Aubrey Liston, alias Xioma, has an unassuming background presence lending her cello talents to the full band performances of folk-pop duo The Castros. She has been quietly developing a solo project all this time, and Tuned Up is honored to premiere her inaugural formal mark on the music world.
Xioma makes use of little more in a live setting than her voice, a cello, and some strategically used pedals. Marco Castro (one half of The Castros) can sometimes be seen provided some auxillary percussion as well. Her style is a classically inspired brand of indie folk/pop that has wowed many. Over the summer, Xioma served as an opener for God Alone, an indie rock side project of The Devil Wears Prada. Guitarist Kyle Sipress remarked to me after the show that Xioma deserved to be “way bigger” in popularity than she is.
A formal press release elaborates on the track itself:
Xioma, cello-writer native of Columbus, Ohio is releasing her debut single, Penuel, November 29th. Penuel is the last song of a 9-track-live project that was inspired by Rilke’s 29th Sonnet to Orpheus.
The track explores the intersection of a classical instrument in a modern world. An allegorical story delving into the mystery of what it means to wrestle the unknown, it features dissonant harmonies and a dense melody. At the end of track, the last lines of Rilke’s sonnet is orated by Joanna Macy (translator) as heard on Onbeing.
I’ve always been fascinated by artists navigating the under the radar waters where pop and classical music intersect, and Xioma is the latest to join that group. “Penuel” feels both formal and exploratory simultaneously, and as a bonus, has a catchy chorus. Let us know what you think of the single!