On stage and in recordings, Seattle’s own Exohxo (pronounced X-O-X-O) weaves cleanly between the pop, classical, country, and punk influences that expose their members’ individual musical journeys, tempered by perseverance and dedicated to the idea that neither they nor their listeners are too grown up to celebrate a catchy lyric, a soaring melody, a mesmerizing harmony, or an undeniable groove.
Past Lives – Unrelenting drums and driving guitar open “Past Lives,” promising the high energy and
sophisticated layers soon delivered by delicate violin and an organ/bass combo straight from the Motown era.
Explosive choruses and a dramatic climax will leave listeners excited about the rest of this record and the
future of the band as Jasen Samford sings of how yesterday’s wounds prepare us for tomorrow.
Parting Shots – From modest beginnings of breathy organ and longing guitar, “Parting Shots” climbs
continually to achieve extraordinary heights. Throughout, Bill Nordwall makes expert use of both piano and
organ to lay a foundation upon which Danny Oleson’s vocals and Romi Daugherty’s violin construct their
crystalline harmonies. Fashionably late and yet perfectly on time, the rhythm section arrives for an exhilarating
Up to Me – If ever one song managed to capture the spirit of Exohxo in just 20 seconds, it’s the remarkably
accessible “Up to Me.” A sonic showcase of exquisitely crafted pop, the track captures casual listeners with its
catchy melodies and rewards deep diving loyalists with its savory syncopation and dueling violins. Punctuated
throughout by Bob Zammit’s thunderous drums, the lyrics balance anticipation and trepidation, pleading with
the listener to marshal their courage and “see all the night has left to show.”
Same As Always – With “Same as Always,” the band steps outside of their chamber rock wheelhouse to cut
loose with an alt-country, boot-stomping riot. Jubilant violins explode into a full-on fiddle solo on the group’s
only ode to uncomplicated love and devotion, proving definitively that Exohxo can burn a barn with the best of
You Can’t Know – When Exohxo stretches their formidable musicality and dabbles in the darker parts of their
palette, the results are poignantly haunting. Such is the case with “You Can’t Know,” a mysterious offering
bursting with emotion but shrouded in complexity. It is here that the group’s classical backgrounds take the
wheel, for a sweet/sad experience that demands repeat listens. As a lovely and carefully arranged coda brings
the experience to a closure, don’t be surprised to catch a tear forming in the corner of your eye.
Trains that Look Like Towns – A song born of melancholy, hope, and the misheard conversation that gave it
a name, “Trains that Look Like Towns” wastes little time getting to the high-paced pop excitement that Exohxo
has been crafting for years. As the end draws near, images of childhood joy and feelings of immortality run
wild, closing both track and record with the band’s ever-present, defiant sense of hope.