Happy Saturday friends! I have something very special for you today: tidbits of knowledge about xyce’s new album, which releases tomorrow. (And now that it has, this article is properly embedded!) Now, I’m just gonna go ahead and get this out of the way (and set your internal bar extremely high): this album is ridiculous. It’s great. It’s greater than great – it’s a level of great that Tony the Tiger couldn’t express. It makes Alexander the Great seem like Alexander the Just Kinda Okay. I’m telling you this now so that you’ll have a day to prepare yourselves before this album (and your jaws) drop.
First, some general words of praise for Tom and Roel: you know that we here at The CWB love these guys – they’re one of the most talked about artists/groups that haven’t actually ever been on a ChipWIN compilation (so far!). If you’re an American, you’ve probably never seen them perform live, which means I need you to give these guys literally all of your money for ‘nova’ so that we can get them over here. Seriously, if anyone sees either of these guys on the street, I don’t want you to shake their hand – I want you to pull out your wallet and hand it to them. It’s totally worth it! Would I lie to you? But seriously though, these guys seem to be incapable of making bad music, and ‘nova’ just serves to reinforce that. AND they managed to pull this off while still having been on tour this year, performing at these little music festivals you’ve probably never heard of, like EINDBAAS and Cheapbeats. How these guys do it, I don’t know, but I don’t ever want it to stop.
The album kicks off with ‘la cherie’ (you might remember this from Weekly Treats) – which I can only describe as “the most xyce-y song to ever exist.” Right off the bat, they remind you everything they’re about. You’ve got fat, punchy percussion, bass and leads that sound somehow both fuzzy and precise at the same time, and so upbeat that even the most grumpy sourpuss (read: me) can’t help but crack a smile and bob their head.
Let’s jump ahead a few tracks (I have to leave you with something to look forward to, right?). This is a hilarious track for a number of reasons, not the least of which being that they’ve somehow managed to get the Atari to say the word “wiggle” without actually having used any voice samples. The beat’s a little slower than some of the other songs on the album, but I still expect that this’ll get played live and absolutely slay the crowd. The song itself almost feels like one of those jokey songs that has a really long buildup to the bass drop only to fake you out right at the end – but instead you get wiggles and a really tight bass beat.
This album gives us the third installment of ‘coureur.’ I’m really glad these guys had a theme that they decided to…run with. Run with? Get it? Go back to French class, kids. This is a track to get you pumped to be sure – while the song starts off a little simple, that’s just to sucker you in and then jump you when the second half of the song starts. I do enjoy this song for the simple fact that it’s one of the few songs that feels both improvised and planned – the lead in the beginning feels so organic, you can almost imagine these two are just hanging out in your bedroom, poking around on a MIDI keyboard just out of sight.
Congratulations, guys. You made not only a dick joke, but also what is the audio equivalent of a YouTube Poop, except that it’s so freaking solid that I will blast this going down the road and not care as mothers cover their childrens’ ears as the words “SUCK…A COCK?” I asked Tom what they sampled for this song, and his response was “Oh, go search Bicycle Repairman on YouTube! It’s a really weird amateuristic Dutch porno.” So uh, y’know, there’s that. Do with that what you will.
Well of course the eponymous track for the album is going to be the best, right? You want arpeggios? You got arpeggios. You want cool spacey sound wipes? You get cool spacey sound wipes. This song is everything I’ve needed – there might actually have to be a xyce vs Monomer showdown for the title of “More 80’s Than 80’s,” because between the splashy drums and the slick lead, this sounds like it should have been in a movie based on a Phillip K Dick book. There’s so much power in this song – it is quite literally an epic, and I don’t mean that in the circa 2009 meaning of that word. This song gets you lost in an expanse of sound, and as the energy slowly builds, you accept that this is where you were meant to be – awash in the music, floating in space until the end of time.
Clocking in at 42 minutes, ‘nova’ comes out August 31st, 2014 on the Cheapbeats netlabel. Go ahead and set aside an hour for it – those 18 minutes will be vital so that you can regain your composure and become a functional human being after the religious experience that is this album. If you want to get a jumpstart on listening to this album, though, check out their Soundcloud (linked below) – ‘sourire’ and ‘nos petites femmes’ are also on the album! (SEATS TIP: If the Soundcloud versions of the songs sound different from the album ones, they are! Tom and Roel will occasionally fiddle with the pitch of songs in order to try to perfect them. The more you know!)
And seriously, buy this album so that xyce will come to America already.