Comely vocal harmonies. An eroticized tempo. Melodies that ache with the sort of lust entire motion pictures are written around. In her new single “Ain’t Buyin’ It,” singer and songwriter Xolex isn’t concerned with keeping up with the biggest trends in the American underground today – she’s too busy unleashing a brutally provocative anthem of poetry and pressurized melodies.
Without getting too indulgent with the aesthetical fireworks, Xolex seemingly goes out of her way to produce as theatrical a performance behind the microphone as she can muster from within the four walls of a recording studio in “Ain’t Buyin’ It.” Her presence is made all the more profound by the high-end production quality of the single, but don’t get me wrong – she’s the kind of singer who would probably sound just as good acapella as she does in this scenario.
There’s a lot of versatility to the beat here, and though it’s a little restrained compared to what it could have been were the melodies given a bit more of a rock-inspired edge, it yields a crossover appeal with pop and alternative country that wouldn’t have existed here otherwise. Flexibility can make or break a piece of material like this, but luckily for Xolex, her talents give her plenty of room to work with a fluid harmony amidst a rigid rhythm – all without sounding scattered or super-left-field. That takes some serious ability, and it’s not the sort of thing you can practice into existence at all.
While there isn’t much urgency to the groove under the verse in “Ain’t Buyin’ It,” I don’t think there needed to be for us to feel the pressure, tension, and downright intensity of the hook at all. The iciness of the vocal delivery puts us over the top in that regard by the time we get into the first chorus here, and even if the beat sounds a little sluggish as we hit the refrain, it’s important for us to pick up on the unbroken catharsis fighting its way to the surface at this part of the song. There’s a method to Xolex’s madness, and as difficult as it might be for some novices to grasp, it’s the kind of thing that will keep hardcore country fans like myself coming back to her music time and time again.
“Ain’t Buyin’ It,” without question, is one of the most effective crossover country tracks I’ve listened to this spring, and from the looks of it, I think it’s going to set the tone for everything Xolex releases in the future. This is a statement single for her young career, and while there are quite a few different crooners in her peer group to contend with, it’s obvious she’s got what it takes to keep pace with the best of them here. I’m a fan of what she’s doing with the basic concept behind this most recent material, and from here on out I’ll be anticipating a lot from Xolex’s professional output in the months and years still ahead.