes a young Morrissey.

Despite all the synthetic elements here, you hear the rattle of hand percussion, the light scrape of fingers on a fret board. For Xylos, sound is one more thing to adjust, just so."

-New York Times



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