London based duo XVOTO share new single & video "Friends" and announce their highly anticipated self-titled debut EP for a June 4th release on One Two Many.
Today, XVOTO announce their highly anticipated self-titled debut EP for a June 4th release on One Two Many. The duo, comprised of Jazz Alonso and Saigon Fury (AKA Duc Peterman: guitarist and producer in HMLTD) are also sharing a new single 'Friends' alongside an accompanying video directed by Faith Aylward.
'Friends', a heady concoction of celestial RnB, maximalist pop and slinky bass to stunning effect, is rooted in
"the people who have irreversibly changed you and then having to pretend you’re unphased by them when you’re in the same room,"
as Alonso puts it.
"Meanwhile you’re trying to work out what your new boundaries are: can you talk about the past? Can you cry together? Can you show how much pain you’re in around them? “If you fish me, I’ll play dead” means: if you make a move, I’ll pretend I’m dead inside and don’t want you back."
Speaking of its surreal, neon-tinged video, Alonso continues:
"For this video I always imagined an aquarium because of the fish lyrics and because I think looking at fish in a tank is a really nice symbol of looking back at a relationship: you’ll always have your take on it and feel you have control over that narrative cause it’s a memory, but the reality is that truth is
fluid and moves. You’re not looking at an image, you’re looking at something that’s alive.
Then the scenes of us getting tattooed on our backs are symbols for something beautiful that scars you - you might move on from something but it’ll still inform the way you move forward. In the video there’s some cheating, some reminiscing, some beauty and some pain."
After meeting by chance in a McDonald's, a bond developed and Alonso and Fury have since spent the last two years holed up in Peckham, South London, working on the set of songs that make up their debut EP. The first cut from the EP, 'Mommy Can't Sleep', was released at the end of 2020 and received praise from the likes of international media outlets as well as repeated love from Jack Saunders at Radio 1. It was also been chosen to soundtrack the new Ford campaign. A second cut from the EP followed suit in January this year in the guise of 'Brainfreeze': four minutes of unsettling and maximalist textures struck through with hypnotic bass and beats. It saw continued support from Jack Saunders, Fred Perry, Matt Wilkinson on Apple Music and more.
“It’s the sound of us reacting to each other,”
Alonso says of a musical alchemy that takes in influences as disparate as SZA, Aphex Twin, and new wave band Japan.
“Duc wanted it to have a lot of energy and to sound youthful.” Fury agrees, saying: “We were throwing a lot of ideas at the wall and seeing what stuck.”
Perhaps most surprising to the pair, given Fury's punk background, was Alonso’s arrival at rap as a way of expressing what it was she had to say.
The new material was produced during an intense period at Fury's Peckham home, all-day sessions fuelled by coffee and a determination to push every boundary possible. They’re similarly hands on with the visual element of the band, channelling a shared love of anime and manga to create an aesthetic that acts as a clash of ritualistic and future-facing.
Having set out with the aim of testing themselves and seeing where that took them musically, together Alonso and Fury have emerged with a project capable of knocking you out and soothing you at the same time.
Picture by Alina Negoita