XI.ME.NA releases EP, Before You, calling upon her recent experiences and strong vocal capacities to create an original and interesting sound.
New York/Venezuelan artist XI.ME.NA has never been one for the mundane or normal, and this comes through in her music. Often featuring a unique mix of vocal layers set against an electro-pop sound, the artist uses her distinct vocals and operatic ranges to create music that is quite hard to pigeon-hole. EP Before You uses these techniques amongst a talent for developing structures as XI.ME.NA bases music on her recent experiences and kinship with her son.
High Moments starts the EP by washing over you like a wave of energy as floaty vocals and a beautifully built-up base is driven forward by settled drums and a steady bassline. You can straight away hear the opera-esque qualities of the artist’s voice as it saunters in and out of the track amongst the ambient sounds and harmonies. Based on the energy and power she received from becoming a mum and being with her son, it’s full of good vibes and gently uplifts as it progresses.
Before You, once again takes a look at her own life, this time focusing on her time before her son was born. The track is built around eclectic vocal recordings to form the basis of the track which are built upon throughout. This helps create an original sound set against the operatic qualities in her vocals, but if you were to compare to anything, Bjork or Enya would come to mind. By the end, you’re almost drawn into a hypnotic state as the out-of-this-world sounds play upon your emotions and senses amongst powerful tones.
On the track, There’s Me, we see XI.ME.NA taking a look at herself and what sort of person she has recently become. With one of the most settled and radio-worthy tracks on the EP, the electronica beats and bass are once again tied together by a synthy, vocal riff that holds the music together throughout as vocals find fits and rhythms where others would miss. The EP then ends with Lions: a track that builds slowly before being unleashed into a chorus that is interesting and driven by its depths. It does eventually really let go as drums crash and backing vocals are brought into the forefront, but the energy could have perhaps worked better a little earlier on or intermittently throughout.
Before You is an eclectic listen with powerful song structures and a depth that is hidden amongst the tantalizing vocal layers. XI.ME.NA manages to make sense of her recent life through this EP by using the tracks to look at certain aspects of her life amongst original rhythms, clever interludes and a real talent for bringing an electro-pop atmosphere in with a more classical vocal range and dexterity. Before You is well worth a listen and it will be interesting to see where the artist goes from here.
By Jamie Parmenter