This is possibly one of the best things I have ever heard. Xylaroo have covered Arctic Monkeys’ I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor and it’s absolutely dreamy. I promise you it’s like nothing you’ve ever heard before from those Northern Monkeys. These girls have made it sound like Dolly Parton has reimagined it. Listen for yourself and see what you think.
Amazing, right? Perfect Sunday listening!
So, let me tell you a bit more about Xylaroo. They are Holly and Coco Chant a pair of sisters based in Canning Town, East London. (Whoop whoop for Canning Town!)
Their first single is Sunshine which includes a Dolly Parton quote, and the B-side is this amazing cover of Arctic Monkeys’ I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor which is released on March 25th via Sunday Best/PIAS.
“Well,” begins Coco, guitarist and the more extrovert of the two. “Holly was born in Papua New Guinea where mum’s from. Then we moved to Hong Kong and I was born there. Our dad is a civil engineer so we grew up in the Philippines, then Maidstone for ten years. After, we went to Sri Lanka. Then we came back to the UK once school was finished.” Holly interrupts. “You forgot Switzerland!” “Oh yeah,” retorts Coco. “For a little bit we lived in Switzerland.” It’s no surprise then that their sound, which could loosely – but only loosely – be described as ‘folk’, transcends local open mic scenes and of-the-moment genres.
Maidstone was where the duo began gigging (“around the Medway scene where all the bands were doing ska”), but it was really island life in Sri Lanka that added a rustic, vibrant flavour to their matter-of-fact, earthen songs. People would sing a lot in their village with guitars. Coco played from the age of 9. Holly was more confident singing. “I was hesitant there,” laughs Coco. “Holly has more of a natural voice but harmonies come pretty easily – maybe it’s a sister thing.” Despite having older siblings, it was the younger Chants who decided to stick together. Everything progressed at a gradual, comfortable pace. “It’s only in the last couple of years that we’ve considered ourselves a proper band,” says Coco. “When you’re sisters you don’t take yourselves as seriously. You play around in your living room.”
The sound of Xylaroo isn’t so much in your face as it’s a comforting place for you to relax your face when you need some inspiration. Their biggest dreams at the moment are very simple: have songs that sound better than bedroom recordings, score some more free t-shirts from Adidas, continue to make each other smile. Above all, they want to tell stories – their stories.
To borrow from the lyrics of Sunshine: //All the good is worth the hard shit//. This is totally something we can all live by and I, for one, definitely need to remember once in a while!