EXCLUSIVE: ANNONXL - SUMMER AFFAIR
And all the magic
comes from deep within
by KAITLYN TILLERY
photos by JOULE SEVENTEEN
Unmistakably poised along a row of azaleas on the East side of Manhattan, it is not at all obvious that AnnonXL describes himself as typically being pretty shy. The Philly-based singer-songwriter seems conscious and concise about each bold decision he makes. The addition of “XL” to his given name is a distinction that AnnonXL says allows him to express himself freely – over the top and at times, promiscuous.
He’s drawn to music that makes him feel powerful,
and in his newly released EP, he’s created just that. AnnonXL’s Summer Affair is an intimate celebration of self-worth and self-love, with each song telling a different story about the singer growing closer with himself. Despite the fact that he says he has not yet had much luck or experience with it, he feels like a spokesperson for love.
“I wanted to be extremely real with my listeners with where I’m at in my love life,”
he said. “I think it’s fruitless to take to social medial about my love life, or lack thereof, so I put it into the music.” While his previous EP Teen Angst drove a narrative of romantic chase, this project focuses on the importance of championing yourself before all else. AnnonXL’s “Into Me” distinctly feels like a proclamation. Of the song, the singer says it is “about having the option of love, but saying
I’m more important right now.”
Even the cadence of “Into Me” is a bit of a departure from a typical AnnonXL record. While most of the music he produces is self-described as dark, moody and sensual, “Into Me” grabs you immediately with its momentous pop beat. This is the product of his collaboration with producer Esquire, the only of its kind on the EP. The two had been in talks to collaborate for some time, and with AnnonXL’s divergent pique to create a Pop record, the partnership came at the perfect time.
Also on this EP, AnnonXL introduces “Drought”, and the aphrodisiacal “Berries & Champagne”.
“While ‘Drought’ is basically a love song to myself, ‘Berries & Champagne’ is about leaving the concept of leaving love for anyone else behind,” he said. “These songs disguise themselves as love songs with slow tempos and voluptuous chord progressions, but actually reject the concept of romance itself.”
In all of his projects, you can hear his progression – not just in his artistry, but in quality, which is something he says he particularly proud of. As for the future, “expect growth,” AnnonXL said.
AnnonXL’s sophomore EP Summer Affair is streaming now, and he will be performing live on August 10 at Johnny Brenda’s in Philadelphia.