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AURAL ADVENT #2: XIXA premieres the video for ‘Shift & Shadow’

It’s a merry 2nd of December today as we move into day 2 of this year’s NEN Advent – today we’re keeping you toasty with a hypnotising clip of desert sounds from Arizona’s XIXA.

Founded in Tucson, AZ by Giant Sand’s Brian Lopez and Gabriel Sullivan, XIXA’s South American-infused alt-rock is the most un-seasonal track you’ll hear this December, as the band say:

“Here’s a nice ‘lil stalking stuffer for all you boys ‘n girls out there – our first ever released music video, ‘Shift and Shadow’. Cozy up to a nice warm fire place, pour yourself some fine tequila and get down to the Desert Noir sound. ‘Tis the season to get trippy. Merry Xmas. From the 6 desert elves known as XIXA.”

Desert noir, you ask? It sounds crass, but this isn’t any Mariachi-by-numbers so get that idea right outta your head. Hard, dense guitar lines meet traditional percussion in the band’s interpretation of Peru’s 60’s chicha music, that’s been souped-up for the Southern US’ vibrant psych-rock scene. There’s a perturbing sense of doom that you’ll have an unavoidable desire to shape your hips at.

>> See yesterday’s Aural Advent + limited-edition 7″ vinyl competition

And where the hell did that come from? Latino heritage, an adoration of Barbès Records’ 2011 compilation ‘The Roots of Chicha’, and adding covers into Giant Sand sets. Fans couldn’t get enough, and so side project Chicha Dust became a thing. It was fun, easy, and being lapped-up by the locals. Chicha Dust became XIXA, as experimentation paved the way for organic songwriting and other members were recruited.

“Until you dive into Latin music, you don’t know if you have a strong sensibility for it,” Brian says of his upbringing. “I grew up speaking English, but went to bilingual dances, was part of a folkloric group, your typical second or third-generation Latino family. My grandparents didn’t want my parents to speak Spanish, or to be Latino.”

The result is a real hodge-podge of artistry and influence – with ska, goth, gaze and more Latin sounds being added to the melting pot. Put with hazy kaleidoscopic artwork that lets native iconography breath easy, XIXA is going to triumph in 2016.

Have a listen for yourself, with the psychedelic ‘Shift & Shadow’ here, taken from EP of the same name:

‘Shift & Shadow’, as an EP, is out now on Glitterhouse Records – get it here on 12″ only and digitally here.

XIXA will be releasing their debut album ‘Bloodline’, on February 2016, and we can’t wait to see what’s in-store for that.

Upcoming US shows include New Year’s Eve at Tucson’s Rialto Theatre, New York City in January, SXSW in March, more major-city US dates in the spring, and European tour in late April.

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