Meet Xuan (pronounced swan).
Her debut album Have Some Fun will drop November 16, on Palo Santo Records. But right now she's premiering the music video for "Not The Man," a Strokes-inspired song.
Xuan Nguyen grew up in a suburb of Dallas, where, according to Xuan, "Everything was really good. But I knew I needed to go out and get my ego smashed and explore. I moved to Vietnam and hosted a TV show. I traveled around Southeast Asia, Australia, and then moved to Ireland."
In Ireland, Xuan began writing songs. When she returned to the U.S., she continued writing and, while performing at an open mic, met producer Salim Nourallah, who invited her to his studio to begin work on a record. The result is Have Some Fun, a 12-track album full of indie-pop-flavored music both unpretentious and authentic.
XUAN //" Not the Man" youtu.be
"Growing up, I listened to whatever was on the radio. Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. So, my songs are pretty standard verse-chorus-verse-bridge. I like indie stuff, but I don't sound like them," Xuan says. "I always wish I was as cool as Lucius."
"Not The Man" opens with new wave pop colors attended by art rock surfaces atop a buoyant rhythm. A compact bass line holds the harmonics together, as droning synth hues stream and sparkle. Austere guitar riffs infuse the tune with sonic dimension, as Xuan's soft yet gentle timbres ride above.
On one level, Xuan's voice approaches hyper-femininity, while on another level it's quixotic and intimate, allowing her the luxury of emotional commitment to the music. Its unique resonance is charming and simultaneously chic, exuding infectious energy.
"Not The Man" emanates contagious pop essence, along with stylish new wave innovation. The combination is a pop confection that's scrumptious and bewitching.
Randy Radic is a Left Coast author and writer. Author of numerous true crime books written under the pen-name of John Lee Brook. Former music contributor at Huff Post.
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