For years I’ve held Brookyln synth duo Xeno & Oaklander near and dear to me, albeit in a very cold, dark corner of my heart.
Since very early on, their particular brand of lo-fi minimal gothic synth-pop transcended the mid-late 2000s Minimal Wave redux. Their production was as stark as an Eastern European Cold War era pop outfit, but X & Os real raw power always lay in their unique mix of endlessly brilliant melodies and the haunting vocal work of Liz Wendelbo.
Their track “Celeste” off a Wierd Records compilation many years back is one of the most affecting and memorable things I’ve heard this decade.
From the start their they weren’t easily categorizable as mere nostalgic retropop, because at it’s root it’s so different, immediate and darkly romantic.
Their unique take on the genre and years of hard work have paid off and their dark pop hasn’t lost any of it’s edge but has evolved into moody synthpop that has more in common with early OMD than Crash Course in Science.
The good folks over at Ghostly International have taken heed and are getting behind their latest gorgeous work, “Par Avion“ (which available now digitally.) This is merely a harbinger of things to come as X & O prep a full length for Ghostly in early 2014.
Next year just got a million times cooler.