“Yeah, I remember I was at a wedding… I was at a friend’s wedding…. and I got a text. A friend texted me, and (Nick sent me a picture message and he said to me ‘hey man, check this out… this is cool’). But I couldn’t download it, I had no (cellular) signal. So I couldn’t download the image he sent me. And I was like ‘ohhh okay I can’t see it so I’ll download it tomorrow’. And then I managed to read it and it said ‘congratulations on the top 10’ and (that’s all I could see). I was like ‘what’s going on?’. I was like ‘no way we got the top 10 in the British charts or anything’… I didn’t know what was happening.” The day after Skip discovered that they were on the Spotify Viral top 10 worldwide. They went from 1k listens to over 4k listens in a short amount of time. The song that got them onto this and many other playlists is called Low Tide (2015). The song got so big that they got interviewed by Genius (very popular song meaning website/app). Their interview (Behind the Lyrics by Genius) can now be found Spotify.
However, it was not Spotify that kicked off the song’s success, it was actually SoundCloud. Tudor & Skip pulled together Low Tide and “put them into demo versions and put them on SoundCloud. They got posted around a bit and they got shared. So (we were like) we need to create some sort of name, you know. We can’t just put out a track called ‘Low Tide’, and have it say ‘no band’ you know? So we were like ‘why don’t we give it a nice name?’ And I came up with (the) name ‘XY&O’, and I thought it rolled off the tongue quite nicely…. It was kind of a nice flow. So we just put it under that name, and then… Yeah… One thing led to another, and we were getting into college radios in America (who were) playing us (through) SoundCloud…. Pretty much.” (Skip).
Skip finds influence in mainly pop genres and artists like “Prince, Sting, and John Martin”. Tudor likes more dance, electronic, and club music. And as far as Skip knows, Nick “loves the bands like the Bombay Bicycle Club, I know he likes the (old rock) kind of stuff… He likes interesting arrangement of bands and stuff.” As hard as it may sound to mix all of these genres together, XY&O continue to come out with music that has that intricate mix. Let’s take Chameleon for example; it’s got the voice synthesizer and mixer (electronic), guitar- and piano-driven riffs (similar to Bombay Bicycle Club), and short verses with symbolic lyrics (pop).
While I do really enjoy listening to Low Tide, it is not my favorite song by the guys. Chameleon (2016) is actually my favorite, and I find myself listening to it more often than any of their other songs. Powder Rooms, Vol 1. (2017) is a fantastic album that have, unlike other songs by them, sounds a bit different and yet didn’t take away from their sound. I found different instrumental sounds in Sky, especially bongo sounds, and Mesmerized seemed to be using a lot of guitar synthesizers. Finally, I find Fahrenheit’s remix by Axero (2016) is actually better than the original from 2015, it has a quicker pace and is catchier than the original. You can find all my favorites below, and you can find more songs by them on Spotify and SoundCloud.
So was the band bound to happen even if Low Tide’s huge reception never happened?……… “Ummmmmmmmm…… I don’t know, because you know…. Some people (may) say that deep down they really wanted to be the artist. And deep down they really knew that actually, they really wanted to be the ones who were (writing the) songs…. I can honestly say that I would not be bothered if it (were) me singing the song(s), or someone else singing the song(s). And it’s obvious that now, we have become X Y and O. And now, I feel more like I want to be an artist” (Skip). So in other words, they didn’t exactly want to be a band at the time…. But now they want to travel the world together.
Nonetheless, XY&O are continuing to produce some amazing tracks. In early May of this year (a day before my college graduation) they released their second single for 2018, Shades of You. With hints of a Chameleon introduction, the song is a great addition to their collection. Although they have yet to top Low Tide, all 5 of their songs on Spotify have hit over 1 million listens (Low Tide is almost at 30 million). In early June, they finished up their most recent tour of the UK and are probably now working on new tunes right now.
I would sincerely like to thank Skip for letting me eat breakfast and talk to him about the band and XY&O’s managers for the continued communication. I’m very grateful for knowing these guys and will continue to follow them. So expect updates further down the road!
Shades of You: ★★★★★
Powder Rooms, Vol 1: ★★★★★
Shimmer + Shade: ★★★★★
Fahrenheit (Axero Remix): ★★★★★