Xylaroo are a band very much on the rise at the moment. With their debut album, Sweetooth, released during the summer, Holly and Coco Chant have played well received gigs wherever they’ve gone and seem imminently poised for greater glory.
With Xylaroo about to head out on tour as the support act for Matt Berry and The Maypoles, Holly kindly took time out to answer a few questions for us.
What was the first record you ever bought?
The first record I ever bought was a little known song by Emilia called “Big Big World”. I haven’t listened to it since then but i’m sure it’s still pretty cool? First album I bought was “Take Offs and Landings” by Rilo Kiley ended up hanging the case up on my wall with sticky tape. Still love that album to this day, but I lost the case and the CD.
The track that influenced you to start making music?
I’m not sure exactly what influenced me to start making music I think things like that are hard to pinpoint plus I have trouble remembering what I did yesterday so yeah, that’s a difficult one to answer… A track that comes to mind though is “Science Vs. Romance” by Rilo Kiley. I love the song, I love the words and the melodies. “Glendora” was another one, so yeah, Rilo Kiley has influenced me and my sister’s musical styles greatly.
The record in your parent’s record collection that attracted your attention?
I remember finding our Dad’s old record collection after moving back to England. The Rolling Stones’ first caught my eye it was a beautiful record to listen to and to look at. We had a fire at our house so they’re all gone now but it must of been their greatest hits or something cause it had two records in it and tons of music inside. My favourite out of my Dad’s collection was Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours” though, I absolutely loved their sound and Stevie Nick’s voice blew me away. My mum’s collection included some of my favourites too, lots of Motown classics, Rod Stewart, Shania Twain, and this one CD, Now 90-something. On it there we’re songs like “Sweat” by Inner Circle and “All that She Wants” by Ace of Base.
The first record you ever covered?
The first song we ever covered was Arctic Monkey’s “I Bet That You look Good on the Dancefloor.” We still play it now. It’s a great song, Arctic Monkey’s are awesome and it’s just so fun to sing. We’ve slowed it down a bit but people seem to like it. I love covering a song but changing it a little, I think it’s always nice when you listen to a cover and don’t recognise it at first.
The song you’d most like to cover, but can’t or won’t?
I would love to cover Patsy Cline “Crazy” or Edith Piaf’s “La Foule”. However, the former is perfect just the way it is and the latter is the same and in French, I would butcher it!
Your Saturday night tune?
“One Dance” by Drake ft. Kyla and Wizkid.
And your Sunday morning record?
Recently saw him at Boardmasters Festival and he was amazing. Our Dad loves him too. Sunday Morning record is “My Zero” By Ezra Furman.
The track most likely to get you on the dance floor.
Sean Paul feat. Blu Cantrell – “Breath”. Don’t ask me why I just love this tune and got to see him at Bestival this year too!
Is there a record we might be surprised that you like?
I like a whole lotta different music so nothing should come as a surprise… but, i’m gonna say Mariah Carey- “Always be my Baby”. I ain’t no lamb but do love her music plus Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston “ When you Believe”. Thank God for guilty pleasures.
Your favourite track made by your friends?
“August and After” – Wolves.
And by the band that should have been/should be bigger?
“Old Times”- Whispertown 2000 .
Is there a set of lyrics really inspire you?
Daniel Johnston – “Life in Vain”.
Which is the act that you’d love to collaborate with in future?
Ezra Furman or Jenny Lewis.
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
I have many: Mariah Carey, Little Mix, Disney, Shania Twain, Judds… (We could be here all day).
What is the best track ever made?
Oh I don’t think there is one, there’s too many! One of the best tracks I ever heard off the top of my head is “American Pie” – Don Mclean and Leonard Cohen’s “Dance Me to the Edge of Love.”
What about with the band – is there a tour bus favourite?
We don’t have a tour bus but a megabus fav might be “Just One of the Guys” – Jenny Lewis.
Talking of touring, which has been your favourite touring experience to date?
They’ve all been amazing but I got to say going on Tour with Mika was great. We got to see such beautiful places like Italy, Lithuania, Latvia, France and Belgium. Playing in Paris to about 16,000 people was a really special moment- that lasted 30 minutes and scared the hell out of us.
From your own album, which song are you most proud of/means the most to you? Why?
I think I’m most proud of “Set Me on Fire and Send me to Canada”. I don’t know why exactly but it’s just such an old song, it’s one of the first me and my sister wrote together and it makes me feel happy. It’s a bit of a weird one but i’m proud of it because it reminds me how far we have come.
As an aside from our interview, Holly confessed that she had considered including Tracy Chapman on her list of guilty pleasures, but that ultimately she just didn’t feel guilty about it. Quite right too.
Xylaroo’s album Sweetooth is available now, and they will be supporting Matt Berry and The Maypoles on tour in late October and early November.