Welsh trio XY&O have already totted up a whopping 38 million streams on Spotify with their eminently danceable hooks, warm electro sounds and profound lyrical content. The band combine elements of chillwave, synth-pop and R&B to create their memorable brand of sun drenched haze-pop. DMCWORLD checks in as they get set to drop their gorgeous new single ‘Fever’…

 

A huge welcome to DMCWORLD XY&O, where on planet earth are you today?

We’re at our studio in Cardiff Bay.

What is the best piece of new music you have heard recently?

Skip – I think the new The 1975 single ‘It’s Not Living (If It’s Not With You)’ is an incredible record. Also, Robyn’s new album is pretty slamming.

Tudor – Hayden James – Numb. It’s not super new but I’ve only recently found it and I’m obsessed.

Nick – Parcels – Tieduprightnow

For those who don’t know, please tell us a little about how you first got together?

Skip – Me and Tudor met on a random studio session. We decided that we’d try writing some songs together. We roped in Nick pretty soon after to come and play guitar and everything went from there.

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Who does what in the band?

Skip, vocals.

Tudor, electronic production, laptops and samples.

Nick, guitars + electronic production

What does your name mean?

It’s latin. Xysticus, Yatus & Oxydatus.

Who or what inspires your sound?

Other artists primarily. We all have similar but different tastes so we all bring different inspiration and influences to the band.

Who or what inspires your sound?

Other artists primarily. We all have similar but different tastes so we all bring different inspiration and influences to the band.

Skip – I listen to most genres of music, there isn’t much music that I can say I really dislike. My inspirations aren’t genre specific, I’d say some of my favourite, most inspiring artists would be people like Prince, The Cure, Fleetwood Mac, Jimmy Eat World and Sting.

Tudor – My influences can vary depending on what I’m listening to from week to week, month to month. Some all time favourite producers are Dr Dre, Timbaland and Kanye West and two of my all time favourite songwriters are Chris Martin and Ryan Tedder. More recently I’ve been loving everything Mura Masa and Hayden James have been putting out. The quality and originality of their production is second to none at the moment. From the more live music side of things I can’t get enough of Parcels. I saw them recently in Bristol and they really are something else.

Your new single ‘Fever’ is dropping on your own label Electric MVM.. What can you tell us about it?

‘Fever’ is a song we’ve worked on for a little while, its about healing and the realisation that only thing that’s going to make you feel right is in the hands of another person. We’d written most of it back in the Spring of this year, just ahead of a residency we played so it got side-lined for a while. When we knew we wanted to put out a new record, we went back over our demos and Fever just jumped out at us all straight away. It shows a step towards a new sound for us and hopefully demonstrates our musicianship rather than a strictly electro pop sound. It has a funkier, more disco sound than our usual releases.

You’ve also got a Deep House remix from TDOR, what did he bring to the table and are you happy with the way it sounds?

Yeah we’re super happy with it. TDOR is a club fiend so he knows the club sound. That guy is pretty much in the club 24/7. He’s a freak. He brought dance know-how to the table, but I’d advise you don’t spend too much time around that guy. He will mess you up. (TDOR aka Tudor is the third member of XY&O).

So you run your own label, Electric MVM, how did that come about?

We set up Electric MVM when we released our first single ‘Low Tide’. The song was more successful than any of us expected, so all of sudden we had our own (minorly) successful label. A happy accident. Like when two items fall out of the vending machine at the same time when you’ve only paid for one.

XY&O – "Low Tide"

Tell us about your studio set up?

We have a great little studio set up in Cardiff Bay. We record all our music there now and keep things in house. We write, engineer and produce all our own records. It’s a great creative space.

Tudor – I produce everything on Logic Pro X and almost every sound we use for XY&O tracks come from inside the box. My go to synth is NI Massive. It’s versatile and particularly awesome for the big dreamy pad sounds we’ve used in songs like Low Tide and Shades of You. I also use a lot of Output’s Exhale (a kind of vocal sample synthesiser) which is great for coming up with fresh vocal chops and lead lines. Using this early in the production process helps trigger ideas and gets the creative juices going. As far as plugins go, I tend to keep things quite simple. I use a lot of Logic’s stock plugins (for EQ’s, compression, delays and some modulation such as ‘Tremolo’). Beyond that I use the Soundtoys bundle extensively. Decapitator, Panman and Filterfreak are all go-to’s. Izotope’s Nectar is also a great bit of software for getting vocals sounding polished really quickly.

How do you generally go about putting a new song together?

Usually, Tudor or Nick will come up with a musical idea, maybe a few chords or perhaps a cool beat or something. Then, I’ll just see if I’m able to write any melody or lyrical ideas over the top of that and start building and arranging a song around a basic idea. If we feel like we’re onto something then I’ll write some lyrics and record the vocals and Tudor and Nick will then go to town on the instrumental and add all the production elements, mixing etc.

How important are songs for our dancefloors?

At least as important as the floors themselves, if not more.

You’ve been playing a lot of live shows and festivals this year, what’s been your highlight and where are you most looking forward to playing before the year is out?

We’ve actually played our last gig for this year I think. A highlight of this year was probably playing our first gig overseas. We played in an incredible concert hall in Poland back in the Summer, which was a strange, but great experience.

What part of your job do you enjoy the most, writing and producing or performing?

Skip – Writing and performing really. If I had to choose, then writing.

Tudor – Producing/ writing. I love to get cosy in my studio and get right into the zone

Nick – Writing music and collaborating with different people

We come to raid your record collection, which embarrassing record do you chuck out the window before we arrive?

Skip – XY&O – Low Tide

Tudor – XY&O – Fahrenheit

Nick – The above two songs

What record makes you say ‘damn, I wish I made that’?

Skip – Damn by Kendrick Lamar

Tudor – Michael Jackson – P.Y.T

Nick – Hall & Oates – I Can’t Go For That

What are your 3 current top tunes?

Skip – The 1975 – It’s Not Living If It’s Not With You

Tudor – Weiss – Feel My Needs

Nick – Molly Burch – To The Boys

Looking back on your career so far, what piece of precious advice would you give to yourselves?

Skip – Don’t spend too much time with TDOR.

Tudor – Don’t judge your creations too harshly and don’t stop creating.

Nick – Learn how to perform on stage

Finally, what’s next for XY&O?

We’ve recorded our next new single already which we are hoping to release in the New Year. We’re currently working on an album full of exciting new ideas ready for the beginning of next summer.

‘Fever’ will be released on November 23rd 2018 on Electric MVM
https://soundcloud.com/xyando