Have you ever tasted bubblegum pop that you’re vibing to like it’s the early 2000s and then it suddenly changes into dark sour grape in your mouth, like a kaleidoscope of color and sound hitting you all at once? That’s what it’s like listening to Xelli Island’s latest release, “02 20 2020.”
The indie dream pop singer-songwriter Lianna Vanicelli behind the name Xelli Island delivers dreamy synths and spacey melodies that immediately pull you into a hypnotic trance. Hailing from Detroit, the half-Filipina, half-Italian artist made her way to Los Angeles in 2017 and has been co-producing and co-writing songs with producer Jon Zott since summer of 2019, including “02 20 2020.” Her voice is much akin to that of Grimes with a youthful but confident tone. And the track itself is incredibly versatile as well — something you could be listening to on a long drive or even hear on the soundtrack of a show like “Umbrella Academy.” Vanicelli shares, “the track was written during a really unique peak of momentum in my life, earlier this year. It’s about experiencing serendipity. I was adjusting to a new routine and thinking about the millions of little things that have to work properly in order for anything to happen…” And lucky for us, “02 20 2020” is the first single from her debut EP, forthcoming this year.
In a time of continued uncertainty and a healthy dose of civil and individual unrest, Xelli Island’s music reminds us to find moments of serendipity and dance along to its beat.
Written by: Misao McGregor