Xeno & Oaklander (Photo by Isolde Woudstra)
East Coast minimal wave institution Xeno & Oaklander hit the road for a North American Tour that includes a show at Pie Shop in DC on Friday, March 31!
In 2021, the dark wave duo released their seventh full-length album, Vi/deo, which further distills their iconic noir synthpop into a streamlined suite of gleaming, graceful retrofuturism. Inspired by ideas of synesthesia, scent, star worship, and obsolescent technologies, Liz Wendelbo and Sean McBride began conceiving the blueprint of Vi/deo while sequestered at their Southern Connecticut home studio during the pandemic. The context of isolation, streaming, and remote dreaming seeped into their chemistry, manifesting as both homage to and meditation on a certain cinematic strain of technicolor fantasy: the screen as stage, distance disguised as intimacy, where tragedy and glamor crossfade into one.
Opening with the precision synthetic melancholy of “Infinite Sadness,” the album marks a peak fluidity between the pair’s fusion of analog electronics and poetic melody, both refined and oblique, classic but contemporary. Wendelbo modeled her singing on “a young boy in a choir,” alternately holding notes and whispering them, with the lyrics clear, the voice elevated. McBride’s synthesizers serve as the perfect counterpart, tiered and polished, threading fluorescent architectures of a lost audio-visual age.
Watch the official lyric video for “Infinite Sadness” by Xeno & Oaklander on YouTube:
Since 2004, Xeno & Oaklander have been deeply involved in the analog synth community and have helped promote and inspire the revival of synth wave and the rise of darkwave in the U.S. and throughout the world through their extensive touring and prolific output. Following their debut album that same year and subsequent two LP’s, Xeno & Oaklander signed on to Ghostly where they unveiled their widely acclaimed albums Par Avion and Topiary — these records introduced their innovative mastery of analog synth production to a wider audience.
During the Ghostly album sessions, the duo also recorded Movements and Movements 2 commissioned by the National Center for the Arts, Grenoble, and Ecole du Magasin: an inspirational 35 minute piece recorded live and inspired by travel in space and time. Xeno & Oaklander went on to release their Dais Records debut Hypnos in 2019 to great critical acclaim and followed it up with Vi/deo in 2021.
Xeno & Oaklander
W/ Martial Canterel
Friday, March 31
Doors @ 7:30pm