Who says I don’t like pop? I listen to pop… sometimes… only when it is dark, moody, and underground-avant-garde-retro-synthwave-pop released on cassette on a small Swedish label. Sarcasm aside, Xiu is a pleasant experience which I thought I wouldn’t have when I stumbled upon it on the label Beläten. As soon as I see the mention of “pop” in the description of an album, I reflexively back away and get very disinterested, afraid of getting a bad uninspired attempt of trying to stand out from the crowd by calling themselves “avant-garde” and “underground”. But when I saw that it has a music video I thought, why not, and started listening to it. The video intrigued me enough to listen to the entire cassette on Spotify, and I’m glad I did.
What I found was a wonderful window to a dark and personal creation filled with soul and melancholia. Possession is a lovely mix of calm and minimal “retro-pop” melodies, and sweeping, sombre synth-wave ambiances. Possession perfectly sets the mood with simple means, and the echo-filled, dark lyrics complements the lo-fi atmosphere masterfully.
Xiu is a Estonian born producer who now is based in Milano, she has released a few more albums on the labels [aufnahme + wiedergabe], and Beläten. Her music video of Possession perfectly captures the mood and feeling of the album.
There are only a few copies left of Possession on Beläten and I urge you to pick on up if you can! This is a great cassette that shows that it does not always have to be elaborate and overworked melodies and beats to create something so exquisite.
I. Leaving in the Night
II. Dark Day
II. Au Noir