During the song “Wrapped in a Page” from Bedrooms, the debut EP by Brooklyn band Xylos, Eric Zeller sings the line “You said you found me aloof/But I never had claimed to be anything else.” And aside from it being a pretty good line in a song that sounds like it could have been a collaboration between Andrew Bird and the Shins, it’s also a bit strange. Zeller, and Xylos as a whole, really, comes off as anything but aloof. The songs on the EP (which they’re giving away for free on their website, xylosmusic.net) are marked by nothing if not an overwhelming feeling of warmth and comforting familiarity. The arrangements, which lean as heavily on electronics as they do on xylophone and lightly strummed acoustic guitars, are consistently surprising, and with the stellar boy-girl vocal melodies that pop up all over the place, the general vibe is relaxed — not boring, mind you, but relaxed, as in, “I’m going to listen to this while I sit outside on my porch this morning, the summer sun shining on my face as I close my eyes and realize that everything is just lovely.”
What’s the most/least you’ve ever been paid for a local show? Venues not necessary, but you’re encouraged to share.
One time the promoter offered us $300 in cash or $300 in ecstasy.
For what NYC band would you sacrifice your spot on this list? Must name one, lest you seem selfish.
Suckers, no doubt. They’re freakin awesome.
Is there a current trend in the NYC music scene which you find particularly irritating? One you find inspiring or meaningful?
Irritating trend: bad monitor mixes... when we can’t hear our harmonies, we’re totally screwed. Meaningful trend: shakers and tambourines.
Assuming you all work day jobs, how does it affect the band’s ability to tour and record?
Yeah, some of us do have day jobs, and yeah, it totally sucks. We’ve been pretty much confined to New York, Philly and Baltimore up to now, so it’s given us the opportunity to focus more on rehearsing/writing than playing a ton of shows. Probably a blessing in disguise.
Do you ever consider moving the band to another city?
No, everyone knows that New York is the greatest city in the world, if not the universe.