Last time XamVolo was featured on Nu Music News, it was more of an soulful R&B sound. The chameleon brings a more Rock’n’Roll infused with 808 vibe this time around with “Alive”. It has a more indie vocal approach and classic funk instrumentation that actually reminds me of Canadian band Afterfunk.
Late January this year, Xam dropped his debut album “All the Sweetness on the Surface”, and “Alive” is track 10 of 15. Channelling an eclectic mix of old-school soul and jazz, while radiating a chilled, contemporary electronic vibe, Xam has been hailed as “the future” by long-time fan MistaJam, and credited by DJ, label-owner and broadcaster Gilles Peterson with making a whole genre relevant again. “Jazz, but not like anything you have heard before,” he says.
Wise beyond his years, XamVolo is a true artist, overseeing every element of the music he describes as “a messy mind over raw, dark jazz grooves”. He’s been compared to the likes of Leon Bridges, Frank Ocean and Anderson Paak, while carving out a niche of his own as the rising star of UK neo-soul.
A powerful and emotive collection of song writing mastery ‘All The Sweetness on the Surface’ is an inventive concept album and a testament to XamVolo’s cinematic method of creating worlds within his music, it tells a neo-noir story of a young girl who finds herself confronted with a hive containing a black honey substance that can grant her every desire.
XamVolo explains the symbolism of the honey: “Everybody wants something, whether it’s money, power, justice, a clean slate, or a new pair of shoes. Some people would go to great lengths to acquire the things they want, but whenever there’s an easier option available, most people would rather save themselves the hassle. This album is all about the nature of our desires. When someone is told of this black honey – of an easy way to obtain everything they’ve ever wanted – their curiosity is piqued.”
Perhaps, beyond the infectious big hits and staggering vocals, it’s his attention to detail on these tiny little flourishes of genius that keep garnering him so many comparisons to the true greats of music.
Stream the album below!