After reading the biog, this is not what we were expecting. The sisters that make up Xylaroo are from Papa New Guinea and now live in London, via Hong Kong, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, and we were expecting something a bit world, but opening song, Track A Lackin’ is a rollicking country tune. It opens with a synth doing a small train impression, before acoustic guitar and harmonica come in. It could be about getting old (“Your teeth are rotten/And your eyes are spottin”) but we’re not sure. The basic sound of the album is there, which is the two singers in harmony and acoustic guitar. Second track Consume Me is folkier.
The standouts include the slow River of Love, which starts off with well-mannered howling as of wolves, and the indie Boom, There Goes The Sun. There’s little in the way of world, just the odd flashes of Graceland rhythms. Despite its unvarying sound, it’s surprisingly effective and likeable. It’s charming.
It’s on Sunday Best Recordings, the label founded and run by Rob da Bank, and it’s the kind of gentle, chill-out tune you’d enjoy on his show at 5am and wonder what it was. It’s on Rob da Bank’s label: that’s all you need to know, to be honest.