Love X Stereo: Xennials
Unsurprisingly Annie and Toby have created an album that speaks to the outcast and underappreciated. Xennials speaks on the thin lines between Gen X, Millenials and Gen Z. That awkward space where all three generations intersect in both experiences and ideals.
There are the moments of absolute white-hot passion and overindulgence of Gen X ("Sixteen," "Rebel Dress") that bleed into absolute nihilistic ennui and melancholy of the millennial generation ("Wonderous," "Kid from the Future"), leading into the empathy of Gen Z that seems to be compensating for the frenetic schizophrenia of the generations before it ("VS").
This is a beautiful representation of the nostalgia that, for better or worse, informs how most people in this age of social media tend to move within. No longer working from a space of pure originality, since everything worth its viral load is dependent on some relic of of the mythos of '80s and '90s pop culture. Yet so desperate to hold on to and retain some semblance of independent thought despite how the world's algorithms tell us to think. Probably the crux of this, the point where the Venn diagram overlaps all three, is track "Cell Theory." With the rapacious delivery of KEMOXAVI representing the fast pace of Gen X, the fatalistic sarcasm indicative of millennials and the summation of Gen Z's need to capture the world's most painful moments without actually taking part in the pain enough to do anything of substance, Annie's cry of "They want to lock you in a cell to make you someone else" becomes all the more poignant.
In this way Xennials floats on. An otherworldly example of just how potent Love X Stereo's music really is, but also a keen example of why most of South Korea's mainstream isn't necessarily ready for their message. It's honest, raw and open, but there's a dreaminess to it that catches you and flings you down a rabbit hole that you might not be ready to explore on your own. A shame, really. This is the type of sound that so much of the country is capable of but so few have the balls or brass ovaries to try in earnest the way LXS has done for the past decade.