When you’ve got the likes of Annie Mac and Julie Adenuga singing your praises, and Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange producers (Paul Phamous and Malay) working on your debut album, it’s clear you’re doing something right. Liverpudlian singer-songwriter XamVolo would know a thing or two about this, whose new EP Chirality demonstrates a sound far weightier than would often be expected from a 22 year old.
Lead single ‘Down’ saw XamVolo burst onto the scene, the trickling jazz melodies pairing beautifully with Xam’s rich voice. The meaning behind the song is something that touches us all: balancing life goals with actually leading your life. “A few years ago when I just started out, I held the mindset that the less of a ‘life’ you had, the more work you could put in to achieve what you desired,” he explains. “I still feel there’s some truth to that, but I now realise that having that ‘life’ is important because avoiding life experiences will eventually leave you with nothing to say.”
The other tracks on the EP don’t shy away from big sounds, either. ‘Runner’s High’ places a particular emphasis on chugging brass instruments, Xam’s voice this time distorted and distant. ‘Gold Leaf’ channels chilled, old-school R&B, though as always, the sound is given a twist as plucky strings flicker in the background, while ‘Foolish Kids’ serves as a dramatic album closer.
Squeezing so many influences into a four track EP is no mean feat, but XamVolo has pulled it off with ease. The purity of his voice and the instrumental focus of his sound suggests that his live set up would be just as compelling – no surprises then that his headline London show has sold out. Keep your eyes peeled for more live dates and his highly-anticipated debut album.