Are you familiar with the fire poppy? Take a walk through the woodlands of western California. Just below your feet hides papaver californicum—a rare flower whose seeds can lie dormant in the Earth’s surface for years. It will only germinate when signaled by smoke from a wildfire. After the Golden State is devastated by drought or a dry season, the impending flames initiate its life cycle. Just picture this esoteric herb in bloom. I can think of no better image to describe Xylø’s new single—a bright, beautiful flower (with a mostly naked stem) living life in the midst of an ashy, burned landscape.
“Chlorine” serves listeners a party song with a side of nihilism. Xylø essentially tells listeners, “wake me up when it’s over.” Ultimately, her catchy new track conveys a desire to be numb: a feeling everyone should be able to empathize with—especially right now.
Music supervisors would be foolish to sleep on this track. It’s widespread usage on television shows would not be hard to imagine. The combination of the production and vocal performance is hypnotic, and the chorus features a hook Kim Petras would slap a seal of approval on. From the distinctive sampling in the intro to the Portuguese overdubs at its close, this song is likeable from beginning to end. Its groove is bound to turn heads as it saunters alongside the pool.
Los Angeles-based artist Xylø stormed onto the scene nearly five years ago and continues to gain momentum, boasting over 100 million streams to date. She’s a skilled songwriter who knows how to pack meaning into concise, accessible lyrics. Xylø signals the rejuvenation of life in pop music, much like the dichotomic representation of poppies in a forest after fire.
Head over to YouTube to dive into “Chlorine” and its accompanying new music video. Don’t forget to bring a towel.
Written by Matt Kalicky