XOR has shared the third and final single And On which is lifted from their self-titled debut album. XOR is the solo new wave-leaning synth-pop side project from Secret Shame’s bassist Matthew, a uniquely inventive bassist and multi-instrumentalist with a penchant for analog synthesizers, along with creating open-source, in-browser synthesizers thanks to his knowledge of software development. XOR (pronounced ‘ex-or’) is his outlet to explore the fringes of experimental pop songwriting and producing retro-futuristic, shoegazey dream-pop. Listen to And On via YouTube below or here: https://xor.fanlink.to/andon
Tackling difficult themes of mental health and navigating your way out of toxic relationships, And On is bathed in a warm melancholy glow yet brightened by Matthew’s melodic, wistful vocals and a taut, pulsing tempo. It was also the first song written for ‘XOR,’ after Secret Shame was forced to cancel several tours in support of their critically-acclaimed debut album ‘Dark Synthetics’ and temporarily halt practicing and writing as they (and the world, collectively) figured out safety and comfort levels. That gave Matthew the downtime to hunker down in his basement studio atop a mountainside on the outskirts of Asheville, working on other musical ideas that had been kicking around. The result? ‘XOR’. While electronic music is commonly associated with grimy urban clubs, he’s quick to mention how the natural environment has influenced these melodies and synth patches.
‘XOR’ is a brooding, hypnotically catchy set of darkwave gems that would feel equally at home in a goth club or a sci-fi film set in some future dystopia. These 10 nocturnal slow-burners draw on influences as wide-ranging as The Cure, Björk, Aphex Twin, and Clams Casino, topped off with an insistent drum-machine pulse and glistening synth lines worthy of a John Hughes montage. Even with a more pop-oriented songwriting approach ‘XOR’ certainly doesn’t skimp on the darker elements — Matthew describes the record’s central themes as mental health, the loss of loved ones, and the general ennui and anxiety of living in a collapsing empire.
‘XOR’ track listing
1. And On
3. Prole Stroll
7. Hands Full of Electricity
8. Tooth Worms
9. Saturn Returns
10. Cheer Up
‘XOR’ pre-order: https://xoravl.bandcamp.com
For more information on XOR, visit https://www.exclusive-or.io.