You may not know the name Xander Singh, but there’s a high chance that you’d recognize much of the music he’s helped make for the past several years. After spending about two years playing small gigs under his own name, Xander Singh formed the group Pepper Rabbit, whose hit song “Older Brother” is one of my all-time favorites. The band lasted for about 3 years, until one day in 2011, when Xander Singh posted a message on Facebook announcing that Pepper Rabbit would be breaking up. A mere eight days after his last show with Pepper Rabbit, Xander got a call from some of his friends from Boston asking to join their band. Turns out it wasn’t just any band — it was Passion Pit. Sounds like a dream, but what he didn’t yet know is that only three years later, he’d be forced to leave the band for serious health reasons. This is the story of Xander Singh, a man who, practically overnight, went from feeling on top of the world to hitting rock bottom. Continue reading “[Interview] Xander Singh: The path from living the dream to hitting rock bottom” »
The surprise album drop has been a popular trend for the past couple of years. I think the concept is a boatload — maybe ever many boatloads — of fun. The problem is it often keeps music media in the dark, and music media doesn’t like being in the dark. This forces them to speculate a lot. As a result music media has been flat out wrong more this year than any other year in its history.
How many times recently have you seen Pitchfork or Fader report false information and then apologize for it? The answer is way too many times, but the media is a reflection of the people. We are the worst speculators of all. We are constantly speculating on Twitter — like 24/7. It’s all we do. Bro, one of Drake’s… friends… instagrammed… fake artwork of a Drake-Future collab, and people lost their shit. Now, that rumor happened to be true, but as this constant speculation transforms into obsession, it becomes a totally unhealthy behavior.
Speculators is a 21-track tape. The original idea for the tape came from 19th century oil speculation à la There Will Be Blood. Somewhere along the way it morphed into the rant above. With this tape I made an effort to include more indie rock songs, like the older Tape Tuesdays.
There are so many discoveries on this one. I hope you take the time to listen.
Now I could die today and the world won’t change, so I’m not ready
Xander Singh is the ex-keyboardist for Passion Pit who had to quit the band due to health issues involving his spine. While recovering from spinal surgery last year, he felt unmotivated to create new music. Fearing he had lost his love for songwriting, he began a Soundcloud podcast called Teach Xander About Music, where he recorded conversations with other artists to see if they had experienced similar feelings and if they had advice on how to overcome such feelings.
I am a strong believer in the school of thought that if an artist keeps the quality of music is consistently high across several songs he or she will get noticed under any circumstances. For the past three months, Xander has been quietly uploading demoes to his 100 Soundcloud followers. He has not hired PR or made any real effort to get his music heard. Maybe he has worked out a deal behind the scenes and does not even want these demoes to be heard. But thanks to byrdwatcher, I have heard them, and they are incredible. This is music that will restore your faith in music. The songwriting has that pure, classic feeling I got from listening to Tobias Jesso Jr.’s album but with the dirty synths of Passion Pit’s greatest hits.