Xanda Howe – And Now

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Album Review by EDF

I have to admit, I do love the UK music scene. I don’t mean the sort of music that is featured in the pop charts but the kind of acts that will never grace the charts. You know, real music. You will find with a lot of unsigned acts, they sometimes put a twist to what has come before and Xanda Howe is of no exception. Like something from a Human League song, café waitress Xanda was approached by Osman Kent, a regular diner who also happened to be a record producer, to record some music. Spending the best part of a year, the following songs shows a mature performance from 21 year-old Xanda.

From the first track, OPENING EYES, with its little musical hint towards Abba, this is a very promising start to the album. AND HOW is a sweet pleasant mid-tempo tune and just when you think you know which direction the album is taking, you will not be prepared for the dance epic DRIVING ME MAD with a kind of Pet Shop Boys epic feel to it. We head off to another direction, as the Mediterranean flavoured MY BEAUTIFUL FRIEND is everything a holiday romance should be.

Not afraid of experimenting, EVENING, a song that will stop you dead in your tracks featuring lyrics from a Turkish poem, showcases Xanda’s vocal talents. WARM POISON first started life as a gospel-rock ballad but then was changed to a basic slowed down song about sexual awakening. In a strange reversal, MIDNIGHT POET started life as a ballad and ends up being a dance track. If SUGAR’S RUNNING OUT is apparently an indication to what the next album will be like. Going by this track, I just cannot wait. Xanda is definitely a talent that should be checked out for those who are tired of hearing the same old pap on the radio.

5 stars