Needle Drop: XIMXIA, “Pretend”

Versatile Los Angeles singer/songwriter XIMXIA is gearing up to release her debut EP, leading off with a dynamic new single that is already drawing comparisons to Portishead and Ellie Goulding.

Turning moody orchestrations into sweeping, widescreen digital productions seems to come naturally to the songstress who delays the song’s sugary Top 40 hook for a good minute before allowing its fangs to sink in. Clearly she is not interested in immediate clickbait, prefering to reward the listener for hanging through the dark curvature of the verse.

The resulting track is refreshingly bold and a wonderful introduction to an artist intent on pushing the boundaries, navigating the modern pop groove of Halsey and Robyn while leaning into the alternative nuance of Son Lux.

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