Sisters Holly and Coco Chant are Xylaroo; fresh and off-the-wall, they bring indie vibes with a flavour that is beautifully modern and, well. Just plain beautiful. From London by way of Papua New Guinea, the two play a kind of rock-infused folk that pays tribute to genre legends whilst always looking forward. Their sounds blend everything from Leonard Cohen and Dolly Parton to the Artic Monkeys and Elle King.
I’ve never heard a sound like their’s. It’s a unique, incomparable thing. It somehow simultaneously gives the impression of layered, bodied instrumentals despite a pared down acoustic vibe; that’s the strength behind their vocals. Much like I’d struggle to compare Alex Turner on AM to any other vocalist singing in any other way, Xylaroo’s sound is hard to define in that I’ve just never heard something assembled in quite the same way before. As such, I really don’t feel like I’m exaggerating when I say these girls are going places.
They’ve played support gigs to indie favourites, recently caught airplay on BBC Radio, and their debut album Sweetooth can be pre-ordered now, whilst set for release 3rd June. But plenty of treats are already available. ‘On My Way’ has quick witted lyricisms, that drip with cynism suited to anti-folk but wrapped in a bright package; ‘it’s not that I’m bitter, just a little pissed off’. ‘Sunshine‘ is just what the name suggests, sweet and bright and cheerful. The track was composed as something that the girls’ favourite Dolly Parton might be caught singing one day; it really does fit. A personal favourite is their cover of ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor‘ – it shows a real awareness for what makes something a good cover. It’s more than just shifting the genre or the sound, but also the mood, the tone. Treating the song with respect. This feels deep and melancholy; it’s brilliant.
Xylaroo also play Southampton’s own Common People May 2016; listen to them live, and get in on the groundfloor. These two have a unique, infectious sound that I truly think is going to make a big splash in years to come.