New York dark wave duo Xeno & Oaklander have announced their impending full-length release, Vi/deo, due out on 22 October via Dais Records. The album promises to further distil the group’s iconic noir synth-pop and is inspired by ideas of synaesthesia, scent, star worship, and obsolescent technologies. Duo Liz Wendelbo and Sean McBride conceived the album during the pandemic, sequestered at their Southern Connecticut home and manifesting the record’s context of isolation, streaming, and remote dreaming.
Opener Infinite Sadness with its precision synth melancholy is characteristic of the album’s fusion of analogue electronics and poetic melody – classic yet contemporary. Wendelbo modelled her elevated singing style on “a young boy in a choir,” alternately holding notes and whispering them. McBride’s synthesizers serve as a perfect polished, fluorescent counterpart.
Based in Brooklyn, New York, Xeno & Oaklander have been deeply involved in the analog synth community since 2004 (when they released debut Vigils LP) and have helped promote and inspire the revival of synth wave and the rise of dark wave throughout the music world. Recording songs and film scores from their Brooklyn studio, the pair are known for their commitment to recording and performing on analogue synthesizers exclusively.
The pandemic meant relocating their studio to Connecticut, however they remain active in performing at art institutions, music venues and festivals worldwide. Highlights have included performances at SF Moma, PS1 Warm Up, Miami Art Basel, Kunsthalle Zürich and the New Museum NY, with sold out shows at Echoplex LA, Elsewhere NY & El Club Detroit. Festivals include SUBSTANCE LA and CMD Mexico City. Sean McBride has created original music for visual artists Dara Birnbaum, Lucy McKenzie & Richard Kern, whilst the pair’s latest remixes are for Tobias Bernstrup and Robert Calvert of Hawkwind.
Considered to be among the key musicians responsible for reviving the cold-wave sound, Xeno & Oaklander’s beautifully austere, analogue offerings will no doubt continue to please with this new release.
‘Vi/deo’ is set for release on 22 October via Dais Records and can be pre-ordered HERE