by Arianna Sergio
With dreamy, soft vocals over a relaxed electronic beat, it’s difficult not to fall head-over-heels in love with pop duo X Lovers. This duo consists of London Jackson and Jacob Ames. They are childhood best friends who met in fourth grade in their hometown of Nevada City, California, and have been inseparable since then. Jackson is the vocalist and tends to most of the songwriting while Ames produces all their music. They are stars on the rise and — in my eyes — they deserve more appreciation.
Their sound has shifted over the years. Beginning with their first punk band, Opposition, they created when they were 10 years old, to their signature pop sound that was born in 2017. By the time the Nor Cal boys had graduated high school they had played over 150 shows and saved up enough money to move to Los Angeles, where their professional music career began. In 2018, they built a name for themselves for posting their own acoustic originals, covers, and remixes on SoundCloud. They released their first single “Novocaine” and shortly after released “Easy.” In late 2018, Chris Zarou, Logic’s manager and CEO of Visionary Music Group, signed them to a record deal in affiliation with RCA Records.
String of singles
After being signed, they released two singles; “Colder When it Rains,” and “Spitfire.” Their first single released under Visionary Records/RCA Records, and biggest single to date, is “Colder When It Rains.” It was released on May 7, 2019, generating over 2.5 million streams on Spotify. This song is about missing someone so much. “I had this one really dope night with a girl from my hometown and I think it just made me super nostalgic about the past. The song sounds like middle school to me; simple, sweet, and pure. Colder when it rains is my version of texting somebody and saying ‘i miss you,’” X Lovers said in a comment for their music video for “Colder When It Rains.”
This all led up to their EP “virgin.” This 8 track EP came out in late 2019. This emotional EP is one you could curl up to and just let your mind wander. It includes their hit songs “Sweatshirt” and “King of Capulet.” Yes, “King of Capulet” is about Romeo and Juliet. In an interview with the Zach Sang Show, Jackson said they did a lot of Shakespeare plays in their elementary school, so it was just “subconsciously there.” When they wrote the song Jackson said they just felt “royal.” All of the songs have their own flair to them and have something niche that makes each one of them so different from the others.
My personal favorite songs from “virgin” are “Cut My Lip,” “Dreams Where Ur Murdered,” and “Life.” “Cut My Lip” has a typical California surfer vibe. The beat of soft drums in the background against an acoustic guitar creating a seemingly happy song, until you listen to the lyrics. Jackson sings about a former flame that he was in love with and he thought they felt the same, but they didn’t. He gave every ounce of himself to them, but they didn’t do the same. This song is similar to “Semi-Charmed Life” by Third Eye Blind, in the way that both songs are upbeat and seem lighthearted, but actually are about heavy subjects.
“Dreams Where Ur Murdered,” begins with haunting guitar strumming and then quickly picks up. Jackson’s voice takes the driver’s seat and his vocals shine through on this song better than any other song. “Life,” is the most vulnerable song on their EP. It’s about feeling depressed, overthinking certain subject matters, and questioning if you should keep living. These are serious and sensitive topics that some artists would never even dare touch. I admire their honesty and ability to shine light on such serious and sensitive topics; to let their fans know that they aren’t alone.
Close-knit fans and first merchandise release
X Lovers have built such a close knit community with their fans, or ‘saints.’ They originally began their fan base in Nor Cal from word of mouth. They would have hundreds and hundreds of people attend their shows without ever releasing their first song. Their fan base has only catapulted from there. Their social media presence is unlike any other artists I have seen. They make it their mission to actively engage with each and every one of their fans and make them feel welcome into their family they have established.
Their Instagram presence is where they do most of their engaging. They will respond to almost every comment from their fans,taking everything that their fans have to say to heart. They listen to them. If their fans want a new song, they will give them a snippet of a new song, if their fans want merchandise, they will work tirelessly night and day to produce the best merchandise they can for their fans to rep. They released their first merch drop on April 28, 2020, much to their eager fans' excitement.
Ultimately, the fans are what make every artist who they are, so it’s refreshing to see them investing so much time and energy into engaging with their fans. This is often something that artists overlook when they become ‘too famous’ or ‘too busy.’ This trait is a rarity to find in artists today. This is something I, as a huge fan, appreciate more than anything. It shows how much they truly care about their fans and what their fans have done for them.
This is the time to become a saint. Jackson and Ames exude endless talent and carry that special trait, that ‘it’ factor, that not many artists have. Their sound is unlike any other artists’ in the music industry today. It would be a mistake to go without listening to at least one of their songs, because they deserve more appreciation. They are the next big thing in music, I can guarantee you that.
Featured Image: Crowd Surfer Magazine