Thursday, July 23, 2009

Xylos invite you into their 'Bedrooms'

By Meredith Deliso

Less than a year old, Brooklyn’s Xylos have made an impressive impact on the New York City music scene. They’ve been recognized by L Magazine as one of the best bands you need to hear now, featured at their Northside Music Festival, and generating considerable buzz for their EP “Bedrooms.”

Soon, they might also be one step closer to being bona fide Brooklyn, as there are still a couple stragglers in joining the rest of the five-person band in Williamsburg.

“I might be over there real soon,” says Xylos founder and vocalist Eric Zeiler, who lives in the East Village and is currently looking for a new apartment. “I might find myself on that side of the river.”

Despite their Brooklyn majority, the band still can’t escape Manhattan, as they headline one of their favorite venues, Mercury Lounge, on July 28.

This is the band’s last show for a bit, as they’re in the studio working on their forthcoming full length with producer Britt Myers (Chairlift, Essex Green).

“Come the fall, we’ll be playing a lot again,” promises Zeiler. “Right now we’re so excited to do [the album] and just get it done. There are so many things to put our heads around. Dealing with labels and all that stuff – that’s enough for me right now.”

Good things can be expected of that album, after Xylos’s EP turned heads with their catchy four-part vocal harmonies, complex orchestrations and easy blend of instruments and electronics, all done by Zeiler, vocalist Aaron Mendelsohn, bassist and vocalist Monika Heidemann, drummer Mike Greenfield, and pianist Nikki Lancy.

“Most of my personal experience is me and a piano,” says Lancy, who’s a classically-trained pianist. “This is like my chance to rock out.”

Greenfield is known to rock out on the drums as well.“It sounds like he has eight limbs,” says Zeiler, whose been experimenting with a live sequencer to fully bring out all the layers of their infectious, familiar-sounding pop. “We’re giving him parts I don’t think anyone else can play.”

Their newer music finds the band expanding even more with their rhythm section, says Lancy.

“It’s a little bit more rhythm heavy, more interesting drum parts and melodies,” she says. “On the other hand, some of the songs are more poppy. We’re moving in both of those directions.”

When “Bedrooms” was first conceived, it was primarily Zeiler recording in his, well, bedroom, so working with a full band now will naturally inform their sound.

“It sounds bigger, more human,” says Zeiler. “Definitely the scope of emotion will be boarder.”

And though Xylos boasts four songwriters able to get into the mix, there hasn’t been too much headbutting in the studio among the band, which Zeiler formed by pulling from musician friends and hopeful ads placed on Craigslist, which they used when looking for a female singer/bassist (they were very specific) to complete the band last fall.

“The first person to contact us wasn’t female. We tried him out, but he wasn’t pretty enough” says Zeiler, laughing. “The second person was Monica. We got really lucky.”

Now if he could be just as lucky in his apartment search.

Xylos play Mercury Lounge (217 East Houston St.) July 28 at 10 p.m. Tickets are $10. For more information, call 212-260-4700.


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