EP Review | Xi.me.na Melds Old & New On Before You

Xi.me.na Borges, a Venezuelan/New York experimental artist, is an award-winning composer and performer. Melding old and new via the use of digital and analogue tech, she also blends music from different eras. The result is a body of work that seamlessly dances between artsy, modernist opera, electro-pop, and abstract sound collages.

Her immense vocal range is the core driver that defines her work. Thematically, Before You explores the complexities of love and those deeply insular feelings which can be difficult to articulate.

Xi.me.na’s newfound motherhood is an evident influence on the EP, particularly on ‘High Moments’. There are monumental harmonies, catchy melodies, and darker moments in which she can show off her vocal prowess. The magnitude of her vocals is remarkable—grand, sweeping, and captivating—she can’t be ignored.

The title track is a brooding, intense experience encapsulating her pre-natal anxieties, as well as the demarcation between her youth and her growth into a mother. The eerie background vocals sound like a demented Alice in Wonderland character, laying the undercurrent for Xi.me.na’s melancholic vocals.

‘There’s Me’ explores identity in the wake of motherhood. The message is that even though it’s incredibly difficult to confront an area of life she wasn’t ready for, Xi.me.na would rather forget her pain and power on through.

‘Lions’ is easily the black sheep of the EP. The track sources its life from Xi.me.na’s epic operatic vocals and lyrics describing how her connection to her son has reinvigorated her lust for life. Above all, it’s a statement of self-control, with Xi.me.na righteously carving out a stake in the world for her son.

Before You is an eclectic mix of genres that homes in on a relatable but innovative niche in pop music. These neoclassical/electro tunes, alongside sentimental stories are a potent combination, sure to captivate listeners.


4.5/5


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