Written by Brandon George
Hot off the release of both an EP and LP last year, Virgia post-hardcore band pulses. have teamed up with pop musician and producer Zach Benson to deliver an irresistible Summer bop with “XO (Sold Out)".
From the moment the riff-driven, staccato screams of the verse transition into Benson’s contagious hook, it’s clear how well the styles of pulses. and Benson mesh. pulses. are no stranger to writing music with a pop flair—much of their excellent 2020 record “Speak It Into Existence” has shades of contemporary pop, pop-punk, and hip hop—but here the band is taking everything they’ve done before and hyperfocusing it to create something deliciously infectious.
I’ve long said pulses. is the kind of brilliant band where, in all they do, it is palpable how much fun they are having. The collaboration does nothing to diminish that. In fact, from the song’s mischievous tone to the recently released music video, “XO (Sold Out)” feels like friends getting together to make a song and have a good time.
The lyrics playfully weave together romantic expression with self-critical sentiment about the perceived value of art. The bridge employs the classic diptych of muted vocals and synthetic claps into husky gang vocals. The outro pairs rapid vocal samples and a drum pad (with a cheeky Navi sample thrown in at the beat drop). Every second of “XO (Sold Out)” is just pure, unfiltered fun.
Let us know what you thought of this delightful song by tweeting us @lgndsoftmrw.