Release Date: Nov 24, 2017
Record label: Weird World
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
Romy Xeno was born in South Africa, and lived there until she moved to the radically different climes of London when she was 16. This is a simple print reduction for what was a huge life experience for Xeno, and does not encapsulate quite the magnitude of such a radical shift. However, that's where she steps up as Xenoula, and throughout her self-titled debut album she tackles this culture clash aurally.
Xenoula has decided to play coy. Her official press photo offers just a portion of her face surrounded by pinkish-purple bubbles. The video for her song "Chief of Tin" features a woman hatching from a womb-like pod and exploring a verdant forest while covered head to toe in a tarry substance. (It's a pretty cool video.
O ccasionally this debut album from Xenoula (real name Romy Xeno) feels like relatively run-of-the-mill indietronica - tracks like Luna Man, for example, are somewhat forgettable. But as the album opens out, it's clear the South Africa-born, Wales-based artist, along with producer LA Priest, offers something more intricate and strange. Dreamy Caramello boasts breathy, sweet vocals ghosting over rich but fragmented electronic textures, pulled together over a warm, organic, psych-infused groove, while standout Tororoi finds lithe percussion dancing and weaving around her voice.
Xenoula is the indie electronic project of musician Romy Xeno, marking her recording debut. A native of rural South Africa, she moved to more hectic, man-made surroundings in the U.K. at the age of 16. The resulting culture shock influences her partly nature-inspired music, which combines pastoral elements with more unpredictable, synthetic ones.
Romy Xeno spent many of her early years living in South Africa. There, she was influenced by some of the traditional, earthly songs of the nearby villages, as well as the rhythms of nature, developing a kinship with flora and fauna rather than man-made objects. At the age of 16 though, she moved back to the UK and the culture shock, understandably, was great.